Monday, May 03, 2010

The Summer of Me, Part Two

I went through a metamorphosis a year ago that profoundly changed the way I lived my life and viewed the world. It was such a change that I honestly still struggle to find the proper words to do it justice. Last summer I set out to reclaim my happiness, rediscover the magic of the season, and fully embrace my life. Spurred by the devastating news that a close family friend (who had just lost his leg to cancer) was diagnosed with an incurable but treatable cancer; I was rocked to my core by the fact that those I love (and myself) aren't going to live forever. So I set out on a mission to reconnect with old friends, take more time for myself, and figure out what meant the most to me in this world.

I followed my instincts to do what felt right, instead of what others expected of me. If I felt like spending the evening in quiet solitude reading or writing, that's what I did. If I needed to let go of some toxic friendships that were pulling me down, I gave myself permission to do so. I spent time with people who mean the world to me, sometimes staying out until the wee hours of the morning. I spent hours with people I hadn't seen in years, contemplated the greater meaning of my life, and learned to love myself more completely. I stopped being so busy doing nothing and made time to do something. I stopped planning life and just lived it. For the first time, probably since my childhood, I had the most magical summer that will be forever etched into my mind and heart.

I wrote at summer's end that The Summer of Me couldn't be contained to one person, place, or season. Many of you declared your own summers and set about making them happen. I used my summer as a catalyst for the life of me and went about giving my summer mindset a more permanent fixture in my life. I've been fairly successful, but a little reminder never hurts. Now that the warmer weather is rolling in, weekends in my calendar are quickly filling up, and I'm shaking off the last of the winter dust that seeped into my soul ; I'm ready for a more public declaration.

So, this is me, officially declaring another Summer of Me. A summer where I will throw myself head over heels into living life with such an intensity that there's nothing left at the end of the day. A summer where I will reach out to nurture relationships in my life that need nurturing and let go of relationships that can no longer be salvaged. A summer where I will unapologetically and selfishly take time for myself when I need it, without explaining my choices and decisions to others. A summer where I push myself outside of my comfort zone in an attempt to better understand myself as a person. A summer where I savor the small delights of day to day living that are often so easily overlooked. A summer where I continue my quest for a deeper happiness and understanding of what I truly need in this world. A summer where I let go of what I cannot control and instead focus on what I can. A summer where I laugh more and love harder. A summer where I give myself so completely to life that I develop a greater appreciation and realization of what my time here, in the present moment, is all about.

I want this summer to be one filled with amazing memories of both old and new friends, a deeper awareness of the world around me, and an unrivaled sense of peace and contentment knowing that I lived each day to its fullest. What do you say, will you join me? I promise, the whole experience will change you.