The Monster End-of-Summer Post

 

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Me with Josh, Kiley, and Maddy towards the beginning of summer at the end of Pilot Knob Road in Mendota Heights, Minnesota.
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Mom and me with smoothies in August in Uptown!
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Maddy, Kaila, Kiley, Regan, and me at Cupcake in Eagan, Minnesota, in June.
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Regan and me at the Mason Jar in Eagan, Minnesota in June.
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Madison and me at the Justin Bieber concert in June!! BEST. NIGHT. EVER.
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AnnMarie and me on one of our walks in June.
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Maddy, Regan, and me at the Dunn Brothers on the Macalaster College campus in August, seeing Mama Caught Fire perform.
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Me and Lucas at the i like you consignment store in Minneapolis, Minnesota in August. ūüôā
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The mersisters from the Little Mermaid, posed like the Bridesmaids promo!

SEPTEMBER. The best season is finally upon us! I am so, so unbelievably ready for maroon sweaters and blanket scarves and beautiful sunsets and wishing I liked the ever-famous PSL. But before I dive into fall and goals for the school year, I wanted to touch on this past summer! I have had such a fulfilling three months. I am so energized and full of happiness with where I am right now. Here’s some highlights:

  • I began Lauren Gleisberg’s weight training fitness program and have seen actual results! This is the longest I’ve ever stuck with any kind of fitness journey, and I am currently in the middle of Week 8, about to begin Phase II of the program. In addition to physical strength, I’ve grown in mental flexibility, self-determination, and prioritization.
  • I spent a lot of time on EMDR therapy, a form of treatment for PTSD. I really feel like I’ve healed and worked through a lot of things that have happened in the past, and although I am not completely healed 100%, I know that I will get there. I have grown so much in recognizing positives in every situation, as well as self-confidence and love.
  • I was in Eagan Summer Community Theater’s production of the Little Mermaid as Aquata in July! I went to six weeks of rehearsals beginning in June Monday-Friday and some Saturdays, and then performed thirteen times¬†over three weekends in July. I met so many fantastic people and made so many memories. My love for performing was reignited after over a year off, and I will continue to seek out various avenues for musical theater, something I’ve loved for many, many years.
  • I had three incredibly fulfilling jobs this summer! I continued at the Lifetime Fitness Child Center, where I’ve worked for almost 2.5 years now. We had a lot of new employees this summer, and I kind of felt old because I still felt like a baby employee last summer, but that was not the case this summer, lol. I also worked at American Girl again, which is possibly the best job ever. I love styling doll hair day in and day out, and it’s surprisingly incredibly rewarding to watch a little girl watch me braid her dolls hair (and paint her dolls nails, and pierce her dolls ears, and give her doll a spa day…..where’s MY spa day?!). Finally, I became a certified Personal Care Assistant (PCA) with Lifeworks. I worked as a PCA for a girl close to my age, and we did so much fun stuff this summer! We went to the library almost every day, where we each read on our own. We swam and exercised at the YMCA, walked to the local playground, and hung out on the porch of her house. We also may have sneaked a little DQ ice cream now and then ūüėČ

Essentially, if I could sum up my summer in three words, they would be 1) work, 2) rehearsal,and 3) exercise. So I suppose it could’ve been worse, haha.

I leave for Denver tomorrow evening. My mom, grandma, and I will be driving out on my (MY!) Mitsubishi, and I have yet to begin any DIY projects or packing. So I’m freaking out just a little. But if you know me at all, you know I am HUGE on planning things and setting goals and being prepared. I’ve spent like half my summer driving (especially recently, because my boyfriend moved to St. Paul last weekend, so I’ve spent like five hours total driving back and forth to see him), which is my favorite time to reflect and mentally prepare for things big and small. And recently, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that we cannot ever be truly ready for change. What does “ready” feel like? I feel as though I could write an entire post about this very topic, but I’ll say just a few things about it. Last summer, I filled two journals in the month of August alone futilely trying to mentally prepare for The Big Move to College. And I learned that no amount of journaling or praying or goal-setting or meditating could have even come close to what I’ve experienced in the past twelve months. I’ve undergone more change than I ever have in my whole life and I couldn’t have seen any of that coming from a million miles away. The things I thought I’d carry around with me for my whole life became small pieces in light of new things I learned about myself. I’ve also spent a lot of time trying to “get to know myself”, which I completely think is a necessary thing, but I also think that human beings are dynamic, immensely deep creatures. We can never fully know ourselves, and this is why I think it’s really difficult to be fully “prepared” for change. I get so wrapped up in being prepared–such as knowing the right things to say when certain situations come along, being ready to stand in desert winds, things like that. I do think there is a practical amount of preparedness that is important; for example, I learned a lot about DU before I moved there. But I could not have, in any way, prepared myself for the actual¬†experience¬†of being there. I think I have this utopian-esque¬†¬†worldview, in which I hope to be this perfect bank of knowledge and experience and wisdom to bestow upon the small grasshoppers who are yet to experience what I have, but this is just not the case. I was not ready for high school. I was not ready for college. I was not ready for a relationship last year, and I was not ready this summer. I am not ready for study abroad next year, I am not ready for marriage in a few years. Hell, I am not ready for this day that I am living right now. I have never felt ready for anything, despite the immense amounts of “preparation” I’ve done for the various Big Life Changes I’ve experienced. The truth is that things will happen to us, and it is just not possible for us to be prepared for every beautiful, messy, unforeseen thing that this life will throw at us. Sometimes this worries me–the thought that life is happening¬†to¬†me, instead of me living my life. But I think that is just part of the experience¬†of life.

Even so, I am still a planner and goal-setter at heart. I will be doing a post within the next week outlining my goals for this quarter and the school year, so keep an eye out for that! And of course, I do not feel ready to return to the world that is college and Denver and a thousand miles away from the familiar, but I will never be fully ready. I guess I am just going to muster up all I can of my small human voice and steel myself to the winds of the universe: I am here, do what you must.

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