Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Hello, July!

I know it's a few days into the month, but what's more shocking to me is that we are more than halfway through 2018. That is crazy. It's already July! And I absolutely love the 4th of July -- it is the epitome of summer and it's also the day my husband asked me to marry him! This year, the 4th is taking a little bit of a different twist, as I'll be spending it outside of the US. But instead of being sad about what I'm missing, I'm using this as an opportunity to practice being present. To share how grateful I am for the experience of spending a summer in Europe, how much it has taught me, and how I still struggle every day (in Europe or at home) with staying present.

 
I have absolutely loved the experience of living and working abroad. It has been good for me, it has been good for my career (I hope), and it has actually been good for my marriage. Not to say my husband and I enjoy being apart, but we have been put in a situation where we HAVE to communicate well and we don't take each other for granted. That being said, I will be so happy to get back home to him. But all in all, I am incredibly grateful for this experience and how much it has fueled my personal growth.
 
But that's not to say it has been easy. It has been really difficult for me to spend so much time alone. I am a chronic over-analyzer, so I find my mind drifting way back to conversations and friendships in the past and beating myself up for why things are different now. This whole 6-month experience will end up being a really good lesson in staying present and acknowledging that life takes us down different paths. Friends come and go, people change, and forgiving ourselves is just as important as (if not more than) forgiving others.
 
It's hard to see old friends on social media living their lives together, in the same city, while I'm so far away. And even though this experience is one of a lifetime, I find myself wondering if I made the right decisions along my path of life that have led me further from those friendships. I had times, through all of my life changes, when I was very selfish. And while I think we all need to be selfish at some times to get our own heads and hearts straight, I regret not showing more compassion for the heads and hearts of some of my friends who were also going through difficult times trying to navigate our 20s. I find myself wishing I could call up those old friends and apologize -- for being young and naïve and making mistakes in my past. But then I try to remind myself that we all go through phases of being young and naïve and making mistakes. And while I may not be able to repair all faded friendships from the past, what I can do is work to be a better friend, wife, daughter, and sister in the present and in the future. I can work to focus on the now. (And I can also stop being such a narcissist thinking that people are sitting around thinking about me. They aren't; they've moved on. Which is both comforting and sad at the same time. But that's life!)
 
And that's also enough about that. Because it's almost the start of my long weekend. Two of my friends who have seen me through the good and the bad are coming to visit! We're headed to Luxembourg and then Reims, France for a little champagne tasting. So as much as I do love the 4th of July, this weekend will be about celebrating the beginning of July here. Being present here. Appreciating my friends here. Sending love and positivity to all of the friends who have touched my life in the past. And also being grateful that life's changes and winding paths have led me to such a beautiful life at home in the US with my husband that makes me miss it so much. I'm lucky to be headed back to it.
 
And because this is a style blog, and my favorite Free People dress is now on sale, see it linked below! It would, in fact, be perfect for a summer BBQ, or a day sipping champagne. Both great, but different, experiences.
 


Photography: Anna Papazian


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