While I don’t often listen to Lana Del Rey, her song “Summertime Sadness” has taken on a new meaning in my life. Witnessing the exciting adventures and travel experiences of my friends through social media this summer has stirred up mixed emotions within me. I feel both happiness for them and a sense of boredom, and maybe even a touch of jealousy.
Many of us are ambitious, creative women who have spent the summer renewing our health habits, such as hitting the gym, focusing on our businesses and passion projects, or applying for schools and career programs for the upcoming fall. Some of us are finally embracing the present and prioritizing self-care, or at least trying to. However, there are those of us who feel stuck.
Recently, while scrolling through “Threads,” the new Twitter-like app created by Instagram, I came across a quote that struck a chord: “Anyone else feeling sad this summer?” It caught my attention because, typically, we tend to showcase our best, happiest selves during the summer. However, the replies to that comment revealed a different reality. Numerous users expressed a unanimous feeling of being trapped in a rut, experiencing sadness or loneliness, or being hurt by constant comparisons to friends or family members who have the privilege of traveling and truly enjoying the summertime.
In that moment, I realized I had found my place. I, too, have experienced this sense of summer dread. Despite everything appearing positive on paper (two internships, dedicated focus on growing Living By Bella, being back with family, and more), I still feel like I’m lagging behind everyone else.
Your One Thing
This led me to write “Summer Season Solace” to describe the shared sentiment some of us experience during the summer. So, here’s my task for you: focus on your ONE thing this summer. Identify the one thing that ignites your interest, motivates you to get out of bed, something you could talk about for hours, or an activity you would love to pursue if you had the free time.
To be honest, one thing that has been helping me regain my drive is contemplating the concept of death. My mom passed away in her early 30s, and it has haunted me how someone so full of life and purpose could leave this world with seemingly unfinished dreams, like starting her own nonprofit organization. While this perspective may seem somber, it serves as a constant reminder that each day is brimming with life, and the career I desire, the people I love, or the goals I set could be taken away at any moment. This reminder has pushed me to reach out to friends, focus on writing more, and apply for additional fall internships, because each of us has a purpose that we must pursue with determination.
– Bella <3