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Story Time: The Summer of Me

Story Time: The Summer of Me

I had a lot of plans for how I thought summer 2021 was going to go hell I even had tickets purchased, hotels room booked, and so much more. I’ve spoken about it before in a few blogs (Broken Heart Chronicles and Restarting and Soul Searching) So obviously the world, god, whatever you believe in flat-out laugh and kinda took a dynamite stick not only to my plans but also to my life. It rocked me pretty hard, mainly because I thought I was living this “perfect” life. When in reality it was so far from the truth. Little did I know it was the best thing ever. 

When everything blew up I definitely cried a ton, looked at my mom, and said I have no idea what I’m going to do. My mom being the supportive woman she is said “I’m not going to tell you what to do. You are you and you always come up with a plan. And whatever you choose to do you know I will support you.” And she did every single step of the way; and so did so many other people.

I love you….and I know in my heart things will work out and you will come out on top.

-My Mom

When it all fell apart I took everything I knew and loved and headed back to my hometown. I craved familiarity. Once home and surrounded by people I really love; everything else became really clear, and so did the game plan. The game plan wasn’t the only thing brewing in my mind. I knew this time was going to be a once and lifetime moment and I had to seize it as quickly as possible. I also knew this meant taking time to redefine my happiness and more importantly taking time to look at who I am and Who I want to be. 

I didn’t want any sympathy and I didn’t want anyone to feel bad for me. Sh*t happens and what happened to me is so minuscule to what is happening around the world today. I gave myself some time and went to work. I created my summer bucket list and started working on my Game plan. So I’m sure you’re asking yourself what happened what did I do to make this summer so special; what made it so special; what made it all worthwhile? 

I made the conscious choice to spend time with the people that matter. Family is everything to me. Being away I didn’t realize how much I didn’t show up when they needed me. So I made sure to show up when they needed me. Long car rides to hear them vent, talk, and even express themselves without judgment. Provided advice when they need it, but mostly just showing up and being their sister who wasn’t just some text bubbles or even a face on a screen. I drove down to see my aunt and uncle at the shore who I don’t see often as they live in Washinton state. Where we watched movies, went to the beach, rode bikes, watched the sunset and rise, and even worked on a few job offers. 

I took my dad to a baseball game; the last baseball game my dad went to was Derek Jeter’s last game at Yankee stadium. He hasn’t been back since and since I had the tickets already and love baseball; I got to make some dreams come true. Not only was I able to take my dad to the game; but I took him to see the Yankees play the Red Sox. The entire night was filled with laughter and sharing memories just the two of us. I got him to take the train in too so we can drink beer and not have to fuss about parking or travel. We made friends with a bartender and she loved us so much that each time she saw my dad online she let him cut the line and get both of us beer without me there. We were laughing, cheering, and chanting the whole night. He still talks about it to this day. 

I made a family vacation. I was able to join my parents and my siblings down in LBI. I laugh because my family has gone the last four years…and this was the first time I was actually able to join them this summer and they loved being able to show me around LBI. We got to go shopping in Beach haven, spend time at the brewery, walk to go get ice cream, and even visit the lighthouse. There was a bunch of families that were there as well and it was so nice to sit on the beach eat pizza, have a lacrosse catch in the sand, boogie board the waves, and just able to sit back and relax. The memories will last forever; especially because I loved the cute cottage house we were staying at. It really was an amazing getaway to relax and just let go of a lot of things. 

I also flew out with one of my brothers to meet our older brother to Washinton state where we drove from Seattle, Washington down to Salt Lake City Utah in nine days. We were able to stop at Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Jackson Hole, and a ton of national forests. We hiked, camped, stargazed, explored some amazing hot springs, some amazing cities, and even saw old faithful blow. We even saw a ton of amazing animals I mean on one of our hikes we legit saw a mama black bear and her two cubs walk right in front of us. We even watched the two cubs tackle and play in front of us it was crazy. We even had bison cross our hiking path, elk in the road came across a fox, and so many other animals. Was absolutely a trip of a lifetime. I posted a ton of pictures on my Instagram (@astoldbyKMH) if you want to see a few pictures.

A big shock to me was; I realized who really cared about me. I had people who I called my best friends who till this day haven’t reached out to see how I’m doing; even after I reached out to them. I got a lot of no replies. So I made sure to focus on the people who reached out, who followed up, and most importantly the people who showed up. My guy friends would take me to the bar or check-in that I ate. We played volleyball, cornhole, and beer pong, had nights by the fire, and even all days in the pool. My girlfriends made sure I ate we’d go to brunch, or they have me over for dinner, one even got me a hydrangea bush (one of my favorite flowers), and would even just grab ice cream or margaritas with me. Even the people that could not be there for me physically always made sure to text, call, and even facetime. I took note of the people who showed up for me; only because I wanted to make sure I showed up for them when they need me. (My Corner. My Team)

I pushed myself physically. I made sure almost every single day I moved my body be a full two-hour workout,  just a 20-minute run, a 15-minute walk, or even an hour in yoga. I made sure I was moving a minimum of 5 days a week. (please remember I played lacrosse in college so I do know what I am doing). Because of this, I was able to run a 5k with my friends and do almost all the obstacles, I had an absolute blast. But more importantly, I didn’t work out to look good for the summer or for a guy or even because I had to. I did it because it made me feel good.  You can read more about it in My Corner. My Team.

When it came time to me I made sure every single day I put myself first from my health to my happiness. I spent time in therapy talking about what I went through. But mainly focusing on my anxiety, panic attacks, triggers, stresses, past traumas, and even where I want my life to go. I can’t even tell you how many times I walked away feeling like a weight was lifted off my shoulder or a new way to work through anxiety, stress, and even panic attacks. For the first time in a long long time, I actually feel like I have control over my emotions and my mind. Don’t get me wrong I still have bad days but I have the tools and tricks now that work for my mind, and my life. And because of it now I feel confident I’m moving toward being my best and happiest self. 

I spent time asking myself the questions what makes me happy? I was able to make a list of things like sunshine, fresh air, snowfall, cupcakes, and a ton of other things. These things were great but I realized they were temporary fixes or added happiness facts. I realized I needed to make sure I was happy all by myself. So I started daily affirmations telling myself I was strong, I was capable, I was confident and there is nothing I couldn’t handle. Each day it made me believe in myself a little bit more. At night before I went to bed I started to reflect on my day; what I did that made me happy, what I did that upset me, and why it upset me, what my emotions were that day, and even checked in with how much sleep I was getting and making sure my water intake was good. I started to realize by taking time every day to set myself up for confidence but also checking in before I went to bed helped me focus on myself and the direction I want to be heading. 

It sounds crazy but after everything, this summer brought me to the happiest I’ve been. Had everything not fallen apart I would have never been able to put it all together into the life I want to live, highlighting and focusing on the parts I want to highlight. So yes everything sucked for a hot second but damn did I create some amazing memories from a “tragedy”.  Because can we really call it a tragedy if I came out better from it? Let’s call it the best accident that I never saw coming. So when things fall apart and it’s okay don’t panic, just take a deep breath because you never know how amazing it may turn out in the end.

I hope to just keep growing each day. be my mind, my spirt, my vision, or even my happiness. I hope I never stop growing

-KMH
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