Summer of 2018 has been one of the most atypical of my life. After Labor Day, in America, it always means that summer is (sort of kind of) over. My experience these past few months has been weird. To put it simply. It started by going back to Portugal, a two week euro-trip, followed by three weeks of total chill at my parents house. Plus, spent the majority of August in New York. I spent so much time alone, which made me realize a few things.

When you have that much time to think, especially at home, rested, chilled, you often end up enlightened. Gathering my thoughts, conversations I had, stupid things I listened, and said, things I felt, I’m left with:

#1 Life is a sum of what you make it.

I’m tired of the prison that is my head. And of not living in the moment. I listen to people talk about how we all have to live in the present. And it’s ultimately true. Because it’s the only real thing we have.

#2 No strings attached.

If there’s one thing I wanted this summer was to have no obligations. To myself or others. I tried to free my mind from setting itself up to failure. When you have plans that don’t follow through, you’re left with disappointment. If you expect something from someone, and they don’t deliver, you’re left with disappointment. Not saying that we shouldn’t make plans, just be open to the possibility that they might fall through. And that’s okay!

#3 Confront your insecurities.

These last couple of months, I’ve been confronting several fears of mine. A lot of them involving spiders, because my parents house is full of them, but mostly about my own life and insecurities. I switched off a bit from Instagram and only stopped by a couple of times a day. This small change in behavior has affected grandly what and how I think about myself. Why I react to certain things and feel triggered by others. It all boils down to how I see myself in a certain context. Which leads me to, what the hell I want to do, moving forward.

#4 Take your time.

You’re not in a race with someone else. Not with your friends, your family, your acquaintances. There’s no hurry into getting somewhere you don’t feel comfortable in. Just because someone else has got it all figured out and you don’t, it’s not terrible. It’s natural. It’s life! Go at it at your own pace.

#5 Appreciate people.

Take time to think about why they are doing what they’re doing. Behaving a certain way. Telling you certain things. If you don’t agree, make sure the other person knows, without making them feel like shit — don’t expect the same courtesy. If you have nothing nice to say, shut up.

#6 Forgive.

Yourself and others. Don’t hold on to grudges, and immediately tell someone when they are hurting you. There’s nothing worse than holding a grudge and clinging on to it in hopes of change.

#7 Hold yourself accountable.

I’ve grown tired of blaming others for my situation. Although, sometimes, you might be victim to circumstances, most of the time, we put ourselves in the situations we are at. Know when you’re doing it and hold yourself accountable. Think about why you’re blaming someone else instead of yourself. That’s the thing I’ve been doing the most.

#8 Be by yourself.

Don’t be afraid to be alone. Nor do things alone. I find that I most discover myself when I’m alone. Because when you’re alone, you can be totally honest, totally you, totally true. There’s no one to impress or compare. Make time to do it.

How was your summer?