Monday, August 22, 2011

How I spent my summer vacation

The end of August has always been an exhilarating time for me. In the past, I have been dizzy with excitement thinking of all that Back To School season implies: new knowledge to be had, new friends to be made, new opportunities to be seized. (Not to mention new supplies to be purchased.)

An essential part of the Back to School experience is the process of rewinding the film and examining the summer months: Did I make the most of my summer? Have I adequately prepared myself for the challenges ahead? Do I have any regrets? While I may not be returning to school this fall, I see no reason why I cannot adopt this spirit and reflect on my summer.

Here are the facts: I was unemployed. I stayed in most weekend nights. I was in a relationship that finally fell apart. I kept to myself, hunkered down in my basement. I watched a lot of Netflix.

In the past, I would have been embarrassed by this summer. There were no grand adventures, I didn't come away with epic tales of debauchery and rebellion...and I am more than okay with that. I am confident that my seemingly sad and wasted summer was actually one of the most important times in my life. This summer, I became a student of the self.

What does that mean, "student of self?" It means that I have begun the process of unpacking a lifetime of pain. It means that I am working toward breaking the cycle. It means that I am learning the tremendous power of becoming self-aware. It is the hardest work I have ever done, but it was this work that got me through this tumultuous time in my life. 

What did this "work" entail? I wrote in my journal with a brutal honesty that I have never allowed myself. When faced with uncomfortable situations or thoughts, I actively examined them and dug deep to the roots, rather than running away from them. I asked myself the toughest questions one can ask, all in the name of a better life through self-awareness. I would not rest until I fully believed that I am a unique human event. I know myself now. I know my worth and I don't question it for a moment.

I'm grateful for the time I spent alone this summer. As much as loneliness frightens me, I desperately needed solitude for this work. It was an education in truly experiencing my emotions. I willingly sat in some intense feelings, both fresh and long-ignored, and embraced their raw truths. Each wave of human feeling was a lesson: Pain is temporary. Knowing myself is permanent.

How I spent my summer vacation. I cried. I mourned. I felt intense rage. It wasn't exciting or glamorous and, at times, it wasn't particularly fun, but I have zero regrets about how I chose to spend my time. I am filled with the same exhilaration I felt as a child going back to school. I spent my summer learning about my self and have built a ferocious appetite for it. The next chapter of my education as a student of self is just beginning, and I am ready for every lesson that comes my way. Nothing can stop me, now that I have a stronger self of self.

A stronger sense of Kait.

1 comment:

  1. I love you. You are wonderful and beautiful and is. What you did this summer is infinitely more important than going to the beach or any other giddy excursion, and it WAS AN ADVENTURE...was it not?? And there are so many more to be had now. When the beach becomes a sturdy foundation...the ocean can play more heartily. Happy Sailing, my incredible friend. I will peg leg with you any time. <3