Curled up in bed after leaving the office at 10:30 that night, brain still wired. Eyes closed, yet mind fully on. My month of August saw 10-hour days, a road trip from Texas to Missouri and the start of a new semester. Woof. These next few months will swarm with busyness, and it’s taking everything in me to choose a grateful attitude. (Thank you to my roommates for keeping me accountable on choosing gratitude!) I’ve had to take some steps back and remind myself that I’m human, the ball will be dropped, and I can’t do everything.
In August, I had my last first day of school. (But according to Bill from Target, I still could go get my master’s and PhD, so maybe it’s not my last first day. Okay, Bill, please just give me a sticker of the Target mascot dog.) And you could say I’m getting sentimental. These next two semesters mean many lasts but also much activity. Here’s to savoring the moments amid the stress. Here’s my top 5 for the month:
1 . A farewell to Dallas
After 12 weeks in sweet Texas, I said goodbye to a full and pleasant summer in Dallas. I learned a lot about myself this summer and what I want in life, and although lonely at times, it’s three months I’ll cherish deeply for my personal development and mouth-watering Tex-Mex. Whether you’re looking for the best coffee shops or top restaurants, I’ve got you covered for your next trip to north Texas.
2 . Gal Pals >
You don’t have to look far or listen for long to find someone complaining about not having a significant other. That’s completely legitimate; we’ve all been there. But let me go out on a ledge here and say that’s spending time with pals fills the soul like nothing else. I moved in with four of my good friends, and only weeks in, we’ve had so much girl talk, movie + wine nights and laughs. There probably won’t be another time in my life where I’m living in a home of five women who love each other and love to have fun. (And also don’t have the commitment of spouses, children and mortgages.)
One of my StrengthsQuest survey characteristics is “futuristic,” meaning I’m always looking to what’s next. Although a strength, thinking about the future can also be weighty and exhausting. This semester I’m choosing to savor the now because this chapter will be ending soon. *sheds tear
3 . Speaking of roommates …
My roommate has her own earrings business, and wearing them two days in a row, I couldn’t keep up with all the compliments I was getting on my gold star earrings. I love the statement they make without weighing my lobes down. I’m also so proud of her for getting approved to sell her products in a downtown boutique.
4 . Blue Bell Farm
You’ve probably never heard of Fayette, Missouri, but I spent an evening at the most darling spot in this mid-Missouri town. Our group spent some time at Blue Bell Farm where we noshed on a taco bar, roasted s’mores and explored the grounds. As much as I enjoyed Texas this summer, it was so sweet to drive down those hilly Missouri backroads. I guess you’re really not that bad, Missouri.
5 . The freelance game
The journalism field is in what you would call a topsy turvy right now as print moves toward digital. Print enthusiasts like me can be saddened, but one great advantage is the flexibility that technology brings. I’ve picked up more freelance jobs over the past few months, and while I don’t know what the next five years holds, it’s great to flex those writing and fact-checking skills. If you’re a freelance anything, I’d love to hear all your tips and tricks in the comments.
Even though the summer didn’t have much travel in the traditional sense, I was able to explore more of Missouri and spend time with precious friends.