Summer is officially coming to a close and I’m so sad to see my favorite season end. I love Summer so much because it always feels to me like a time of change. This Summer was by far one of the best I’ve had for a lot of reasons. I got a new job, I went to Italy and Greece, and I scored the last Gucci belt before they get restocked later this Fall. Top that.
While I had a pretty great Summer, I learned a lot about myself. The older I get the more this just happens. Why do I have to be the kind of person who gets more introspective the older they get?? Why can’t I be one of those people who just yells at kids and steals the rolls from restaurants? Ah you’re right, because those people are grandmas.
I thought I’d share a few of the things I learned this Summer. Maybe some of you share the same feelings or are looking for some fresh perspective.
photos by Nikos Gogas
Spend More Time With The People Who Make You Better
I consciously made an effort this Summer to spend more time with friends. As an introvert my best recharging is mostly at home hanging with Chuck. So I say no to going out to a lot of things. I also went through a weird time period for about a year where I just wasn’t connecting with other people. I’d go out with friends and honestly go home just feeling frustrated or annoyed. It wasn’t any one thing they were doing. I just wasn’t there for it. We were also all at completely different places in life.
After some time of mentally taking a step or five back from relationships I feel so much more… ready to be a better friend. Sometimes you just have to give yourself a break. Listen to what your instincts are telling you and if you aren’t feeling fulfilled then try something else.
Take Care of Yourself First
The Summer started off kind of rough for me. I was sick with Pneumonia for most of May and June and not to be dramatic felt like I was dying. It’s no surprise to me that this was my body’s way of telling me to SLOW DOWN. I spent a lot of Spring working on blog post after blog post and I was also going through a really frustrating time at work. I wasn’t able to see that the combination of being frustrated with one aspect of life I was giving 100% to and subsequently giving 100% to the part of my life that was making me happy was actually making me very sick. You can’t live on 4 hours of sleep a night and the anxiety of a Real Housewife on a group trip and come out alive.
As soon as you start to feel rundown, give yourself a break. Take a long walk, soak in the tub, or go to a workout class. Do whatever relieves your stress and makes you happy. If there’s anything I’ve learned over the last year, you can’t put your health second to anything. I want to be here as long as possible if only to be able to tell you about the Nordstrom Anniversary sale.
There is no feeling in the world like traveling somewhere new for the first time. I love going to a foreign country where I don’t speak the language and getting to learn their culture. Now more than ever we need to be understanding of other cultures and learn what makes us all so unique and so similar at the same time.
Travel is the great healer in my life. Whenever I’ve been frustrated with work, unsure of where I stand with friends, craving something new, or even mending a broken heart, travel has been what’s brought me back to myself. Or more like brought me to my new self. Time and distance heal all wounds and sometimes 5,000 miles is the only thing that works.
There will always be reasons not to go; it doesn’t work with my schedule, the cheapest tickets are on weird days, I don’t know the language, what will I do there. Like anything in life worth it’s weight, there will always be more reasons not to do it. The only thing you need to be good at travel is a passport.
There Are Times of Change and Times of Pruning
I heard this from someone earlier this Summer and it has really stuck with me. We were talking about all the change we’ve gone through over the past few years and I mentioned how the past year or two have felt more calm for me after multiple big changes in a row. That’s when he brought up that I’m in a time of “pruning.” And it’s such a simple concept I was like why hasn’t this occurred to me before? While nothing “big” is going on in life right now, I’ve been making small changes along the way. I’ve been redecorating my apartment, trying different workouts here and there, and trying new hobbies. All of these are great little ways to make changes in a time of my life that feels so calm.
We all go through major life changes and sometimes those can feel like they last forever. And sometimes life just feels calm and a little monotonous, but in a good way. Nothing lasts forever, so even if you’re feeling overwhelmed with life’s changes or you’re feeling bored with your life, it can change whenever you decide.
The Grass is Greenest Where You Water It
This Summer felt like the season for everyone to talk about the comparison game. While it’s not a new concept to me in blogging, this year has felt like the first I’ve seen it showing up everywhere on the Internet. I’ll just state it plainly. Everyone is mad at the Instagram algorithm. If you run any sort of business that relies on unique content and sharing that on a website or social media, your life has been a series of frustrating events with the Instagram algorithm. If you’re a regular person who doesn’t have to live with this idiotic stress, here’s the deal. A while ago Instagram initiated “The Algorithm” which no longer shows you photos in chronological order, they show up based on your interaction. Want to see my photos? You won’t if you don’t like and/or comment on what I’ve already posted.
I felt pretty frustrated with this at first because I get a lot of website traffic from Instagram. But I want to be honest here, I just don’t give a shit about Instagram. I’ve always used it as a source of inspiration to see beautiful travel photos, flowers, home interiors, and keep up with a few friends. I love sharing my photos and I used to religiously post 1-3 times a day and I loved having a platform to share my blog content somewhere else. But now it’s not even a fun sharing experience because no one sees anything. It’s not even about getting a million likes or followers or trolls. It just used to be a fun space to meet other creative people and feel inspired. Instagram has become its own worst enemy.
The Algorithm has pretty much ruined that experience. So this Summer I made the decision to use Instagram as a fun way to share photos and whoever likes them, likes them. But all my time and energy is going into blog content for you guys. That’s the stuff I enjoy doing and working on and I would not be staying true to my passions if I kept putting all my energy and worry into Instagram.
I feel as though I got so frustrated with The Algorithm that I forgot the whole reason we’re doing this. I started A Study in Chic as a way to share my style and my life with all my readers. I didn’t start it to have things to share on Instagram. Whatever happens, will happen with The Algorithm and soon there will be a new form of social media that will be better than Instagram and we’ll all feel stupid for being so upset about this. So I want my blog to be the greenest grass I have. I want to focus on creating the best content possible and sharing more of my life with all of you without distraction. If you see less from me on Instagram this Fall, know that you can always find great (at least in my opinion), new content on A Study in Chic.
What About You
Did any of my Summer lessons ring true for you? Anyone else ready leaving Instagram behind for what will come next? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below!
XO – Tracy