Updated: Jul 9, 2020
If you're here, you're either a part of the Beat the Clock (BTC) family or my book (Break through Fear) BTF - I swear I didn't plan the acronyms to look so similar! Lol
Well, what can I say? I feel like I have had more joy this summer than I've had for the 5 past summers. I'm not saying this to sound bitter: I had AMAZING summers, spending my time engulfed in dance, love, and travel. I traveled to 11 countries, 2 European islands, and a couple of U.S. states. I attended iconic concerts (Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, etc.), got married, and studied abroad twice during the summers. My summers have always been SUPER busy and loaded with adventure. However, if I'm being honest, they were rather superficial as well. All of my trips were fast-paced with very little time to rest. We were covering a lot of ground, but we didn't stress a lot of depth. Even the europhic moments I experienced were intense, but short-lived (a couple of hours at a time).
This summer, I've had to go deep. I've had to go beyond capturing the Instagram-worthy shots, trying a new meal, or getting into a line as early as possible. Everything was about adrenaline, not about authenticity. Now, I've had to learn to push after the honeymoon/adrenaline period to stay just as intentional. Now, I've had to be present in the moment as I interview people for an extended period of time instead of having quick 5-minute conversations where I just summarize stories I've already said before. It's been about the mental exercise of connecting with God, myself, and the people around me EVEN IF we're in isolation. I've had to be creative to avoid throwing myself pity parties and victimizing myself because it can be so easy during a pandemic. It is SO MUCH EASIER to be negative and cynical than it is to be positive. Positivity is hard though because it's not being insensitive to negativity and framing everything in tone-deaf optimism. It's about choosing a healthier perspective in the midst of negativity. It's about being a solution rather than adding to the problems around you. It's about knowing there are better days ahead and letting your current life experience teach you rather than torture you. Moreover, I've had to learn to be positive this summer, even when there's not much to be positive about. It's easy to be positive when you're traveling, dancing, and doing what interests you. What do you do when it feels like the whole world shut down (in this case, literally)? How can you create, inspire, and still keep your essence when the media tries to deflate you? It's these kinds of questions that have prompted me to create in new ways, connecting me to people I NEVER would've thought about otherwise.
I've talked to a millionaire, a TedTalk speaker, an NBA choreographer, and people with 125k followers ALL because I've gone deeper than I ever have before. I've looked within to really say, "I'm valuable even when I don't have the 'bragging points' I'm used to." By believing that and acting on it, I've come across great people and engaged in a way I haven't in years. The higher I climb, the more I see what I've always hoped: people are genuinely kind and helpful. In my environment, it's kinda felt like I was a one-woman show promoting this ideology that seemed unattainable/unrealistic to so many. However, by just sitting down at my desk, I've come to feel less alone.
Who knew there was such value in staying still? The past 5 years, I've been running around trying to seek adventure elsewhere. During this quarantine, however, I've seen (and lived) that the best adventures are the ones in your mind. In my small office, I've lived more in one month (at home) than I ever thought possible.
I can't wait to see what's next.