word vomit⎮ summer reflections

as my summer comes to a close, i have been thinking about how i spent it. it is my last summer vacation, and i still cannot fathom what that means to me. i think that it’s so difficult for me to grasp because it reminds me of my youthfulness, my lack of responsibilities, childhood traditions, and that i will soon enter into adulthood officially once i graduate from college. i am excited, frightened, nervous, and eager to enter this new chapter in my life.

anyway, during the beginning of my summer vacation, i googled job and internship opportunities day and night. i filled out countless numbers of applications, contacted many employers, and went to several interviews. thankfully i was accepted as a volunteer for a wonderful nonprofit organization. due to high transportation costs, i didn’t volunteer as often as i wanted to—i only went 4 times. even so, after my last day with them, the nonprofit still emailed me a thank-you note and invited me to volunteer with them in the future. it meant a lot to me considering that i wasn’t such an active volunteer.

when i volunteered the few times that i did, i felt like i had a purpose. my purpose was to clock in on tuesdays and assist the organization with their weekly citizenship clinic by translating application forms for clients who couldn’t understand english very well. throughout the rest of week, however, i felt like i was wasting my summer away. i think i felt that way because most of my friends were spending their time interning, working, or attending summer school. i kept comparing my volunteer work to theirs, and for a time, i was dispirited. i chastised myself for not spending my summer more wisely.

in an effort to speed up the rest of week, i indulged in reading (for leisure), a pastime i didn’t explore since entering college. after finishing my first book this summer, i realized how much i missed reading. i made weekly trips to my local library and read fiction, autobiographies, and nonfiction works. soon after, i also rekindled my passion for writing.

i stopped writing when i entered college because i felt intimidated by my peers and professors. then, three and a half years later, one of my study-abroad instructors commented on how she enjoyed reading my writing (we had to write responses to creative writing and critical thinking prompts). at first, i thought she probably said that to everyone. but, a small voice whispered, maybe not…?

needless to say, i decided to try writing again, just like i had with reading. it was difficult at first. i used online creative writing prompts to trigger my thoughts, and disciplined myself to write at least once a week. at the same time, i posted these writing exercises on this blog. gradually, i wrote more often, and next thing i knew, i remembered what i had once loved so much and now love even more: writing. i missed tasting words, feeling their texture, rearranging them, and imagining them. i missed experimenting with poetry and creating stories. it’s true, as cheesy as that all sounds. and, i’m grateful for all of my WordPress readers and friends who have and continue support me on this writing journey. your likes, comments, views, and followings mean a great deal to me. thank you for that.

essentially, i thought this summer was going to be a waste of time. i thought that because i didn’t get an internship or job i would be even more lost on my path to adulthood and life. if anything, i’ve realized that this summer has been one that has brought me wonderful joys: self-exploration, long contemplations regarding life, revived passions, and spending time with those who are close to me. it was a different, much needed, well spent summer for me.

2 thoughts on “word vomit⎮ summer reflections

  1. I’m sorry that you were discouraged by your professor and peers about writing. You have beautiful prose and introspection into the human condition. Even Cormac McCarthy didn’t start out writing like Cormac McCarthy. I read my own writing from five years ago when I started and it sucked XD I’m not ashamed of it. Instead I’m proud that I’ve come so far. I have learned not to compare myself to others. I mean I do it out of instinct, but logically I reprimand myself when I do because it isn’t helpful. Everyone’s style is very different, and readers value different things about a book, so it’s like comparing apples and oranges, sometimes apples and ice cream XD I love both, but it depends what kind of a mood I’m in.

    I was a huge bookworm until I hit college. Then I felt guilty reading a book or even watching TV because I was so obsessive about studying. I had to get good grades. It was only in grad school, after I hurt myself and found fanfiction that I got back into reading. And that’s when I first started writing 🙂

    I was bedbound for the past 3 years, and I struggled to find meaning in it. I used to tell myself everything happens for a reason, but I’m not so sure anymore. If I think back about the years I wasted due to chronic pain it makes me sad. Other people had kids, got jobs, and I was in bed most of the day clinging to the hope that I would someday get better. I don’t like to think of it that way because it makes me sad. It is what it is. In many ways it helped shape the person I’ve become. I think that’s part of the reason much of my writing revolves around mental or physical illness. It has a profound effect on one’s life, and the struggle to make sense of it is beautiful to me.

    I was in college for 9 years, and then I graduated unable to work. Now I’m finally healthy enough to start working and it’s exciting and scary at the same time. I don’t like change, even when it’s positive. It always takes me a while to adjust to it. I’m hoping you find what you’re looking for. You might even realize that you had it all along 😉

    • I’ve also read my writing from a few years ago, and sometimes I cringe, haha. It’s so interesting how much our writing changes as we grow and experience different things. I agree that everyone has a different style and everyone prefers different things. I’ve read reviews of people who hate the Virgin Suicides, but yet you and I really enjoy the book. It all depends on the person’s taste.

      I’m the same way! I also read so much more before I entered college because I felt like I was so busy doing homework/studying. This year I’m going to incorporate some things I enjoy doing, like writing, this blog, and reading (even though I won’t be able to read as frequently as I’d like to).

      Overcoming a physical or mental illness truly is life changing, like you’ve mentioned. I spoke to someone the other day who told me his experience having a stroke. He talked about how it was so difficult–he couldn’t speak correctly, he couldn’t ride a bicycle, etc. He had to go through a lot of therapy to get to where he is today. It’s strange that we aren’t taught how to deal with these things until we are thrown into them. I’m glad you’ve been able to persevere throughout it all. 🙂 It takes much persistence and faith in yourself to do so.

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment and your encouraging words. You made my day! 🙂 I appreciate it immensely.

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