This past summer, I joined Emily P. Freeman and others, and I recorded the things I learned that season. My goal was to do this for every season and reflect back on all the things I learned.
In this edition of things I learned, I realized I had a couple reoccurring themes this fall that also showed up on the summer list, as well as some new things that really surprised me!
1. The art of letting go
I’m still not great at this. I wish I could say I have mastered it. But I haven’t – I’m still learning and working on it. The older I get, the more I realize that letting go isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s more of a sign of strength.
2. Seasons in nature mirror the seasons in life.
Talking with Chris one weekend, we were thinking back on our college years – school, parties, all-nighters – and how it feels like we were completely different people. That that time of our lives felt like a whole different life.
We talked about how we’ll look back on this time in our life 10, 20, 30+ years from now, and it will also feel like a completely different life. It’s a continuous cycle. And these different parts of our lives are very similar to the different parts or seasons of the year.
Spring – the beginning. Everything is fresh, new, baby-like even. Things are blooming and growing – much like our younger years as kids in school and even into college.
Summer – the fun part. It’s warm, the sun is shining – life is a party. These would be the college years and beyond. Some would call this their prime.
Fall – the refining season. Things are changing. Trees lose their leaves. From listening to other women who are a decade or so ahead of me, I assume this season is the one for refinement. Where the art of letting go has its shining moment. We let go of the things that no longer serve us. And we are okay with that. We flourish with that.
Winter – the final season. This one completes the cycle. It comes much quicker for some than others. But it shows up nonetheless.
This got me thinking as to what season I’m in now. Maybe I’m in that awkward end of summer, but not quite fall season. You know that time around the end of August/beginning of September. It still gets hot some days, there are some longer days still lingering, summer parties still happening but coming to a gradual end, and slowly settling into fall.
3. Weekends with girlfriends are food for the soul. Even the quick ones.
At the beginning of October, I went to Lake Tahoe with an old dear friend. I had never been and always wanted to go. When she sent me the text a couple months prior if I wanted to go, I quickly said “Yes!” without any hesitation and would figure out the details later. That long weekend was just what I needed. Some time away with beautiful, breathtaking scenery and time with an old girlfriend who has known me since kindergarten, who just gets me and doesn’t cast any judgement. You know those kinds of girlfriends. Sharing old stories and catching up on our crazy lives was the perfect girlfriend getaway.
About a month later, another girlfriend came and visited me! It was a quick trip (less than 48 hours – about 46, to be exact), but worth every minute. We knew it was going to be a whirlwind and that it was. We crammed all the food, shopping, chatting, beach time that we could into those hours. And it was good. So good. We were even lucky enough to have the rain stop just long enough to sneak in a little portrait shoot on the beach.
When East Coast meets West Coast! Another girlfriend and her husband were visiting Oregon from NYC to see his family over Thanksgiving week. We wanted to get together, but the end of the week had rolled around and I accepted that it wasn’t going to happen. But then to my surprise, we were able to meet up for morning coffee at his parents’ beach house (literally 10 minutes from mine), looking out over the ocean, then enjoying a nice lunch with them and his parents. It was an even quicker visit, just a few hours, but a good dose of soul food. There’s just something about reminiscing the younger years (there’s a lot when you’ve known each other since tee ball and her older sister babysat you and your sisters!) and enjoying a few good belly laughs with friends that feeds your soul.
4. I like dark beer!
This may not seem like a big deal, but I’ve always been a lager, wheat, light beer kind of girl. I always gagged at the smell and taste of dark beers. Then I decided to give it another shot.
So, here I am. Drinking and enjoying a dark beer. Who knew?
5. I’m an ISTJ.
“The Logistician.” Introvert. Sensing. Thinking. Judging.
I’ve only recently explored personality tests. First, I did the Enneagram back in the spring (which is all the rage right now). I’m a 9, the Peacemaker, most days, but I also came out as a 1, the Perfectionist, when I took it the same day. Both of which make complete sense. Then I did the Myers Briggs, as my therapist suggested, and came up with ISTJ, which was somewhat surprising. I’ve only done a little research into both of these, but I want to dive deeper. I think personality types are fascinating because they are directly tied to how we interact with each other and build relationships.
Have you taken any personality tests? What are you? Any books that have helped you better understand your type?
I was surprised to have some overlapping themes from my summer list in this fall list of things I’ve learned, but I guess some lessons take a little longer to learn than others. Or they’re lessons that we continually learn throughout life, through the different seasons of life.
What did you learn this fall? I’d love to hear them! (Even if you too learned that you like dark beer!)