Summer. It’s a break from the norm. It’s full of vacations and warm weather, cook-outs and shorts. It can also be bursting with lessons and realizations. And now that fall has crept in and summer is over, it’s the perfect time to talk about what I learned this summer.
#1- Fake it till ya make it.
Act like you know what you’re doing, even when you really don’t. I did quite a bit of this during the summer, especially during my time in Japan. Teaching small children English with no translator? Sure, I’ve done that dozens of times. With my eyes closed. And my hands tied behind my back. I acted confident, which made me feel confident, and , in turn, others thought I was confident. And it all ended up going well.
#2- You don’t have to like everyone.
While you do need to love everyone, you don’t have to like everyone. This means that you do need to be polite and have manners with everyone and treat everyone kindly. It does not mean that you have to enjoy being around them or purposefully seek them out. My friend oh-so-wisely pointed out to me this summer that I feel like I’m being mean when I don’t want to be around someone. It’s not being two-faced to be nice to someone and yet not like them; it’s called having manners.
#3- I hum when I’m nervous.
Sorry this is not a huge life lesson that is applicable to everyone, but I noticed it while traveling overseas. I was in so many new situations, whether it was wondering around in downtown Tokyo by myself on my first day there or getting ready to meet the superintendent of the Tokyo school system. I never realized I do this, but apparently I just hum a little tune to calm myself down. So, if you ever see me, and I’m humming something that doesn’t even resemble an actual tune, I’m probably a little anxious about the situation I’m in.
#4- It’s ok to say no.
Why do we feel like we always have to do everything people ask of us? And then you know what happens? We can’t do any of it well. It is absolutely ok to tell people no sometimes. Sometimes they are shocked when you tell them, but, hey, they’ll get over it. And I know you- you would be nice and tactful and not just blurt out “NO!”, so it’ll go fine. Try it once and see how you feel. I am still working on not feeling guilty afterwards, but I’m getting there.
#5- We regret what we didn’t do more than we regret the things we did.
We never know when we’ll get another chance to do something. We never know when we’ll be at that place again or have that opportunity. I hate when people travel somewhere and say, “Well, I didn’t get to see “x” that I really wanted to see, but I’ll catch it next time I’m here.” What if you’re never there again?! What if you don’t get that chance? This isn’t just about traveling either. I know there are several things in my life that I wish I had done, and sometimes I still think about how I wish I would have. That’s a terrible feeling! It’s not too often that I sit around and think about how I wish I wouldn’t have done something. Usually there is at least a lesson learned. So, I ate the raw beef dish at the Korean BBQ. And I don’t even regret it.
Now here’s to hoping I learn a few things this fall as well!