June, the Month of Light

Long days, short shadows, singing cicadas, and air heavy with heat and flora are just a few things we can count on every year in June, the month of light. Depending on where you live, you might get graced with fresh summer rain that amplifies all the scents usually hidden. Dragonflies, butterflies, bees, wasps, and whisps of cottonwood fill the air. 

Here’s a throwback of a video I made two summers ago, when I somehow managed to wake up at dawn to greet the sun!

I recently realized it has been four years since Joel and I moved to Texas. Neither of us are strangers to intense summer heat having grown up in south Florida, and to be fair the heat is more tolerable here considering it isn’t nearly as humid. But triple digit temps are hot no matter where you are! (38C+) 
Around 2017 I began growing less and less tolerant of the heat – I guess you could say my ancestry started winning out. I began suspecting seasonal affective disorder was paying me a visit when the days got longer and warmer. My energy would plummet and I was just in the pits by the time July was here! All I could do was shut the blinds and immerse myself in books or video games to pretend I was in another world. Maybe your situation is like mine and it’s hard to get out into nature, and even if you could, the weather gets in the way. Maybe you also live in an apartment in a busy city. Maybe you don’t have a friend group that you can plan fun outings with. And maybe it takes a lot more effort to enjoy the season since it’s your least favorite. My circumstances aren’t great, but I don’t want to feel helpless. I refuse to be a victim! I am not buying a one-way ticket to moody-booty land to escape reality.

So this year I’m choosing to enjoy summer.  

An actual photo of me enjoying summer

Something important I want to say about how I’m going to enjoy summer is that I am going to take care not to go on social media too much. A few weeks ago I deleted Instagram off my phone so I don’t encourage the habit of mindless browsing. But even still, as I was reading the summer issue of Bella Grace Magazine I read a couple of articles that just made me feel bad, which is crazy to admit because I love Bella Grace. In one of the articles that set off my envy alarm, the first paragraph was simply a list of all the fun things she did in all these different countries. The other one was a list made by a 16 year old recounting the ways she experienced visiting a pretty coastal town. The first one made me feel boring, the second made me feel old.
I’m admitting all of this embarrassing stuff because I know others will relate. Why only share the good things? I always feel so much more connected to others when they share all the shades of their journey. 
Another thing I’m getting at is it’s really hard to completely block out all of the goings-on, so when you find yourself feeling jealous or insecure, be honest and ask yourself why these things are cropping up, but give yourself grace. Remind yourself that your feelings are your responsibility, which is wonderful. One hundred percent of the time it’s never the other person that is forcing me to feel bad, they’re just holding up a mirror and showing me what’s been inside the whole time (things that need attention!)
Sometimes others do set out to make others feel bad, and if that’s the case don’t hesitate to remove them from your life. If you only have people around you who are supportive (online and off) it’ll be easier to recognize that if you need to step away for a bit, it isn’t about anyone else but rather about you needing to sort some things out, which is perfectly okay. I’ve done that so many times. Also, something Joel reminded me about yesterday when I was sharing my feelings was that we actually have no idea if they even enjoyed their trip. They could have gotten bad news while there, lost something, missed their flight, gotten their period, or ate something that gave them the poos. Usually unless they’re a partner, you never know what’s going on behind the curtains in someone else’s life. 

Solstice sunrise

Gone are the days when I lock the door to my Hobbit hole in June and won’t dare to crack it open until September. In truth, I can’t really appreciate the cooler months unless I fully embrace the warm ones. In years past I would start getting excited for autumn in late July only to have burned myself out by the time autumn equinox got here haha! So for now, I’m going to enjoy the cicada-song, drink lots of homemade iced teas and decaf coffee, and pick some seasonal dessert recipes from my cookbooks I haven’t tried yet.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope this inspired you in some way. Talk to you soon!
Julia 💚

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