This summer I learned to be suspicious of all people. You can’t trust others.

This seems like an odd thing to write, because on the one hand I tend to opt on the side of suspicion: you want to talk to me? What’s wrong? You didn’t respond to my text? Is everything okay? (And if you have my dog, is she okay?!?! Also, if you have my dog, please don’t call me. I will think there was an emergency. #beentheredonethat) But on the other hand, I also trust too easily.

It also feels like an odd thing to write, because I’m a blogger. I’m supposed to look for the good and for things to be grateful for. And yes, I believe in that. I believe in looking for the good things at all times. But I also believe in owning your feelings and right now this what I’m feeling: you can’t trust people. At this time,there are less than a handful of people who I would say I trust whole-heartedly.

This summer I had to deal with some unanticipated things that came up. Here are the life lessons that I learned during this unexpected summer.

Sometimes you need to flee. Go to a different state for a weekend. Find a place an hour or so away that feels completely different than where you live. Sometimes you need to get away from your surroundings to relax and think about other things.

Horses smell good. Seriously, they do. Lean into their back and take a deep breath. (Unless you’re allergic… might not be so comforting in that instance.) Each horse also smells a little different, too. Which makes sense, I guess. Dogs smell different. And yes, before you ask, I’m one of those who thinks the smell of a dog is comforting, too.

This summer I had to deal with some unanticipated things that came up. Here are the life lessons that I learned during this unexpected summer.

Also: horses have the gentlest eyes. I could just stare into them all day. I’ll probably get lost in them, too, because I have. My friend was asking me to get something for her and I totally tuned her out as I stared into Lily’s eyes one day.

Home isn’t a place, but the place where those who your heart are. Whether that’s with people, or dogs, or horses. Here’s the thing: once upon a time I was in love with Minneapolis. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else (except maybe Ottawa), and I was so happy that back in the day my parents made a decision I did not agree with and moved here.

This summer I had to deal with some unanticipated things that came up. Here are the life lessons that I learned during this unexpected summer.

During that last few months, that changed. I could easily leave. At least, I could easily leave Minneapolis. The problem is that I live close to my niece and nephew. I love being able to see them regularly. I love going to their piano recitals and band concerts. I love having them over for movie nights. I love being able to watch them grow up and it would be different if I lived farther away.

Driving can be therapeutic. I can see people giving me the side eye with this statement. Here’s the thing: I don’t like to drive. I find it to be rather boring and I’d rather do other things with that driving time. However the first time I went to Wisconsin this summer, I realized why people talk about how therapeutic it can be. Knowing I was going to be in the car for four hours, with music playing, and time to myself with my phone out of sight. That open road was therapeutic for me.

This summer I had to deal with some unanticipated things that came up. Here are the life lessons that I learned during this unexpected summer.

If you start to feel yourself slip away, you can come back. Earlier this summer I mentioned that I left a job that had turned into a toxic environment for me. One of the first things that made me realize I needed to leave is that I wasn’t doing the things that were so much apart of me anymore… things like writing and reading. I still remember the night I spent in tears last fall as I wondered if I could even call myself a writer anymore, because… what had I written recently? And whenever I tried to write it was so. hard.

I also wondered if I would be able to get this part of me back. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to; you hear from people who say that life got in the way so they stopped writing and haven’t started again. I had always vowed that wouldn’t be me and yet I let myself stay in an environment that wasn’t good for me long enough that it did. Would I be able to write again? Would I be able to pick up a book to read and lose myself in it again? And yes, that has all started to come back. I’m finally starting to feel like me again.

This summer I had to deal with some unanticipated things that came up. Here are the life lessons that I learned during this unexpected summer.

But it doesn’t happen overnight. I know it’s unrealistic to think it would, but hey… I’m a dreamer. I thought I’d sit down the day after my final day in that job, and the words would just flow. It’s not that easy, though. I’m still not where I once was with writing and reading, but I’m doing both and I’m so happy about and satisfied with that.

I also thought as soon as I was out of that job I’d start posting three days a week again. That didn’t happen either, but I have been posting more and more each month. I’m happy with and satisfied with that, too.

A battle song goes a long way. It can help you feel like you can conquer the world if you initially wake up thinking you can’t. I mean, having a battle song isn’t a miracle worker; it doesn’t always give me that kick butt feeling. But, more often than not it does. Maybe for you a battle song is more about the music, maybe it’s the lyrics, or maybe it’s both. My battle song is actually part of a concept album, so it’s really not the lyrics, but the music will usually get me up and moving.

What are some lessons you learned this summer? I’d love to chat about them in the comments!

This summer I had to deal with some unanticipated things that came up. Here are the life lessons that I learned during this unexpected summer.