ICYMI, summer is here y’all.
Break out the swim trunks, coolers of Corona and… books? (Like you didn’t already know I was a cool kid!)
Yep, so far this summer I’ve been spending those summer nights reading about my favorite topic: saving the world.
Or, you know –– just making things better all around. It’s one of my hobbies.
So, amidst the many sunny, outdoor activities brought to you by the summer season, maybe carry a book or two in tow.
Make your local librarian proud.
Summertiiiime, and the living is easy....
Everything does seem to slow down in the summer, as people gallivant off to far-off vacation spots (or if you live in my neck of the woods, Myrtle Beach), and bask in the sun at the public pool, aka where children spend concerningly long amounts of time without needing to use the bathroom.
But that's just one way of looking at summer –– it doesn't have to be lazy, but can actually be super productive.
Now, if you're just coming off an exhausting year of teaching, work, service, or other energy-sucking (yet fulfilling!) activities, you might already be scrolling away from this certifiably insane suggestion I've just made.
Or perhaps for you, summer months are just like any other, except you're blasting your A/C much higher, and spend longer amounts of time gazing out the window longingly.
Hold on just a sec, though. Hear me out.
I am perpetually stunned by the bullshit advice we give to young people.
Follow your passion.
Chase your dreams.
Never give up.
And my favorite…
Be yourself no matter what.
I don’t know if Hallmark personally sponsored all elementary schools to pump this generic, saccharine motivational garbage into the minds of our youth, but someone needs to tell them to cut it out.
What’s with all the negativity, Gina? Why kill dreams?
First of all, who invited you, disembodied voice, questioning all my thoughts? You can leave.
*door close sound*
Ok, now we’re alone. Back to my rant.
I often wonder what makes people into presidents.
No, I’m not talking about Super PACs, corruption, or coup d’etats. I mean the actual process of how someone goes from one day being, let’s say, a kid living in Hawaii, to a Harvard Law student, to a community organizer, to Illinois senator, to the Big Cheese Himself.
Like, at what point does your head pop off your pillow and you think, “I could be President.”
And then a later day, or maybe hour or minute, when you think “Damn, I should be President.”
It fascinates me.
The role of President, at least in the U.S., is meant to be the role of Ultimate Public Servant. Yep, your job is to serve the people of the country.
As we have seen over time, this notion works out in varying forms, to different degrees of success. (Blog post for another day.)
But this idea of servant leader? I like it. Turns out, I wasn’t the first one to think so. It’s a thing.
And you can do it. Starting today.
Endings are complicated.
Take it from me –– I just moved back to the US after living abroad for two years. I get it. I’ve been thinking lately about what makes endings feel so damn sad, and how we either numb the effects by focusing on the silver linings, or think (read: worry) about the next thing.
In my case, I’ve bounced from one AmeriCorps position to another AmeriCorps position, to a job at a nonprofit, to living abroad, to working as a full-time freelancer, to now preparing to balance a full-time job with grad school starting in the fall. (It’s been a wild ride.)
Not to mention I’m also building a business (you’re reading it, yo) focused on help others like me –– young, enthusiastic, service-minded and hell-bent-on-making-a-positive-impact-in-the-world-people –– figure out just how to do it.
Making (literally) my way towards where I fit in this whole puzzle –– trying to find the kind of impact I’m best suited to make.
What will be my change?
It’s an overwhelming thing to wonder about, to say the least, and I know I’m not alone in thinking it.
Whether you're ending something old, starting something new, or anywhere in between, it's always a good time to start thinking intentionally about what's next.
I'll show you how.
Let's change the world.
Who wrote this?
Gina Edwards, Impact Explorer founder and lover of all pun jokes, making a positive change in the world, Stephen Colbert, Jif Peanut Butter, and staying inside on rainy days. Order may vary.