25 Lessons from Summer 16


I embarked upon this summer stressed, anxious, and ultimately…lonely (at least I thought I was). If you’ve kept up with my posts, you know 2016 has been everything but a fairy tale like I expected. There’s been guilt, anxiety, depression, anger, a breakup, and A LOT of alone time. I thought I was down and out. I was smiling, but also crying. I was…a beautiful, wild mess that needed love from her own self.

This summer I imagined myself in the sands of Jamaica. After being rejected from the internship I really wanted, it was time to look at my other options. I applied to about 15 places and got into all of them except three or four. In the midst of trying to keep up with my classes, the last thing I needed was to be stressed about what I was doing for the summer. Finally, I just went out on a whim and (probably) said YOLO. I chose to come to Saint Louis, Missouri ALL SUMMA ’16.

Great! I got to Saint Louis. Now, what? I was 12 hours away from home, trying to “find myself”, and trying to understand how did I end up among about 60 BRILLIANT students out of 900 applications. To add to that, I was also trying to build my faith and evaluate what/who I needed to let go. The sum of all this led to a summer I’ll never forget, a great appreciation for my growth, a greater love for God’s grace, and ultimately admitting…I like me.

If you ask the students I’ve been surrounded by this summer, they’d probably say I’m quiet or kept to myself a lot this summer. Only those who was afforded some real one on one time could attest to my extroverted personality. This is because I purposely spent some time getting to know me. Mostly this time was either in my room journaling, watching Netflix, searching my own thoughts, praying, or reading scriptures.

On this quest, I learned a lot of things. Some good. Some bad. Only God can judge. Here goes:

  1. I’m an optimist. I see and reach for opportunity anywhere and everywhere. I truly believe if there’s a dream…ANYTHING is possible.
  2. I base a lot of how I see myself and my success on how others see me, causing my confidence to sometimes fluctuate.
  3. I’M HUMAN. It’s my job to make mistakes.
  4. My favorite color is blue.
  5. I believe my ultimate goal in life is to help others reach their full potential. This could be in a variety of ways whether that’s in medicine (since I am an aspiring doctor “currently”), education, fitness, or any other skills I have/acquire.
  6. I thrive from being around people.
  7. I am literally and utterly NOTHING without God. His power is made perfect in my weakness.
  8. I like to write. It’s something I get lost in and allows me to tell stories. Whether I’m conjuring up my hidden fantasies for the future, free-verse poems, or even this blog..it’s my creative outlet. It’s my escape to peace in the midst of a storm.
  9. Love…is a decision. Oh boy, isn’t this a good one? I’ve had two relationships, both which were short lived yet hopelessly filled with love. When I say hopeless, I mean hopeless. When I say hopeless, I mean…ya girl should definitely get “Hopeless Romantic ALLLLLL 2016”. See, the thing about this hopeless romantic in me…is that I’ll spend too much into building someone else up, I don’t know when I’m coming down.  I’ll put too much dependence into my significant other not realizing I’m already “complete” without them. Furthermore, I get all riled up with “feelings” that I don’t take the time to just think or simply be. I never take the time to evaluate if this person is whats best for me. Feelings…they’re a tricky thing, which is why we can’t trust them. We wake up one way and go to sleep feeling completely different. Therefore, love…is not an emotion. It can’t be based on “feelings” alone. You have to decide to love a person. You have to decide whether he/she is right for you. You have to decide whether he/she is God-sent. You have to decide that you are where you need to be before you add someone else in the picture. You have to decide to LOVE YOU before you try to let someone else love you. Lastly, you have to let God love you so He can decide who to send to you. Decisions. THAT’S what love is. That’s what life is. What did I choose in Summer 16? Well, I chose me.
  10. When my life is out of balance, I can be easily persuaded.
  11. I’m a impulsive buyer/shopper. I’ve spent a lot of money while trying to keep up with the Joneses, buying things I don’t need or simply buying things to account for my happiness.
  12. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
  13. My non-negotiable values: God, family, and freedom.
  14. I’m the person that makes corny jokes and dies laughing (even when they’re not that great).
  15. Netflix is such a gift (and I’d much rather be alone with The Flix than be at some party).
  16. My biggest fear: Going to Hell
  17. My favorite genre of music: R&B/Neo-Soul
  18. What I want/need in a mate:Someone that values family, has FAITH in God and willing to build and fellowship in faith, HUMOR, intellect, RESPECT, understanding, adventurous, PATIENCE, ACCEPTING, financially savvy (because ya girl has issues lol), goal-oriented, MOTIVATED, wants to begin family, and shares a love for movies. I can pretty much make sum shake with everything else. You capture my mind…trust me my heart will follow.
  19. I need to spend a good period single…just me and the Good Master. I’ve realized after leaving Him out in the past, He should be first, consulted first, and included in all of our relationships.
  20. I’m…a gift. I was lost and looking for something on my own, but God makes it clear what each of us are (Galatians 5:22-23). I am far more precious than rubies (Proverbs 3:15). I am…love. I wrack my brain thinking/waiting for this “burning passion” that’s going to yield me this great career that’s going to define me. Realistically speaking, yes, I don’t want to pick a career I’d hate. But the truth is, no matter what path I choose or what type of Doctor I want to become, it’s not WHO I am. I’m love. I’m good. I’m a treasure. I’m a blessing. I’m a disciple. That’s it.
  21. Happiness is not joy. A lot of people will say the most important thing in life or their number one goal is to be “happy”. Let’s face some truth again. We will not be happy ALL the time and if you believe in God, then you know there will be a vast array of seasons where it’s hard to be “happy”. But, joy? It’s far more deeper than happiness. It’s smiling when your world is in shambles. It’s going to help someone else when you can’t help yourself. It’s thinking of everything that is right when it SEEMS everything is going wrong. It’s hope. And while I’m proclaiming “God this” , “God that”, it doesn’t matter what/whom you believe in. It still holds true…EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON and POSITIVE MIND = POSITIVE VIBES.
  22. Food…is just so good.
  23. MY TOP DEADLY SINS (in order): Lust, Greed, Gluttony/Pride
  24. When I came to Saint Louis, there were countless times I questioned “Why I am here?” I was in lab, not understanding ANYTHING. I was surrounded by students, that clearly were smarter than me. I was…questioning myself. I became insecure. I became nervous about everything: my mock interviews, my personal statements, my lab work, and finally my presentation. Where did “Queen Dia” go? How did I go from a go-getter to freaking out over a mere interview? Something  I’m supposed to smile and just be me. Well, I learned everything is not what it seems. Which brings me back to emotions again…DON’T TRUST THEM. After a lot of pep-talks, praying, confidence boosters, Joyce Meyer sermons, and (once again) alone time…I came to my senses. I was right where I was supposed to be. I stressed earlier in the year and felt defeated but this was God’s plan for me all along. And what does it have to show for? A presentation I KNOW I did a bomb job on, my name on a publication (hopefully sometime soon), a promise for letters of recommendations, experiences with some very diverse and unique individuals, ME time, and an overall great summer. I’m not “less than” and anytime those insecure thoughts creep in, I quickly get a pep talk going. I am smart and whenever I don’t feel like it, I know I can surf Google to learn something new. I..am Adia. I’m Queen Dia and behold, the journey on my throne is VERY FAR from perfect. But, I’m here and I’m here to stay. I don’t know where life is taking me, because I’m following something I can’t see. But, something, someone, and some blessings will come one day and I’m confident everything will make sense. But, for now? Well, you know what Drake said. YOLO.
  25. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

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