Our trip down to D.C. this past weekend was the perfect way to wrap up July. We kicked off the month in a brand new place — Turks + Caicos (you can read more here) — and ended it in a place that holds so many old memories for us. We had a whirlwind two days exploring Arlington and Alexandria, capped off with an afternoon back on the GW campus. I haven’t visited since I graduated in May of 2012.
My friends and I had so much fun being on campus. Somehow, even though it’s only been five years, it seems like everything’s different there! New buildings, new restaurants, new green spaces where there used to be empty pits (we noticed this because we used to be able to see said empty pit from the roof of our sorority house)… we were a little disoriented! Even though I felt a little turned around, it was really good to be back — better than I expected. It was fun to share it with close friends (and Matt, of course) so we could remind each other of the funny things that happened in this place or the weird tradition we had in that place. There’s more history there for me than I realized, and it was nice to soak it in with people I love.
A highlight of the trip back to GW was a visit to our sorority house! We hung around long enough to find someone to swipe us in, and naturally, we convinced someone else to let us into our old common room (mostly by saying, “See? That’s us on the composite!” which was far from impressive to anyone), where we uncovered a few sets of letters for an ridiculous impromptu photo shoot. This is probably so frowned upon by nationals and all other powers that be, but whatever. We had the most fun.
Guys, there’s nothing like good friends. Seriously.
But now, it’s back to the workweek grind, and it’s August (huh?), which means it’s time for a recap of my monthly goals (you can check out last month’s here). I’m going to be honest with you — I didn’t make us much progress on my specific goals as I would have liked to in July. What you see here on the blog is only a handful of my objectives for each month, and generally speaking, I’m not totally thrilled with the number of check marks I see on the full list. Still, I know in my heart that July was a super productive month, and that even though I didn’t necessarily gain traction in the ways I wanted, I still got a lot of things accomplished. Here’s a peek at July:
- Finish book outline and start first chapter of book.√ YES! My outline didn’t look quite how I thought it would, but it’s finished and workable, and I started on Chapter One last Friday. I’m literally two paragraphs in, but that’s something, right?
Research writing classes and possible graduate programs.This didn’t happen in July. The longer I wait to do this research, the more limited my options may be time-wise, which is definitely a concern.
- Break into one new outlet. √ YES! I had my first post published on The Gottman Institute Relationship Blog a few weeks ago. Gottman is the authority on all things relationships, so it was an honor to be asked to contribute.
Get placement for a story that’s close to my heart.This particular story is, unfortunately, still looking for a home. I’m getting to the end of my list of potential outlets, and I may have to accept that it’s not the right time for this one. Read three books.I had such high hopes this month! I tore through The Wangs vs. The World and Commonwealth (both were great) in Turks + Caicos, and started The Nix on our plane ride home. I’m loving The Nix, but it’s super long, and I haven’t finished it quite yet.
- Plan fall vacation.√ YES! We have one hotel reservation and an Airbnb booked, and we’re now in the process of nailing down flights, a car rental, and one more hotel. I’m so excited!
Here’s what’s up for August:
- Create master list of story-worthy female professionals. Every day, I get emails from publicists about amazing girl bosses with incredible stories of success and innovation. While it’s probably not feasible for me to place every one of these stories, I want to come up with a better way to organize them so I can more easily keep track and (hopefully) share!
- Brainstorm new blog content. I’m still really energized about creating fun, fresh posts to share with all of you, and investing time in brainstorming is a big priority in August. I’d still love your thoughts and feedback.
- Break into one new outlet. This is always a monthly goal, but I’m especially focused on it this month. I’d really like to sell a personal essay to a new outlet, since essays are my favorite.
- Finish first chapter of book. Ideally, I’ll move into Chapter Two and beyond, but one chapter definitely feels like a reasonable starter goal.
- Research writing classes and possible graduate programs. Moving this one over from July! As much as I’d like to do this, I also know that if I can’t even make time to gather the information, I may not be able to prioritize actually taking classes enough to make it a worthwhile investment. We’ll see!
- Read three books. As always! I’m really excited about the titles I have on deck, which is an extra motivator.
- Higher quality “me” time. I’m bringing this one back from my list of June goals, because I found that it was really helpful earlier in the summer. It’s easy (for me, at least) to default to binge watching and Instagram stalking whenever I have a spare moment, and I always feel better when I spend that time reading, getting out of the apartment, or doing something creative instead.
What are your August goals? I’d love to hear about them so we can help each other stay accountable! Here’s to making the most of the last full month of summer!