William Carlos Williams once wrote, “In summer, the song sings itself.” Isn’t that a lovely idea? It certainly captured my mood back in May as I danced around the proverbial maypole and looked over the vast expanse of the summer months blooming ahead . . .
As an aspiring psychologist, I was recently in a training session that taught us how to validate clients’ feelings—to show respect for their feelings, display empathy, and exhibit active listening so that they feel heard. While learning how to empathize with the feelings of others, however, I’ve also been reflecting on my own feelings, especially transitioning into my first year in a Master’s program in New York City.
I had high expectations for this summer. I was headed for a research internship at a prestigious institution, working in my first-choice lab out of over 100 in the department.
I’ve tried “getting my life together” more than once or twice. You too? Often, I begin with a measure of zeal, lit by a fire of inspiration (“Let’s do this!”) or perspiration (“Things are spiraling out of control – I must do this”).
Two years ago, my husband and I packed our two-bedroom townhouse into my parents’ garage and flew to the U.K. with two bags each. During our postgraduate studies, we lived in a 300 sq. ft. apartment and shared one three-feet-wide closet for a whole year. Aside from traveling and making friends from around the world, we learned a few unexpected lessons which we are trying to integrate into our lives this summer.