How To Win This Summer

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2stef27

Decide, right off the bat, that you’re going to be buzzed a lot. And you’re not going to feel guilty about it. You’re going to spend a lot of time on the beach, not wearing a lot of clothes, with a cocktail that is more sugar than alcohol melting in your hand. You’re going to be outside on patios with just a little bit of your skin under the umbrella, eating big chunks of watermelon as the last ice cube in your tequila sunrise turns into condensation. You’re going to be higher than you’ve ever been without taking a hit — just thrilled to be surrounded by the best people, the warmest sand, the most cloudless sky. It’s all going to fall around you like a curtain, the kind which prevents you from seeing anything bad that could be going on around you.

Kiss a lot, touch a lot of skin, and don’t worry about falling in love. You’ll be in love with everyone, but only for a few minutes. And that’s all you really need, because as soon as the temperature falls below 70 and the sun disappears for the evening, the picnic blankets are going back into the car and so will you. You don’t need anything that lasts longer than the day out on the grass, because you’ll be too tired and sweaty to effectively share your bed with anyone. Sometimes you will, of course, but only when you’re sure that they’re not going to insist on hot-spooning.

Remember who your friends are and make the effort to call them that you never do when the weather isn’t conducive to an impromptu hangout. Pick them up, meet them in their neighborhood, walk over to where they’re having lunch, and find them. Put them back into your life the way you put your favorite pair of shorts back into your outfit rotation after so many painful months of hibernation. Let go of the people who keep you wanting to stay indoors, who make you feel like you’re not cool enough to be hanging out with the popular crowd, who don’t call you back. Use the good weather on the people who really deserve to be played with under the sun.

Wear as little as you want. Don’t worry about having the perfect beach body, as such as thing could never exist, and your body is just fine at the beach as it is. Show more skin than is appropriate, let your arms go sleeveless and your feet go bare and your stomach see fresh air for the first time in as long as you can remember. Don’t worry what anyone thinks about your body — except maybe that cutie over there, but not really — because you are too busy marveling over how good the breeze feels against your exposed flesh. Let every part of your body be something to be celebrated, after so long cooped up under layers of insecurity and itchy wool.

Let entire days go by without realizing where they went. Lose them in books, in napping in the middle of a lawn, in conversations on a terrace with a few people who only get more interesting after a few margaritas. Let your usual inclination to make everything count and to make hay while the sun shines subside just long enough to finish that TV show you’ve been meaning to get to for months. Allow the general hum of blissful laziness to overtake you, and don’t worry about who is going to tell you that you’re wasting valuable time. Watch the sun travel entirely across the sky from a spot you won’t leave, let someone else bring you the drinks and snacks, and hold hands only when you feel like it. Realize that you don’t need anything to have the most wonderful time, especially when you’re barely wearing any clothes. TC mark

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Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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