Thank You, Summer Sixteen

Life moves quickly. So swiftly, that it’s easy to miss the things, people and events that make life worthwhile. I’ve decided to create a new section of my blog, to share, appreciate and reflect on each month.

I’m so sad that I haven’t had the chance to reflect monthly in the way I intend to on this blog since February! In light of this, I’ll group the entire summer and reflect on the past few months in one post. I’m grateful for:

  • Completing my Dissertation– This has been a very difficult few months for me. I went to Kenya at the start of the summer to carry out fieldwork for my dissertation but things didn’t really unfold in the way that I had hoped. So when I got back to Edinburgh to start putting the research in order, I was very confused. I had to refocus, add new concepts, remove other things. I really couldn’t see how I’d make it through the summer. Everything seemed so large and impossible. I had guidance from my supervisor which was incredibly helpful. But the real battle for me was convincing myself that I could do it. In prayer I would say, if I can only make it to the end of today- just today. And if I could do that, I knew tomorrow would take care of itself. I broke down the months to weeks, and the weeks to days, because that was as far as I could see myself. Slowly, the days built on each other and I found myself at the end of a week. Progress. Another week. And then another. One month, finally. As the months passed, one piece of my work connected to the next and it just fell in place slowly. I feel so stretched by the experience and I’m truly a bigger person for it. To be at the end of that journey gave me peace and an incredible gratitude to God for carrying me through. My help comes from You.
  • Intentional Self-Care– One of my resolutions this year was to religiously replenish myself, so this summer was held together by daily doses of very intentional self-care. I read poetry. Did a lot of colouring. Cried when I needed to (which if you know me was often, lol). Took some days off. Talked to God. Necessary.
  • Friends– I am so so grateful to have shared these past few months with my friends. It was so great to lean on each other and find solace in a mutual struggle. Love you’zzzzz.
  • Views– Every season of life has a soundtrack and this summer I found myself listening to Views. I’m not even that big of a Drake fan but somehow found myself drawn to his music. My favourite tracks are: RedemptionFaithful, Fire & Desire and my absolute favourite, U With Me? (which is actually a sample of DMX’s ‘How’s It Going Down‘). For what a difficult summer it’s been, Views has been a great companion.
  • Pitch It/My Nairobi– This summer, The Arena also had it’s first edition of Pitch It! As a team, it was incredible to see what we worked on finally come to life. But as always, there’s room for us to make improvements. A few years ago a friend told me, “Errors accumulate in the sketch and compound in the model. But better an imperfect dome in Florence than cathedrals in the clouds“. I’m guided by this and look forward to working with the team to building a better dome! You can check out this and this for a glimpse of what went down on the day.
  • Watching Friends & Family’ Win– This summer was also very special for a few of my friends and family who achieved milestones in different areas of their lives. Although I wasn’t able to celebrate with all of them, I made a toast for each of their achievements from my desk at the library. Very celebratory, I know.
  • Dakar in Edinburgh– Last week I went to witness the magic that is Senegalese music legend, Youssou N’Dour! It was such a great gig, I was so moved and inspired. The crowd was also amazing and made the experience even more meaningful.

Despite it seeming like a long, never-ending low season, this summer will be special and memorable for me. I’m carrying forward so many lessons and I’m at peace with where I am now.


Summer glow captured by my friend, Anne | Manchester, England

Love You and Thank You, Summer Sixteen!


© Tessy Maritim