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It’s hard to grasp that it’s already almost the end of June. It’s “cancer season” – not that it means much to me except that it’s almost my birthday. I still remember writing about reflecting on being 21, and all the things I had done that year before turning 22, and now I’m already almost 23 and it feels like time has flown by.

Funnily enough I do feel older now; even when I’m still two weeks short of 23. It’s because of the personal growth and transformation I’ve gone through in the past year. I’ve finally spend time on myself and with myself in a way that was unprecedented even to me. And I thought I already spend a lot of time on me.

Someone told me once that I should make myself the most important person in my life. This very much coincides with having heard or thought concepts like that I am my own greatest travel partner, my own most long-term friend in life, and more of such sayings. My mom, just the other day, highlighted that I shouldn’t be afraid to establish my presence, to say “hello world, this is Leona”.

I’ve worked to incorporate these ideas into my day-to-day life, working on focusing on that which is important to me and no longer being embarrassed when I do things my way or when I do things in a way that suits me. It has been empowering.

Besides feeling empowered and more grown within myself, I think the factor of time, or the feeling of its lack, that has facilitated my growth. I mean “lack” not in the sense that there isn’t enough time, but rather the lack of presently feeling time. The only true reasons I still know what day it is is due to the EuroCup and our Saturday morning coffee hour(s) at Oubli. Sometimes it feels like time isn’t even real anymore, in the sense that I don’t feel like it affects my life the way it used to. I plan less now. I’m less focused on how much time has passed since XYZ or how much time until I will be somewhere again or see someone. Everything has seemed to just been happening whenever I have been ripe for the experience. Not that that makes the experience easier, but it makes trusting myself easier. And so I find that as long as I’m enjoying life, doing things that are important to me, and spending time with people I love, I don’t have to worry too much about anything else. I am lucky.

Sunset’s at Christopher are my favourite: the energy is so calm and peaceful – so serene.

The month of June, or actually the past couple of months (which I haven’t written much about), have been filled up like that: with love, passion, creation, happiness, and living life. June especially. We did some celebrating, as our start-up got some great upcoming opportunities. We did some reflecting on life & death and relationships as we thought about dad on father’s day and his birthday, making me once again remember that he’s here, close by, and always watching over me. Because of that I don’t have to tune-in with missing him because if I miss him, he feels faraway, and when I simply focus on the wonderful experiences we shared, i feel the love and I can feel him close by.

The month of June has been good to for friends. I finally made time to catch up with one of my great, true friends, and we picked up right where we left off. Another catch up was with an old friend from high school, chatting about where we are now and what live is currently like for us. Sometimes after having these wonderful catch-ups, I’m a little worn out or tired from talking so much, but in the end I’m always happy that I took the time to sit down, usually for an hour, and focus on someone I love.

Life on the island has been plenty active too, besides day-to-day things keeping me busy, I made two new friends, Jasmine and Viviana. One is Italian and allows me to practice the language again, something that I’ve greatly missed. The other is Iranian-American and we chat about life, the island, health, creative endeavours and more. It feels good to have some friendly faces outside of my family. Although I know I, and probably nor them, will be here on St. Barths forever, it’s a fun change of my daily routine (which mainly consists of work, exercise, family time, me time).

Watching the Netherlands play against North Macedonia at our favourite local café: Oubli

What also makes June so great is that one of my favourite football tournaments is currently ongoing: EuroCup2020 (it was meant to be played last year but they pushed it back). It’s been exciting. Although the EuroCup and WorldCup are one of the only times I feel incredibly patriotic, I love supporting the Netherlands, and so far I’ve watched all the games together with Rowena and Christiaan. We made a bracket each to predict who will win what, with each game ending in a little prize that simply implies buying a coffee for the other, but it keeps everything extra up-beat.

On June 24th I got a new tattoo, one I’ve honestly been looking forward too since January, but had promised myself I’d wait to get. Now I’m giving it to myself as an early birthday gift. The reason I had decided to wait was for two reasons: I had a design idea in my head but I hadn’t had the ‘click’ moment yet on what it would exactly be, although I already knew the where and the size. The second reason I chose to wait was because I needed it to be something I did when doing it wouldn’t fill an emotional gap; when it wouldn’t be just because I felt like I needed a change, but instead because I felt calm inside and therefore I could clearly tune in with what I wanted and then do it feeling calm. Funnily enough, when I went to get the tattoo appointment, the tattoo artists (who has now done 4 of mine) shared that she thought I was more calm and confident. That simply felt like a confirmation fo what I felt inside.

Now June is almost over and its been a busy month. There are some big upcoming changes taking shape, but none concrete enough yet to share. Once they are you’ll be sure to hear from me!

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