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Self-Discovery: Going On Your Own Endless Summer Vacation

Miley Cyrus posing for Endless Summer Vacation.
COLUMBIA RECORDS/Miley Cyrus, ESV

If you’ve read my story on Ariana Grande’s Yours Truly 10th Anniversary Edition, you’ll know that I’m particular about the music I listen to throughout the seasons of the year. I have certain albums I’ll only listen to in the Summer, and Endless Summer Vacation is now in that collection of mines. In fact, I’m listening to the album as I write this article. And after this mid-September day, I’ll have listened to it for the last time as I put it away until next Summer (wow, that’s bittersweet).

Now that Summer is over and the album is complete with the new release of Used to Be Young, I want to share with you my own experience of Miley Cyrus’s Endless Summer Vacation. And hopefully you can relate with some of these experiences.

Used To Be Young

Those who know me know that the Fall is my favorite time of year. But Summer has an endless magic to it that endlessly lives in my heart. When I was at university, Summer was a time to return home and reconnect. Reconnect with the ones you grew up with. Share the experiences from the unchartered waters that you explored throughout the rest of the year.

A friend once said to me that we don’t take a break from school to come home for the Summer. In fact, we take a break from the Summer to get shit done at school. So, in that regard, Summer vacation always seemed endless to me. Even now in mid adulthood, it still does.

Jaded

I had no anticipation of this year being the year of my own self-discovery. I had been isolated since 2020. And when 2023 started, I actually planned on continuing my isolation for the next ten years, or longer. I was afraid of the real world, afraid of chasing my dreams. I saw everything happening on the news, and wanted nothing to do with the outside world.

But having that artistic spirit burning within you, is both a blessing and a curse. And as I listened to ESV after its release, that artistic spirit which was lying dormant within me for years, had begun to resurface. Among other factors, I just felt an inner force, pushing me to try something different. Perhaps pushing me towards the pursuit of my dreams. So, in every eccentric sense of the phrase “on a whim”, I decided I was moving to Los Angeles.

Thousand Miles

Despite having never been… I bought a physical CD album of ESV from Target, fixed up my broke down Pontiac, packed my shit, and made the cross-country drive from Mayport Beach Florida to LA. Embarking on my journey of self-discovery, or perhaps self-creation.

While I won’t go into detail about things I’m dealing with in life, I will share this with you. And I hope this helps with your own journey. I made a decision in 2023, that I would rather die in my 30s chasing my dreams, than live to be 90 having been too scared of the world to try. 

Endless Summer Vacation by Miley Cyrus along side a Pontiac keychain, with a striking resemblance in color and shape. Perhaps a sign from the universe.
I’m sure its just me, but I admire how my Pontiac keychain poetically resembles the cover for ESV.

Just Like A River

Summer vacation is not so much a beach or a resort. It’s not a place or a time of year. It’s more a state of imagination, and a strong stream of emotion. It’s your own endless journey of self-discovery, self-care, & self-love.

Having moved to a new city, last summer was far from a “vacation” in the traditional sense. In fact, it was filled with tempestuous emotion. It was filled with doubt, with mistakes, failures, emotional break downs.

It also gave me some of the most enchanting moments in life. It gave me new perspective. It awakened my creativity, broadened my vision, and set my artistic spirit on fire. I very much felt the effect of the lyrics…

“Am I stranded on an island, or have I landed in paradise…”

-Miley Cyrus, Island

Endless Summer Vacation

Maybe to some, it sounds silly that an album inspired some life-changing decisions. But you know what, its my life, and I only get one. And I hope you know that the same is true for your life. You get one go around in this universe. If you find inspiration in something, whether its music, books, whatever, I hope you’ll follow that inspiration.

Whatever journey you’re on, wherever its taking place, whatever your dreams are… know that its all chaotically beautiful. It’s dangerously alluring. And its special, because its yours.

A journey where you can explore, experiment.

A journey where you can hold a relationship with yourself, and share that love.

A journey where you can buy yourself flowers.

Your very own Endless Summer Vacation.■

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