Inspirational blogger // Olivia from Don't Tell Summer

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Last Saturday it was my birthday and when it comes to aging it's almost impossible not to start thinking about how you're living your life, what would you love to do the upcoming year, if you're happy overall and all this kind of stuff... Simple kind of questions, right?

Anyways, when I feel I should add something in my life, finally start taking that sawing class, or book a flight and leave for that surf trip I have been wanting to do for a long time... Well, when I feel like that, I suddenly tap DontTellSummer and look for that extra push we all need in life.

Today I am so happy I have the chance to bring that motivation on Surfragette. Olivia from DontTellSummer is here to share with us her secrets for a happier and inspired life.

SURFRAGETTE: Hi Olivia, thank you for being here! When and why did you start DontTellSummer? What did inspire you?

OLIVIA: I had been living in Australia for a few winters and they were some of the best "American summers" of my life to date. I was choosing what I wanted to do each day, having fun and living free. I took that newfound attitude and way of life back with me to California and launched DTS at the end of 2011. The name came from the idea that summer is something that you’re waiting for, ultimately your happiness.
That’s when it clicked, why should you wait? Why couldn’t you live exactly how you want to live now? DTS was actually launched during finals week, aka the week where you should hunker down and study your buns off (which we did!) but I physically couldn’t wait any longer for it to get up and running. That was kind of a projection for where the brand would go. While the message has stayed the same, the emphasis on community and doing what you love has grown.
DTS is so much more than a hat brand and blog. It’s a movement. It’s young people for young people. It’s young people going for their dreams and supporting the person next to them in doing the same.

S: Most of your posts are about encouraging people to do what they love in life. What do you love the most about your life? And how did you succeed in finding your happiness?

O: I love that I get to create it. That I decided to move to a different country, to try new things and to create a lifestyle brand. I love the excitement of just going for things. I also love that I get to be with my family (parents, friends and dog). When I was in California I had the best group of friends surrounding me where we were all just ourselves, goofy, carefree and fun. If one of us did something weird, the other would try to out weird them. It can be tough initially to live in a new place where you don’t know anyone, but this past year has been full of new friendships, and old friendships from California, coming together in Sydney to have heaps of fun.
I believe I’m always striving to succeed in the happiness department haha! I think happiness is a mixture between being your choice and small, incremental things that over a period of time add up to your bliss. Staying true to myself and saying yes to the things that excite me help as well.

S: Everyone of us has some ups and downs in life. And you're always such a positive and happy girl! Where do you find the strength to overcome life challenges with a smile?

O: Learning what’s right for you and remembering that you don’t need to be perfect and that life doesn’t need to be perfect. The quicker you can accept what is, the quicker you can move forward and open up to being excited about the future. I had a friend tell me the best advice when I was going through a tough time, I asked her “What if I cry?” (while we’re out or when I’m on vacation where I’m supposed to be completely happy). She said “So what! So you cry, don’t be so hard on yourself.” It was so simple. So what if you have emotions or something other then a smile on, you really don’t need to beat yourself up about it. It’s ok to feel whatever you’re feeling and let it out. Talking to my friends definitely gives me strength to overcome things!

S: Tell us about Hats with a Purpose. What is this project about? On your blog you say that a portion of every purchase goes to a young person with a big dream. Tell us more!

O: Hats with a Purpose is a way for you to be inspired to do what you would love to do. This can be things like travel, starting a business, learning something new… anything really, whatever excites you. Not only that, it’s a reminder to go for it now, and yes! A portion of every hat purchase is put into a fund that will go to young people with big dreams. 
On the website you can enter your story via the written word and video and right now I’m just trying to get more momentum with hat sales so that we can fund our first dream!

S: You're such an inspirational girl. Do you have some inspiring message to give to all the people around the world who are still trying to find their own happiness and do what they love?

O: Aw thank you! So are you! You define your own happiness. What sounds incredible to you might not be what your friend is feeling and that’s ok. We all have different dreams for a reason and it’s up to you go for it! But while you’re going for your dream, cheer on the person next to you in doing the same. When we support one another’s dreams and messages it helps us all. 
Also, if you’re feeling like your dream is too big or could never happen, start researching other people who are where you would love to be. That was a big turning point for me! As soon as I saw other young people living a similar lifestyle to what I wanted to live, something shifted. It’s one thing to think it’s possible; it’s another to truly believe it. 
That’s why I share stories of other young people doing what they love in hopes to show you that "following your dreams" doesn't have to be this mystical thing, it’s more than possible for all of us. 

Thank you so much Olivia for your precious advice and inspiration. We all need that motivation in life to push us towards what we once thought was impossible.
So, why don't we start going after our dreams now?

I hope you all enjoyed this itw :)
What is your biggest dream?


Credits // Author: Marta Tomasini and Olivia O’Connor, Photography: courtesy of DontTellSummer

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