How's life? Yes, you read that right: Happy New Year! September has always been my preferred time of the year to actually think of as the beginning of something new. Yes, I am well aware of the prevalent Gregorian calendar, but also yes, I still continue to feel like September marks the start of the "next chapter" in my life. [January can f*ck right off, thank you very much.] So here we are, it's suddenly September again and I unexpectedly find myself in a spontaneous existential crisis, as you do. Then again, this is not entirely unexpected because a) I have had a lot on my mind lately and b) overthinking my life at a designated time of year is basically who I am, in a nutshell. So really, not a surprise at all, come to think of it. Unexpected is merely the extent of it all, this time around. Shall we unpack this a little? Here we go...
Every year, September comes around and I start to feel a renewed sense of purpose and set a particular intent for going forward. This is more often than not prompted by my upcoming birthday when it feels natural for me to take stock and/or pursue a new direction altogether. As I have often said before, I am comfortable with my age, even as the years go on, my hair is pretty much silver now, and I start to notice changes within as well as around me. For the most part, I embrace this and trust the process. After all, I am grateful to still be around and happily so when many are denied that very privilege.
I feel like I could insert a rather long and ranting footnote here, too, but instead, I choose to focus on what I believe to be the more productive way of explaining the current state of affairs. To be perfectly honest with you, dear readers, I am feeling weary and I have been for a good while. Talking to other creatives, it seems that a general “end of summer” fatigue has settled in on us, the pressure of being full-on for the benefit of everyone else’s leisure pleasure is finally catching up with many, myself included. Yes, time off was had in the sense that I went away for a very short while. Yet, actual time to just be by myself and catch up with my own sense of wellbeing is what is truly needed. I am stepping back a good bit from a certain way of working and the relief of even just thinking and writing this is tangible. I need to sit myself down and ask the hard questions. Then I need to find answers! Some matters have settled themselves on their own lately and I feel grateful for that. Others need more attention and cause me a bit more puzzlement at present. Nothing to concern yourself with or worry about, just stuff I need to figure out on my own. [edit: Actually, that's not true, Benji always helps with everything!]
It is with this in mind that I am writing about what will be my “next chapter”. It may not make a lot of sense to you reading this but the truth is that I simultaneously do and don’t know. I know what I want, my mind has been full with details and every intention geared towards it. Yet this September, I find myself struggling knowing where exactly to start and how to get to the place in time where I feel at ease and home again within myself. This September, I am taking some bold decisions. And it may look like… nothing much at all! Are you confused? Yeah, I get it. Me, too. Yet no confusion about the “how to” will last as long as my desire to move on from certain things regardless. Which may result in a leap of faith. Or several… All this to say that I have a plan. A slightly vague one, one that from the outside may not be noticeable, one that will require patience and courage, one that will test my stamina, and push me to the limits of my own imagination, too. It’s a bit mad and I kind of like it all the better for it.
While the world outside my head will most likely continue unimpressed, I will simply plot and plough on, slowly, steadily, towards the “next chapter”. In a way, it’s business as usual. Except that it won’t be for me. Change is most definitely in the air! While we’re talking about change in the air, I feel it’s probably noteworthy that, throughout this ongoing pandemic situation, I have managed to stay physically healthy enough and keep going. However, my mental health may have taken a turn to the dark side, at times. I would go so far as to venture that probably our collective mental health as human beings has taken a hit. Our fragility and vulnerability have become quite tangible for us all. Many of the questions I am asking myself these days have actually been “in the air” well before the pandemic ever was a thing, yet the specific implications that came with its global onset made them more prominent in my mind. The past year and a half came with plenty of distance on the one hand, as well as a lot of intense closeness on the other. A setup that stirred up a myriad of conflicting emotions… I am sure this will be prompting a good few people into action as regards their personal circumstances, their mental health, and overall wellbeing. Obviously I am no exception, so I will make my own wellbeing the priority it always should have been in the first place. I consider myself immensely lucky that I still get to make that choice. It may sound naive or facile (or weird), but I really took my own self for granted. I will not do that any longer, that’s for sure.
Altogether, I guess we will see what changes autumn really brings this year! For my part, I will continue to look for and hopefully find balance. I will have to explore my own as well as my family’s collective needs in order to achieve a sense of wellbeing that outlasts seasonal changes. Wish me luck and don’t forget to look after yourselves, too! Let’s keep each other safe and sound where we can, shall we?
With every heartfelt wish for a healthy, gloriously joyful, and abundant autumn time,