September 30, 2022


Dear September,

For all my life, September was the start to a new year, even more so than the turn of the calendar in January. September meant new school supplies (my favorite), new fall outfits and shoes, and new class lists (both as a student and teacher). 

But this year has been different. I have held feelings of guilt, freedom, joy, and deep sadness all at the same time. And when I'd normally just check those emotions and leave them in my office all day, I've found gentleness and the ability to embrace all of those emotions and process them all during the workday. It's been hard to grieve and celebrate while knowing I also left the education system when I was needed the most. It's been an isolating feeling as well. Some of my colleagues understand but it's hard to articulate when this mixed set of emotions is overflowing. 

I've been grateful for mindful breathing. Body scan meditations (such a good way to help manage anxious thoughts!), long morning runs, understanding and accepting colleagues, good cries and lots of tears, journaling, and therapy. 

I've also had to re-teach the same lessons I taught to preschoolers -- that all emotions are valid and that I can feel any and all emotions that I need to feel or want to feel. 

It's been so freeing to embrace emotions and feel them and I am so grateful to be in a place of greater health and wellbeing to have the capacity to do so as well. Taking care of myself has been the biggest and greatest investment I've done this year and I continue to find joy in learning to truly love myself again.

Aside from that, September was filled with watermelon snacks for my pup, photography workshops to expand my portfolio, bowling fun, trying new frames, getting cavities filled (my favorite but noted as a sign that taking care of oneself sometimes involves doing things we don't like), wearing sweaters and shorts, and listening to lots of audiobooks as well. 

Fall is here and I am ready -- ready to love this season for what it is and simply enjoy the present again.

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© IN ITS TIMEMaira Gall