More Than Autumn

What is it about fall? What is it about THIS fall…?

I’ve always loved a changing of the seasons. The way that warmth fades into cool nights where the sun sets a little earlier and you can slide into a warm sweater and start your mornings by the fireplace with a journal and some tea. The way the trees slowly change colors and everyone has a little extra pep in their step. The pumpkins, the oranges, the reds and browns, the shift into the best few moths of the year when everything seems just a bit more jolly and happy. You can’t help but to smile as this slow shift begins to evolve and turn into the best few months of the year.

This year feels different, IS different… A year full of loss and turmoil. Social injustices brought to light, a global pandemic, a political hell, constant hate and accusations from every angle. A dark cloud floating just above the surface that it feels like it’s hard to breathe sometimes. It can feel like you’re drowning underwater gasping for air, slowly bobbing out of the water taking as deep a breath you possibly can because you’re not sure when the next deep breath will come… the next positive news story, a kind hello, a sweet message or postcard from a friend. A sweet kitty cuddle, a fulfilling family dinner, anything that makes you feel a small surge of serotonin or dopamine before you go back underwater and wait for the next big breath you will get.

With fall upon us, I have pondered so much. With not much else to do, I have paid too much attention to every news story of loss. The big ones, the small ones. Loss of jobs, loss of businesses, loss of love and lives. So much loss, and yet we still live in a world of hate and anger and injustice and madness. Being furloughed from my job for six months and taking the pandemic serious has left me in a world of my own thoughts most days and has put me in a place that questions what my life holds for the future.

You may be like me where you’re a performer and your industry is left in shambles unsure of when live entertainment will return. You may be an essential worker wondering if you will stay safe and healthy today when you get back from your job. You may be a mother figuring out how to do home school while balancing working from home and every other job that being a mother entails. You may be a business owner who went from crushing sales to being left in the dust… you may have lost loved ones, lost faith, lost hope, and wondering what the heck you’re going to do…

I’m fortunate. I can’t complain much. I am taken care of, I have a roof over my head, food on the table, a loving family that I am surrounded by every single day. I have my health and my furbabes, my DIY projects, access to training from home for my craft, plus a surplus of other things. I’ve felt on numerous occasions that this omits me from feeling the pain of the world. I’ve felt guilty for feeling like I am sinking or feeling sad when I have so much and some others have so little. But it’s important to remember that your pain is valid. Your feelings are valid, and this year, what has happened to you and your individual story, matters.

I have taken this time to rework, rethink, and rewire. Everything I thought I knew or wanted about this “timeline” for my life has dramatically shifted. Dreams that I had been too scared to pursue in the past have resurfaced and become surged with a new inspiration to go after things because life is too short. The feeling of embarrassment, or shame, or uncertainty about pursuing anything have left and a feeling of encouragement and positivity and love and life have started to take place.

The days are still hard and the uncertainty about when this will all end is hard to fathom.. When will my industry be back, when will things be safe again, when will changes be made in our country, when will I get to travel again or go to a live show or see the smiles on people’s faces..? All questions that I try not to entertain too much on a daily basis. I pay attention, but take the time to focus on my own mental health as well.

So, as we enter this fall, fall of 2020, I implore you to look inward. Think about how this year has affected you… what dreams had you put off or side-stepped in the past? Who haven’t you reached out to in awhile to tell them you love them? What places have you always wanted to go? What insecurities are you shedding? How are you making the world a better place?

So, as the world slowly shifts from long, hot, days filled with dips in the pool and tanning at the beach into cooler days with hot cider, changing colors, and a cool breeze, how are you going to shift your mindset. How are you going to rework and rewire? How you are going to become a better human being and learn to empathize more and utilize compassion and love and peace to the best of your ability?

As the seasons shift these next few months, take a deep breath in and remember you’re blessed to be here, you’re blessed to be living this life, and you’re blessed to watch those brown leaves fall from the trees. Feel all the feels, feel the pain and sadness and anger, but make sure you also seek out the love and light and hope that a new season brings.

“Leaves… how beautifully they show us the process of change… just as we’d never try to stop leaves from turning, we can allow joy, sadness, happiness and pain to cycle within us, safe in the knowledge that peace comes with letting go.”

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