September is a bit of a perplexing month to me. It marks new beginnings - fall, school, football - which I love, but has also always been a month of emotional turmoil. Thinking back over the years it’s the month where I’ve most often dealt with depression, some form of loss or serious doubt regarding what the future holds for me. In the middle of the month, I had my friend Alisha do a card reading for me, to help guide my path. The card for September, The Panther read:
“The Panther won’t stand to see our growth or energy stagnate. Instead, it pounces into our lives and causes all kinds of havoc...with the ultimate intention of bringing us towards a more fulfilling life. It’s unexpected, uncomfortable, and sometimes feels devastating, but after all the dust clears it’s easy to see the panther’s wisdom at work. We’ve all been through these experiences, and they’ve made us better people. Trust that the panther’s journey always leads to a better place.”
I couldn’t have better expressed what September felt like than this card did. I felt caught in a box, a screen thrown over me, paralyzed by self-doubt and fleeting creativity. I like doing these monthly reflections because I can tease out all of these multi-layered feelings and find a new perspective in the threads that have emerged. I also tend to forget all the things that happened, like achieving simple goals and time spent with loved ones.
While the panther pounced, I was able to spend a bit more time at home, making tweeks to my website and sending out my first newsletter, cooking and baking bread, and spending time with Trish and, in the scariest place of all, with my own thoughts. Two of the weekends were spent here without Todd and I was actually able to enjoy the time alone instead of spiraling into panicked “I’m alone and friendless” thoughts that often threaten my sanity, even though there were some mouse issues either weekend that demanded my reluctant attention. I spent a day doing some behind the scenes wedding photos, which I’ll be sharing very soon on a new photo-documentary piece. I published my second photo documentary, on Pop Up Yoga Baltimore, then promptly headed up to Syracuse for a very short trip yet very long day with Alpha Rho Chi to establish a new colony and teach some financial management to a group of 40 college students. Flying into DC meant I got to have a brief visit with my bestie, Cait, plus a ton of time on the train to listen to Binge Mode Harry Potter, my latest podcast obsession. My parents and I celebrated my brother’s birthday with him at an amazing farm to table brewery and restaurant in Harrisburg and then the following weekend I celebrated my friend Casi’s upcoming wedding with a bridal shower and bachelorette evening here in Baltimore.
Other good things were seeing Jackie Green at the last WTMD First Thursday concert of the year, hiking in Patapsco State Park on a rainy Saturday morning, making homemade bread, participating in Park(ing) Day with my office and starting acupuncture again. We did our best to follow the “Local Thirty” project, trying to eat only local foods for the month of September.
Other not-so-good things were the 1 year anniversary of a friend’s suicide, a meltdown over my career, panic and paralysis over some photography projects and a migraine while in Syracuse plus that general feeling of “what am I doing with my life” and “how will I ever measure up to my own standards, let alone those of others.”
To balance these whirling emotions I did manage to maintain a daily practice of writing morning pages and meditation. I hope that this practice has set me up for a smoother October, if not a slower one. Here’s hoping it starts to feel like fall for good soon.