You are here much sooner than expected, though, as always, I am pleased to see you. I love your warm, dry air and your notes of autumn amid the last sweet swigs of summer. And yet, there is always a challenge that comes when re-connecting with old friends, especially those we only meet annually, and I fear I may have forgotten the art of honest letter writing. So, please, excuse me while I ease back in.
In a way, I still think that a each year begins and ends with you. The majority of my life has been numbered by grades with academic titles, and even though it has been three years since I've been in school, I still think of you as the start of something new.
So many things have changed this past year, though most of these changes cannot be observed by anyone other than myself. My understanding of some people has changed. My love for others has altered. My responses and reactions to certain facts of life will never be the same. But mostly, since this time last year, September, I have spent so many hours in patience and with silence, learning to treat each with their due respect.
I want to practice showing grace this year. Grace to others. Grace to myself. Forgiveness too.
A year ago today, I was aching for the summer sun, dreaming of ways to escape the monotony of life tethered to an office chair in highly air-conditioned rooms. Aching for a way to spend time breathing you in. A way to escape the feeling that I was simply biding my time, spending eight hours a day doing other people's tasks before "real life" could start.
Somehow, I did escape, and I am happier for it. The new work is hard, but I feel good about it; I no longer feel like life is a slippery thing, sliding through numb fingers before I have a chance to grasp it.
And yet (there is always an "and yet"), it feels strange too. To make a go of it, as such. Working freelance jobs here and part-time work there. Writing here was always meant to be a lesson in embracing imperfection. But since I have made a go of it, I suddenly feel an invisible pressure to improve, to inspire, to be beautiful. I don't want that. I just want to write. I hope that's okay. So here is to you, September. To another year and new set of dreams. Here is to imperfections in myself and in my plans. To the juxtaposition of wishing I were back in school and the deep gratefulness that I am past that and that there are so many other possibilities ahead.
But first, here's to a little more grace.