Happy Thursday, friends! Apologies for the late post, but I didn’t know how to say what I wanted to say without being long-winded. That was a mountain I didn’t quite conquer, so bear with me. I don’t know much, but what I do know now is that for the first time in my entire adult life, I can honestly say that I feel happy, calm, and centered. I’ve always been the type of person who looks ahead in life and believes that if I have the next best thing or what my heart desires, then I can be happy and live the perfect life. The problem with this thinking, however, is that it means my happiness is solely dependent on the unforeseeable future and on what was not and could not be guaranteed. If I couldn’t guarantee achieving the next best thing, then I couldn’t be happy. Living in the future felt like a constant wheel I just couldn’t get off of–a state of mind I couldn’t escape. It was also an unproductive and unhealthy place to be. I can only imagine what I’ve missed out on because I was too afraid to be still and live in the moment. If only I knew early on how easy it could be to start over. I know it’s not this easy for others, but all it took for me was a conversation with a new friend, a new moon, setting new intentions, and intentionally practicing daily meditation to completely change my mindset for the better and recognize that being present is the best present of all. I hope this is a start for you.
Happy Monday, friends! It has been exactly 101 days since my last post, and while I never intended to take a break, particularly one this long, I need you to know that it was needed in a way I didn’t realize or expect. And it’s probably no surprise that my return is one day after the new moon–a point where we leave behind the old and make way for the new. I don’t think this period of the month or my life could have come at a more perfect time! Now, the break was hard, as are most disruptions and endings. But when we let go of that which does not serve us, when we leave behind the pain and suffering, we make room for peace, love, and joy. I’m feeling empowered and renewed this morning, and I’m so happy to be back, so here’s to this new moon and new beginnings. May goodness abound. And before I share all the goodness and positive changes I’ve encountered over the last three months, I feel like I need to explain my absence. In short, I no longer felt like myself.
Happy Yom Kippur, friends! For my non-Jewish followers, Yom Kippur is a Jewish holiday that recognizes the importance of atonement and repentance. It is a holy day, and for most, it is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Now, whether or not you’re Jewish, you have to admit there is something so powerful about having a day devoted to both asking for forgiveness and, in a sense, getting a chance to start over with a clean slate. Similarly, I’m sure it’s no coincidence that today is also the first day of fall! In his 1925 classic novel, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald writes, “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall” (118). It may not be “crisp” where you are (yet), but the sentiment remains— today is a day for you to turn over a new leaf, a day for you to get a second chance, and an opportunity for you to start over.
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I received a shocking and devastating phone call a little over two weeks ago: my cousin died. Just three days after my cousin’s passing, my students and I said goodbye to one another as the school year came to a close and commencement drew to an end. Two weeks later, I now find myself on the couch watching my guiltiest pleasure, Keeping Up With the Kardashians. I’d been so busy grading and writing my end of year comments that I missed the original airing of “About Bruce,” a chronicle of Bruce Jenner’s conversations with his family regarding his male to female transition. No longer Bruce Jenner, the former Olympian prefers to be called Caitlyn. As I watched Khloe Kardashian and Kendall Jenner struggle to say goodbye to the man the world knew as Bruce and who they personally knew as dad, I realized that these three instances, though undoubtedly incomparable, are, in fact, inextricably linked together by feelings of grief. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one to death or the closing of one chapter and the beginning of another, it’s always hard to say goodbye.