from 9.1.22 newsletter
It has been quite some time since you’ve heard from me, and for that, I apologize. Through chatting with many of you outside of this newsletter, it is apparent that life is mostly running around and putting out fires for everyone right now, myself included.
This month, several wonderful things happened, but the last half of the month was also overwhelmingly difficult. My computer finally kicked the bucket (my entire job is on that thing and they are very expensive to replace), my ancient phone went haywire, my partner was robbed at gunpoint at the bank where he works, car troubles all around (including a car accident just yesterday evening), and I’ve been recovering from an accidental gluten-ing for much longer than seems normal or ideal.
Most of the fires are out now, but the fatigue and overload have been a considerable burden in the midst of deadlines, social obligations, and the need for self-care and rest.
I preach a lot about rest in these newsletters, but rarely seem to embody it as of late. I feel the exhaustion of trauma and stress gathered behind my eyes, in my aching muscles, and in my general frustration at everything right now. I am in an almost flu-like state because of it (not Covid, for better or worse).
I say all of that to tell you: things must change.
Earlier this month, I sat down with an old dance professor (and dear friend) from college and we spoke for hours on a nice afternoon outside North Market. I remember being nervous to chat because I always have this fear that I overwhelm people during “catch-up” sessions, but Michael was gracious and lovely as ever and our conversation was both refreshing and energizing.
I picked their brain quite a bit regarding this newsletter and my general burnout and, through chatting, the concept of one long monthly newsletter came about.
You all have witnessed the weeks where I just don’t feel like I have anything of importance to clutter your inbox with and that’s largely in part to feeling the obligation to “come up with something” rather than let the experiences mull and percolate until the writing does itself. This is also a place to share a little writing with you and update you on any projects or happenings I’ve got coming up. Instead, it sometimes feels preachy or like some Tumblr blog from 2008.
So for August, I left you for weeks without a note of excused absence and focused on life a little more. I think that was needed. And I’m sure your inbox thanks you - unless you’re one of those highly organized people (weirdos 😉) who cleans your inbox every day.
This month, I thought I would start something new from something old.
Rather than sprint to the finish line every week, I want to offer a monthly newsletter. Something deeper, juicier, and more expansive than I can offer on a weekly basis.
This feels particularly powerful during this stretch of Late Summer guiding us towards the first days of Autumn.
Those who have been with this newsletter since the beginning may remember that the first email I sent focused on the season of Late Summer in Traditional Chinese Medicine. I wrote about how I had embodied that season so dramatically at that point in the year (important to note that, in TCM, while the seasons are the seasons around you, they are also the seasons of your life). I left a relatively stable full-time job to focus on my work with the publishing company and my personal projects, mostly Tales from Niveen. That transition felt like a free fall, but I also had a lovely group of beautiful women who took that journey with me in a 10-week Katonah Yoga course I was simultaneously part of.
*Newbies or curious folks can read that first email by scrolling up to the top of this newsletter and clicking on the archive*
We circle back, now, to the literal season of Late Summer and yet another undertaking of transition in my life as well as the lives of many others.
It is as simple as children entering a new grade at school, some entering their senior year, but all probably surprising their parents with how fast they grow up. Teachers moving into another year of teaching, same but different (and Columbus City Schools teachers doing so after a historic strike). People who are moving homes, careers, states, countries. And the impending doom of upcoming elections.
There is shift in all of these moments and events, just as the days grow shorter and the temperatures grow cooler. Or maybe the temperatures just fluctuate wildly if you live in Ohio 😆
Change is inevitable and yet resistance to change gets so many of us caught up in our own bullshit for so long.
This newsletter likely needed to change a month ago when I first started feeling the rumblings of dissatisfaction, but I know that I can be flighty, so I called myself “pushing through it” and proceeded to keep doing something until it was forced to falter. My workflow beyond this newsletter also needs to shift, but changing requires us to wrestle with the ego (not quite Freud’s ego) and to decide that we can change. That there is no shame in setting and resetting boundaries, even when people have come to expect one type of thing from you.
That change will happen anyway.
That we can choose the degree to which change is or is not painful.
So things will look a bit different from here on out when you come to this newsletter. Perhaps moreso if you know me personally or follow any of my other projects.
As always, I love hearing from you all. Your responses are genuinely appreciated and so insightful.
Happy September. Happy Late Summer. Happy transition.
See you in October.
xoxo (gossip girl),