It's September and though I've been out of school for a long time, I still feel the end of summer/back to school blues. The weird thing is, I love fall. I've finally come to terms with the fact that it's officially my favorite season. For the longest time I held onto the hope of summer and it's whimsy, feeling this sort of heartbreak about acknowledging that it might no longer be my favorite. Maybe it's the fact that there's such a pressure to accomplish so much in the summer months. Maybe it's the constant berating myself when I don't spend enough time outside in the sun. Maybe it's because I puke if I'm in direct sunlight for more than 10 minutes--either way, it's fallen on my list of favorites.
September has a sullen air about it, an end of freedom for kids. The beaches close, giving us one less way to appreciate the earth in all its glory. But it also brings with it the promise of autumn, the crisp air that refreshes, the changing leaves that remind us of the beauty in each season. This entire past weekend was dreary and gray and chilly and I was living for it. I'm excited for fall, I always am. Always will be.
But one thing I will do is reflect on the summer--namely, August. This whole summer was like a whirlwind for my family and friends. Massive changes, both good and bad. Beginnings, endings, uncertainty--it was stressful, to say the least. August meant I finally could hold a firm grip on things after the insanity that flew at me from June and July, but that also came with a mounting schedule and time divided.
As you may have noticed, my #31playsin31days challenge fell a little short. I didn't keep up on them consecutively and I maxed out at day 10 (which was posted on day 30--whoops). However, I don't consider that a failure, and not because I often fall off writing challenges by day 3. As I mentioned, August was incredibly busy. I'm doing more volunteer work, helped my mom move, tried my best to keep up with friends as much as I could. These are all things I hope to do even more of--and better--in the upcoming months. Because of all that, I couldn't complete all 31 days of playwriting.
But I also learned something--writing a play a day is hard, man. After a while I just didn't want to write plays anymore. A few of those prompts, too, got my brain circulating ideas about short stories or poetry--just not another Godforsaken play!
One thing I'll also pat myself on the back for: I WROTE 10 PLAYS. I haven't written that many plays in the better part of a decade. Were they my best work? Absolutely not. Were they fully fleshed out and articulate? Nah. But, it felt good to write for myself with some regularity again. And that's something I'd like to carry over into fall--and beyond. Maybe not a challenge with strict rules and timelines, but just reminders that it's ok, and even fun, to write for myself. Create like no one's watching. But do it on MY terms. Make it a form of self-care, NOT an imposition I have to fulfill that creates stress and anxiety. Write for me. Right for me.
And that's what I hope you'll all do for this coming seasonal shift. Help others. Be there for those you love. Reach out and give a hand to someone in need. And then when all is said and done, do something that's right for you.