This is My Season Of…

There are seasons in life. Don’t ever let anyone try to deny you the joy of one season because they believe you should stay in another season… Listen to yourself. Trust your instincts. Keep your perspective.
— Jane Clayson

This theme of “seasons” has been on my mind lately. Mostly because every few months, I start to doubt and question everything that I am and should be doing.

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And usually, that comes with shame and negative self-talk. Instead of focusing on what I have accomplished, I focus on the things that I have not yet done.

The things that I think I should be doing. 

In the midst of this angst, as fate would have it, my homework assignment this past week for one of my therapy journaling classes was to complete this sentence:

This is my season of…

And you know what I realized? I’ve been rushing through all the seasons of my life without stopping and reflecting on the bone-deep stuff because

its. such. hard. emotional. work.

But I’ve started to embrace that it’s not enough to just acknowledge that there are seasons to life but to commit in trusting the process. Trusting that the seasons will change (there is always a new season around the corner) and I’ll be along for the ride, strong enough to get through them all with a deeper understanding of myself.

I had to really stop and ask myself — what is this season for me? How would I define it? I didn’t know where to start but one of my classmates said to try to approach it this way:

Think about the things you’ve been doing the past few months that light you up? Where is your focus? What do you look forward to? That is a good indicator of what your season is all about. 

Okay, I thought, simple enough. I can do that. I can find plenty of things that are occupying my time and heart and energy. I wrote out the list below:

Blogging, writing curriculum, sharing my knowledge via classes and summits and podcasts. Developing new services and programs to help more people. Learning about various justice reform programs and writing papers on them. Taking classes and getting certifications.

Whoa. That’s a lot of things occupying my time, heart and energy, right? 

And yet, my days are often filled with inner monologues like:

  • Yet another month of no progress towards a new novel.

  • If you don’t get back to your watercolor painting, you’ll never feel good enough to sell anything. 

  • That game you bought six months ago is still in cellophane, aren’t you going to play it?

  • The backyard looks like a jungle, you need to clean it up.

  • Do you see that accumulation of shit in your spare bedroom? Yeah, you really should put together a garage sale and get rid of it all.

I berate and belittle myself for the things that I’m not doing but really, when I look at them, I realize that they don’t fit into my season nor do they fit into my schedule. They aren’t what wakes me up in the morning and lights me up. They’re not what sets me on fire at the moment. And also, where in the hell would I fit them into my already busy life?

The game changer…

Realizing that it’s okay that I’m not doing it all. Right now is clearly not my season for writing novels and ramping up my author career. It’s also clearly not a priority to get my backyard in tip-top shape. But that doesn’t mean it won’t ever be my priority. And it doesn’t mean that the things that are my priority aren’t as important.

What this exercise taught me is that right now, this is my season is of growing, soaking in new information, and applying it to my life. This is my season of falling in love with creative nonfiction, poetry and other forms of writing outside of fiction. This is my season of learning to let go of what isn’t serving me and hold on to what is. This is my season of gaining a deeper understanding of my life’s work and what I want from my future. 

In the end, if I hold onto those things from a previous season too firmly, I’ll lose the opportunity to enjoy the gifts of the season I’m in. 

I think the most important lesson in all of this is in recognizing that the seasons of life — just like the seasons of earth — are never permanent. Where I am now is not where I will be six months or a year from now. 

Our stories are not static and as scary as the unknown is, the promise of a new season is more powerful than the fear. 

What about you? What season is it for you? Are you embracing or resisting it?