Autumn is upon us for many. The season of pumpkin spice (though I don’t like it honestly :O) and cooler months are ahead…unless you live in Texas where it’s still in the 90’s daily. A lot has happened in the last year, and for many it hasn’t always been pleasant. We find ourselves in a world constantly changing, and for many with mental health disorders, of all kinds, this change hasn’t always been pleasant. While we are ever present of mental health awareness in our society, there is still a huge stigma surrounding mental health and seeking treatment for various disorders. If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, thoughts the world would be better off without you in it(I assure you this is very untrue), or any other negative thoughts please never refrain from talking to someone about it. You. Are. Important. Some days are easier than others, and the first step is the hardest.

Living with PTSD in our changing, COVID restricted world has taught me many things. 1. Never go in public without Remi (for those of you newcomers, Remington is my service dog) and 2. Everyone has some sort of baggage they carry daily. I think if one good thing has come out of all this over the last year or so it is the importance being placed on mental health awareness. While I still have bad day, we all do, I can say the importance placed on awareness has made it so much more comfortable to talk with others about mental health. As the weather grows colder my mental health always improves. I love Autumn. I don’t live in a very friendly state for cooler weather, but ever hopeful I am endearing myself to a new program I am trying to get started in. This program offers teaching certification to those who did not originally go to college/university to teach. I never wanted, nor considered teaching as a career up until recently. I think it was the pandemic that led me this route as I decided office work, though at times nice, is no place for a historian. The stress of this job, which honestly should not be as stressful as it’s made to be is just too much for me.

It has always astounded me that the United States seems to have this accepted culture that it’s desirable to work oneself to death. I work 9 hours a day, 8am-5pm, and am not offered any form of health insurance, I am guilted when I need to use PTO, and quite frankly I am spoken to like a dog by my residents. I have to admit this job has taught me one thing: This town I have lived in for about 15 years now is filled with the most entitled, hateful, and just flat out rude people I have ever met. Not to mention the cost of living is astronomical for no reason. There is very little to do, very little to experience, the town frankly is overall just very unpleasant, but the cost of living is so high it makes it incredibly difficult to relocate. Hence my want for pursuing a teaching certification. I feel that is my way to take Em and myself to a better area of the country. I also feel that as a historian, since I am unable to gain the experience that is required for many historian jobs, perhaps teaching for a couple of years would help to flesh out a CV better, and hopefully make up for the lack of museum work that is unavailable to me currently.

And so Autumn is upon us. A time for new beginnings. Summer has come to a close, and whereas many see Autumn as a time of death before the rebirth of spring, I see Autumn as a way to shed the negativity of the year and open the doors for a more positive and fulfilling new year. Instead of my usual closing format I’ll leave you with this for thought:

What negativity this year do you want to rid yourself of? What positive actions can come from tossing that negativity in the bin where it belongs? 

Once a day, look in the mirror, no matter how you feel or think you look, no matter how hard it seems, and pick one thing about yourself you like. Compliment yourself. Value yourself. You are wonderful, beautiful, and you are valued.  

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