About September

“How do you keep going when the worst thing has happened? What do you need to change inside to survive? Who do you have to become?”
Spencer Hastings in Pretty Little Liars

September is a particular month of the year. As a matter of fact, every month has its own special things. For some, it involves the change in seasons: December has winter, March has spring, June has summer and September has autumn. The order of seasons may change if one lives in the southern hemisphere. Other months have particular holidays that we enjoy and celebrate all over the world in order to find some form of unity, love, and compassion amongst each other. October has Halloween, February has Valentine’s Day, April has April Fools’. It is true that most of these special days and occasions are today perceived as opportunities by companies in order to drive revenues up. By creating a culture that these occasions are so special and that everyone is celebrating them, society feels the need to consume and spend money in order not to feel left or awkward. There will always be a reason and an incentive to spend, but special occasions are often the top reason to do so. One of the biggest spending days in Occidental culture (particularly American) is the concept of Black Friday that takes place in November.

September has a particular vibe to it, at least in the Northern hemisphere. My guess is that the same vibe is felt during the month of March in the Southern hemisphere. In both cases, the month in question represents the end of summer, particularly the end of hot warm weather. This usually means that the fun is over and that it is time for life to restart its annual cycle. Schools reopen, students start registering for their university classes, and adults start to pick up the workload again as everyone is back from vacation. The last part takes place in my field of work, where the pace of work suddenly changes and becomes highly intense until the end of the calendar year. For the sake of this article, I will keep on referring to this month as September.

September tends to represent the beginning of the end in a cycle. Nature starts to slowly fade at this level. Leaves in trees turn red, brown and yellow, then suddenly start to fall from the branches. Birds start to fly South (or North if we are in March) in preparation for the winter. Colourful T-shirts and shorts slowly make way for more consistent and plain shirts and pants. Long hair and bears may disappear as well as office and school rules are back. It is no wonder that September is often a month filled with nostalgia and melancholy for most people, especially all the adventures they got to live throughout the summer. It often feels like the fun is over and we have to act appropriately again. It is a never ending cycle as the same keeps on taking place year in, year out.

With melancholy comes sadness too from time to time, as memories resurface.

“As my memory rests, but never forgets what I lost”.
Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day

For some reason, whenever I think of September, the first thing that comes to my mind is that song by Green Day. Apart from its catchy and breathtaking lyrics, the story behind this song just fits perfectly in the whole general vibe of the month. On September 1st, 1982, Green Day frontline singer and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong lost his father to cancer. At the time of the event, Armstrong was only ten years old and had just experienced his first major loss in life. After the funeral, the future Green Day singer went straight to his room and locked himself in. When she got home, his mother tried to talk to him and asked him to let her in, but Billie Joe’s answer was quite simple in his mind as he spoke the famous words we know today: “Wake me up when September ends”. Twenty three years later, on June 13, 2005, the American punk group from California released the song we all know and listen to today.

It is not easy to move on, to keep going when the whole world seems to have fallen on your shoulders. We keep on going through hardships and every time we think we have seen it all and that things simply could not get worse, it appears like the universe reminds us that it has one more trick up its sleeve. We struggle every day to get out of bed and face the world in all of its darkness and sadness, whether it is our world where our thoughts live or the world called Earth where our bodies reside. We try our best to stay strong and positive in the face of adversity. Ironically, this is what impresses me the most in us as human beings

Although the universe keeps on surprising us with its tricks, there is always a bit of strength left within us. We somehow always manage to find the strength to get back up, to keep pushing forward, and to hope for the best. It does not matter what we go through, it just seems to be part of our nature. We simply refuse to give up, even when we feel like this is the time we will break. When this happens, we always find a shoulder to fall on, or we become that shoulder for someone else. Two of the most hard-working, strongest, and most independent women I know are born in this month, and they know that I would not trade them for the world. They are my shoulder to fall on, and I like to hope that I am theirs as well when they need me.

It is all about finding strength and beauty in the midst of the chaos and the pain. This is a process that even nature itself goes through: as the trees and plants slowly die in autumn and fall asleep in winter, they gather strength and come back to life in spring.

Our hardships are just part of our autumn.
Remember that the sun will shine on us again.
We will reach our spring again.

“We are not rattled because we shattered all of this before.”
We Are Warriors by Avril Lavigne

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