What a sweet month you were my dear September. A month with new opportunities, with family time, personal time, and an internal calm and quiet even when the outside world felt turbulent or busy.
The island has been quite deserted for all of September, and in a way it’s one of my favourite times to be here. Everyone that can leave, leaves, because it’s the month where most of the hurricanes and bad weather seem to happen (although the past two years its been quite sunny). It’s quiet, the beaches are empty, and there’s always a parking space in Gustavia (unlike in the high-season). This September has been especially lovely because inside of me it’s been calm too. I made some big life decisions and it feels like my ocean is just calm and steady, kissing my shore, reassuring me that I’ve made a choice that will bring me cool, exciting, wonderful opportunities.
September has also been filled with some wonderful views and spectacular skies. Whether it’s watching the rain clouds roll in, the sun rise in the sky, or the clouds painted pink as the sun set. Mother nature has been extra beautiful these days.
Alongside the internal calm and exciting adventure prepping, September has also been really busy. Work started again, at full speed, and it’s been busy, busy, busy. During the summer it’s not always as busy, many of my projects had already been finalised by mid-July, which had allowed me to take off and enjoy a two-week staycation on the island. But now I’m back in full swing. Sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming, or I’ll feel stressed because I know there’s a lot to do and even more that I want to do. When I get too stressed, all I need is to refocus – to do things one by one, as well as have a good cry. That always clears any stressful energy right out of the system.
Another great adrenaline rush this past month has been the football (soccer) team. Since joining at the start of the month it’s been super fun. The coaches are active and even managed to organise a second practice during the week. It’s been great to be back on the field (it’s been five years), and it’s great to meet some really kind people while getting a good work out in.
The exercise is a good alternation from working all day, which often means sitting down. Sometimes when my writing is so exciting, I feel the need to stand up and type. Other times I’m super relaxed and I’ll write a blog post while I’m lying in bed (like right now).
But most of the time it’s me and my little “at home office” set-up and I really love it. I love the work I do, not just my writing but also both the social media work with GYL and the market access dossiers and presentations with my mother. Doing this work, even on days where I don’t enjoy it so much, has provided me some really great opportunities. I’ve grown tremendously in my dossier writing and have really grown confident in the work I create. My social media posts have finally levelled up to what I’d been working on for the past few months. It all feels like it’s coming together.
That’s also why going to live my freelance lifestyle now feels so good. Although I’ve technically been freelance working from a tropical island the past two years, it feels different because I have my family here and because of the reasons that I came here. It’s been an absolutely terrific experience, the whole two+ years and all that it taught and showed me. And now it’s time for something new! Which is why I’ve decided to move to Lisbon, Portugal for about eight months. From February to September, and after that we’ll see. I’ll simply be working as I do now, online, and live in a cool new place, exploring what it has to offer. I’m insanely excited about this, but you can read more about that here.
September also held a wonderful day: Rowena’s birthday! The big quarter of a century, 25 years old. We had such a fun day. We surprised her with balloons and cake on her birthday, a Wednesday, which she hadn’t expected. She assumed we’d be celebrating it during the weekend instead. She was over the moon and loved her balloons. We went for lunch at Arawak, one of our favourite cafés, and after followed it with a noissette at Oubli, our local go-to spot. The rest of the afternoon I spend time working while mom and Rowena went to the beach. That evening we had football training, where the coaches had organised a cake with a candle and it was all very sweet.
Another cool thing we did, the weekend before Rowena’s birthday, Sunday (19.09.21), we went for a really early morning hike towards the Colombier beach. I woke up at 04:10 (AM) and b five we were ready walk. Flashlights in tow, we made our way from the car to the beach, and headed towards the farthest side. When we got to the little rocky area of the beach, we looked around to see if we could fine what we’re looking for. Then I looked to my left where I saw a big shadow that, in the dark, simply looked like algae on the rocks. As I inched closer, I heard this *click*, *click*, *click* and suddenly realised that it was exactly what we had been looking for: the hermit crabs!
Now you might as why we are eager to see hermit crabs at, now, 05:30 AM on a Sunday morning. The reason is that this week, when the moon is moving towards the full moon, all hermit crabs from the island head towards specific beaches where they have their yearly mating ritual. It’s absolutely amazing, there must have been hundreds of hermit crabs, big and small, crawling all over one another. It felt like we were watching a real-life Planet Earth – as if David Attenborough could appear at any moment to narrate the scene we were witnessing with our own eyes.
We sat on the beach for about an hour or two, before making our way back to the car, picking up breakfast at the bakery, and heading to the St. Jean beach to enjoy breakfast and a quick dive there. While we were there we got another small nature-spectacle when a sting-ray appeared to be casually swimming around. We kept our distance while we marvelled at the nature around us.
September has also been a funny month. I’ve been going through a lot of growth regarding my mindset. I sometimes feel like the things I’m doing aren’t enough. Like I need to write more on each of the platforms I write on (Medium, my different book projects, on here). I feel like sometimes the day goes by and I’ll only have been able to work on one project instead of also spending time on the other ones that need it. And I’ll feel down, or I’ll stress myself out that a project isn’t moving forward fast enough. But recently, I’ve found that I’ve been able to take a step back and observe. Something I didn’t always find so easy to do before. I’ll find myself zooming out and looking at the situation, which then shows me that I have written quite a lot on each of those platforms. I do spend time on each of those projects that need it. And even when things don’t feel like they’re moving forward, they are. This mindset shift helps me feel a lot less stressed, which in turn helps me get a lot more done.
One creative project I’m feeling particularly proud of its progress, is my “Being Human: GYL” project. I’ve done three interviews this month, with another one planned and I’m just very excited at how easily and how wonderfully it’s coming together. I had a moment where I wasn’t sure this project would ever get off the ground or move forward in a way that would mark significant progress. But by simply making time, taking a moment, even if just a minute or two, to send someone a message, it’s allowed me to really create. I feel proud of myself.
This whole month has been slow yet super fast and most of all it’s been incredibly exciting. I feel like I am on the right path with myself and my ship will continue to sail in the direction that suits me and my life.
My ocean is calm and I think it’s going to stay that way.