I love the fall. My favorite days are when the sky is blue and the air is crisp, when the leaves are just about to turn and there is promise in the air. It’s sweater weather; it’s hot chocolate and tea weather. It’s running in the park, while the air is chilly enough to make you feel alive, watching as the leaves float down to kiss the ground. It’s burning candles that fill the house with chai and pumpkin spice. It’s the cozying up next to a fire in your slippers and blanket, listening to Ed Sheeran and Colbie Caillat, munching on your favorite fall treats. It’s getting to cheer on your college football team. It’s the anticipation of new beginnings, knowing that everything will soon change.
But I also hate fall. It’s that time of year that my birthday happens and I turn another year older. It’s in the way the wind gusts past me on the sidewalk, taking my breath away and blowing the fallen leaves around my feet. It’s in the way I question everyone and everything – what am I doing with my life? Fall is nostalgia. It’s the unsettling feeling that I’m missing something, something vital…a longing for something that never was and maybe never will be. It’s being not quite happy, despite the fact that fall is probably my favorite season.
It’s loneliness, busy days, and empty nights. Maybe it’s missing home, because the weather here is fifty shades of grey outside and looks nothing like the wondrous autumn pictures you see on the Internet. Maybe it’s knowing that Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up, and holidays can sometimes be hard. Maybe it’s realizing that gymnastics “season” is around the corner (a reality check that can be either super exciting or absolutely terrifying). Maybe it’s reminiscing about childhood, about how simple things were before I realized how quickly time flies and now I’m a grown up (or trying to be one). Maybe it’s seeing my life in front of me, an uncertain path, and seeing my life behind me, the steps I’ve taken to become who I am.
Life does start over in the fall though. Fall is the harbinger of new beginnings. Summer’s gone. Lazy days by the pool are only a faint memory. In fall, we can be who we want to be, love who we want to love, and do what we want to do. We can cry for no reason if we want (or don’t), because sometimes life moves too fast and our hearts move on too slow. We can start anew: smile at a stranger, or play in piles of leaves like you used to do when you were a child… You shouldn’t get too many “disapproving” stares from people. We can make resolutions now to be brighter and happier – in the face of the coming winter, what better hope is there than that, to hold onto a smile in the dark, cold days?
It’s a season of transitions, of remembrance and bittersweet endings, of hope and new beginnings, and we should take advantage of this.
Restlessness, nostalgia, happiness, and melancholy; fall is a whirlwind of emotions as my feelings change along with the weather. Whether I’m happy or sad, fall is a time where my emotions run free and stronger than ever. (Lord, help up us all!) I can’t help but love it and hate it at the same time, and maybe, just maybe, this fall I’ll finally find what it is that I am looking for.