Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Sunday, October 2, 2011
I woke up more than once yesterday. The sister's alarm told her to go to work right before the brother's, and I was next. I could feel the chill coming in through the curtains, and it nipped at my toes as they peeked out from under the comforter to welcome a brand new day. I chose long pants and a dress code jacket. I found pumpkin muffins and a flannel-coated father when I reached the top of the stairs and felt, for the first time this year, that overwhelming Fall.
I wonder if it's the animalistic part of humanity that sends our psyches into seasonal habits, but I'd like to explore with you the transition of one of my own.
The fall of....let's see. 2006. The fall of 2006 began my crush on a boy. Crushes are exhausting. Mentally, emotionally, and physically as a result. I spent that fall wishing and dreaming and wondering and scheming, and it spilled over into winter without me realizing or keeping count. He started dating my best friend the following spring, and so I returned to the independent, self-confident, unaffected version of me. They broke up that summer, and in the fall of 2007, my more dependent, emotional, romantic side started to surface once more. I was doing whatever I thought it would take to secure him, and I did. The resulting winter and spring were somewhat blissful, if I remember correctly, in a high-school-honeymoon sort of way. And then for whatever reasons, the summer slid down into a fall that left me feeling insecure and grasping for effortless mutual interest once more.
This past year and a half has revealed more to me about mental habits than I ever knew existed. If I had entertained the idea that my cycles of overanalysis depend on, well, the fact that they are cycles, I think I would have remained more aware about reigning them in. But I didn't, and as a result, whenever the first chill of fall hits--the first college football game, the debut of pumpkin ingredients in grocery stores, the final sale of all short-sleeved items--I begin to notice my mental...decline, for lack of a better word, into the half of me that functions best as a worried and infatuated half of a whole. When spring rolls around and wakes me from my hibernation of insecurity, prompting my confident green leaves to burst forth, they do, and all pangs of fall inferiority are forgotten.
Noticing this strange pattern has fascinated me for the past four years, but this year presents a curveball. The cycle has reversed. I will spend this fall more content than I've ever been in a fall that I can remember. And the way timing and friendships go, I anticipate (though don't look forward to) possible emotional attachment by the time spring rolls around. What I'm left to wonder is if this year will feel entirely like a skip in a record track, or if it will feel like a brand new precedent.
I've never explained this sensation to anybody and been met with understanding, and that fascinates me even more. Is it overthinking itself that produces these hypotheses? I'm not sure. All I know is that wool socks and peppermint mochas are appearing like film editing discrepancies; it's been so long since they stopped by while I felt this happy and excited for my future that I suspect their misplacement.
Posted by Lucy Doughty at 4:35 PM