It’s here, and it’s my favorite time of the year. Fall, autumn, or whatever you want to call it. I have the typical romantic notion of cozy sweaters, warm coffee (no, not hot chocolate or cider, COFFEE), apple picking and farmer’s markets, cool evenings and falling leaves. Of course, in Vegas we don’t exactly see or feel fall in those ways.
Sometimes I live in my own dream world of the way I want things to be. I romanticize many aspects of life because it makes them more vivid. But the danger in this is that I often idealize things and people, placing them on a pedestal they don’t deserve.
You’re probably thinking, woah Brooke, what does that have to do with fall? Well, after four years in the Midwest, I’m back in a place where my favorite season is essentially muted. How does that affect me? It makes me realize that there’s a deeper reason for my love of the season.
For me, fall is a concept that can be felt in a physical way. Similar to spring, it’s a season of change. It’s change you can literally see as pigment in the leaves brightens, then fades to brown, withering away and dying as the leaves fall. The weather left over from summer, bright and red-hot, gives way to cooler climes. The days become shorter and evenings come on more quickly. The sun shines less brightly during the day. And when I wake up before the sun, I wonder why I feel so tired.
This is the difference between fall and spring: fall is a season of decay; spring, a season of awakening. I know this because I feel it in my body. Autumn draws me into a haze of exhaustion, punctuated by changes in my geographical location, social and work environments and relationships. Everything seems to change in the fall. And while it’s fun and exciting, it’s also terrifying. Gone is my sense of comfort and confidence in my plans; it’s replaced by a fear for the uncertainty of the future.
Fall forces me to grapple with my demons. The flashes of happiness felt in the summer months overtake me less and less. But when I feel them, I’m almost blinded by the brightness of their intensity. Periods of depression leave me feeling aware, not mired in my inabilities.
For me, the season is a reminder that life cannot always be bright and wonderful. There are canyons and deserts to trek across, but I choose to see these challenges as obstacles that make the journey more fulfilling.
With change comes challenge, and with decay comes rebirth. Autumn is the season where I die to who I was and continue to realize who I am meant to be.