Falling Out Of Love With Fall
For most of my life, Fall was my favorite time of year. I loved the sharp crispness in the air that you can both feel and smell at the same time. If you tried to bottle the scent it’s the smell of wood burning, cinnamon, and something else… Something I can’t put into words and the closest I can even begin to describe is how in Gilmore Girls, Lorelai could smell when it was going to snow. I could always smell Fall just by walking outside my front door. I love being able to dress in multiple layers of clothes, especially sweaters and hoodies, it makes me feel warm and so cozy. I love the turning color of the leaves, the crisp crunch they make as you stroll through the park. I love the festivals from State Fairs to hay rides, pumpkin patches, apple picking, and so many more. There are so many wonderful reasons I love Fall and yet… this year… I seem to find myself breaking up with the season. It’s no longer my favorite time of the year.
Now that being said, I don’t hate the season and like the decay of most long term relationships, it happens slowly and over time. I think my downfall with Fall started when I moved from Portland, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. The two cities are very different when it comes to their seasons. I’ve lived Charleston for nearly six years and each year, here in balmy Charleston, has more or less been the same when it comes to the weather. While it feels like the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, even going as close as one state away to North Carolina, are enjoying the change of scenery, it just doesn’t change very much here on the coastal part of south-east corner of the map. I suddenly understand why so many people from New York and other parts up north come down to Charleston and Florida for the winter. This is the first part of why I fell out of love with Fall. As with any long distance relationship, I was separated from it.
That being said, there are still very many Fall things to do here even when there isn’t much of a seasonal transition. There is still pumpkin spice everything, festivals, pumpkin carving, hay rides, and all the Fall traditions within itself. But for me… I was never really all that crazy about pumpkin flavors and while I do love the fair & festivals part… it just wasn’t enough. As every year passed, I just started to feel more and more “meh” when that I heard the state fair was coming into town. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to feel excited. I wanted to feel the butterflies fluttering in my stomach as the car drove into the parking lot, piles of hay all over the ground, smashed and crushed on by the soles hundreds of people before me and the smell of barn yard animals filling the air for a mile around.
I stopped going to the yearly state fair for years mostly because of how expensive it is to go and to truly immerse yourself in every festival tradition. By that I mean going on all the rides, eating all the food and playing all the games. To do all of that costs an absorbent amount of money that I could never afford as an adult and not being able to do all the events that I wanted took a lot of the joy away from going to the fair. So, I simply stopped going. With that also came to no longer going to hay rides, pumpkin patches and the like. A lot of this even started while I still lived in Oregon. I remember once going to a pumpkin patch with my friend Corey and remembering how little I could buy. I had a lot of fun with her but not being able to pick out my own pumpkins really made me feel inadequate besides her. This of course was my own personal issues and I never led on so that she was never the wiser to how I felt, I didn’t want my own lack of personal fiances take away any of her own joy of that day.
Even doing things that cost little to no money were also stripped of their enjoyment like watching scary movies. I have already talked about my fear of of the supernatural but, I also talked about how I started to enjoy the process of being scared, especially when it comes to scary movies. For years I made myself sit through and watch different styles and genre’s of horror films and really let myself get immersed in the experience. This is of course always hyped up during the spooky season of Halloween, or basically the entire month of October. A couple years in a row for Halloween, it became tradition where I’d go over to Corey’s house and we’d dress up in costumes and do our make up, sit on the couch and put a movie on. It was where I watched the first Insidious movie with her and I remember wanting to scream my lungs out. I don’t think I did, but I remember being the biggest baby of the three of us, her, my then boyfriend and myself. But that tradition stopped with both she and I moved to different parts of the country. My ex has never the biggest fan of watching movies in general, let alone horror, and I’m someone who loves to watch movies with someone more than watching them by myself so… that love was stripped away from me as well. I felt like the scene in Cinderella where the step sisters are ripping her dress to shreds, so to were the pieces of my enjoyment of Fall and everything I loved about the season.
I say all of this just to help explain the downfall of why I started to fall out of love with Fall. Deep down I do want to still love the season and a part of me always will but, at least for the moment, it’s not currently my favorite time of the year like it used to be. It’s like an ex your struggling to let go because you keep remembering all of the good times you used to have together but instead of making me feel nostalgic for old times, I feel the opposite. Every time I hear someone rave about someone talk how excited they are for Fall, I half smile for them in politeness. I want to feel happy for those who love this time of year just because I no longer fell the same way, I don’t want take away that joy from someone else. Someone else’s happiness doesn’t make me bitter about my own issues. I want them to be happy, instead I feel bad because I just can’t match their enthusiasm and I struggle on how to explain myself. Instead I wistfully find myself longing for Summer.
October 17th was the first cold day in Charleston, and by cold I mean we reached our first day below 70. It’s the first day I’ve needed to throw on a long sleeve shirt and while I still insist on wearing shorts, my legs shiver. It was the first official day that I turned the air conditioner be turned off. And yet… it makes me sad because it means my days at the beach and everything I loved about summer are literally numbered. I’m also someone who struggles with endings. Like the quote from the movie Hope Float goes
Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will.– Hope Floats
At first, I found myself really sad as the seasons transition and I struggle to resist, happy that my South Carolina summer has been fighting along with me to keep the season going as long as it can. A lot has happened with an array of so many different experiences from starting off to a bad place with Dangerously Stupid, to moving out of my ex’s place and into a worse situation that I still barely talk about, back into my ex’s place to having my luck turn around. It was truly The New Yorker who turned the last several months around and for the better. Without pushing me, he’s pushed me to want to conquer my fears. For me he’s made this summer, a summer that I will always remember. He’s been a friend as well as a lover and yet some how neither of us has ruined that for the other.
To those nosy bitches (and that’s okay I’m a nosy bitch myself) wondering what the status of our relationship is, it is still nonexclusive. We rented a hotel room a couple of weeks ago where I asked him if he would like to be exclusive and he said no, not really. To him that meant the same thing as a boyfriend or girlfriend while to me it didn’t. I told him that nothing would technically change or be different than how they were now just that we would be choosing to not see other people. I’ve asked a few people in my life if they understood what I meant and some did while others didn’t. So… for the moment, without really talking about it with one another, both of us have pulled away romantically from the other. At least for me, that is what I needed for my own personal boundaries.
We still hangout at least once or twice a week. Right now he’s joining me as I learn how to play Dungeons and Dragons and October 20th was the first time I got to start my first campaign. Would I like to explore the possibility of a more romantic relationship with him? Possibly. I know that he’s not there mentally for that right now, so while we’re still friends, I’ve put up my own walls by distancing myself. Most of the time, I wait for him to text me and sometimes I go a couple of days before we say anything. I wait till our weekly hangouts to catch up with what’s been going on with each other. I throw myself into work more and my own hobbies and interests. That’s not to say I ignore him entirely, it’s just a lot… less. It’s hard to go backwards with someone romantically especially if you’re someone like me who likes to get caught up in the romance process but, it was what I needed to do to protect my own feelings and heart. And so far… it’s worked out really good between him and I.
I haven’t redownloaded Tinder or any kind of dating app back onto my phone either. I know it’s silly but if I were to meet someone new, I would want it to be in the old fashioned in person kind of way. As cheesy as it is to admit, I do want to be swept off my feet, woo’d and romanced. That being said, I’m also very much okay where I am at being single and still working on myself. I very much still like the idea of dating and getting caught up in a whirl wind romance but at the same time I’ve also been okay with a break from actively dating for awhile now.
But back to talking about the season of Fall/what this blog post is about…
I am trying to stop fighting the fallout I had with Fall and redefine what the season means to me. For the last two months, I’ve felt like Loreali Gilmore breaking up with snow.
On Wednesday October 27th, I bought this new hoodie that the moment I put it on, I felt engulfed in warmth hug, letting the sleeves of the arms dangle past my hands and slap like a seal. I was walking home this afternoon and as I felt the cool breeze swirl around me, I felt a nostalgic twinge pull inside my heart string. As the season tried to make up with me, I wanted to yelling absurdly in the air like Loreali to no one in particular, “Oh no, don’t you try to make up with me now! You and me are through! You stupid…! Hate… You!!”
Except, my heart grew a size like the Grinch did. A few days ago I was purposely late to work because I already wanted my venti quad peppermint mocha from Starbucks and the moment it hit my lips I could hear Christmas carols ringing in my ear. I wondered if it was possible to skip the Fall season all together and go straight into winter just like in Monty Python but, I don’t want to not live my life simply because I’m stubborn about something as silly as a season.
I’m not going to be the grumpy penguin, sitting in the chair, crossing their arms because well… that’s just silly.
Instead I decided that I want to try and be friends again with Fall. Maybe it won’t ever be my favorite season again, and that’s okay too. But I do want to in my own way find a way back into love with fall. I want to throw my arms up in the air and twirl till I fall down to the theme of Practical Magic. I want to tap into my inner witch as I grow again and renew. Maybe I’ll get there again, maybe I won’t. But I’m here… ready to define whatever that means.
As always thank you for taking the time to read this blog. Love until later,