Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Fall Post 2017

Hello Fall, old frienemy.

I feel a special fondness for people who don't like fall, because sometimes I feel like I'm the only one. When I find out there are others, I feel like I'm in a secret club where we dare not speak of our shared beliefs, but bare our burden in silence, knowing we'd otherwise be martyred by popular opinion on Facebook.

I've thought of several new reasons that I don't like fall, but rather than the aesthetics of it, I've tried to really consider the genuine feeling of distaste that I have. Part of it is habit now. In fact, I've made such a big deal about how fall isn't my favorite that people reach out to be me at the beginning of the season to comment on my well-being, or check that I won't be outraged at a pumpkin patch outing. It's both funny and ridiculous. I hope that I am capable of behaving like an adult and not making other people miserable as a byproduct of my own non-preference for this season.

One very practical reason that I've discovered why I don't like fall is because pants. Yep, pants. I don't have very many pairs of pants because my legs are not of particularly standard proportions and I'm too cheap to buy special pants. The pants that I do have aren't very comfortable because they mostly predate the Exodus of Humans from my Hips. They're uncomfortable now. The result of this unfortunate blend of circumstances is that when the weather turns, I realize that I am going to be perpetually cold and/or resign myself to wearing layers of baggy or fuzzy clothing to prevent feeling cold. This takes the joy out of dressing up for me, and sometimes that's a big part of my mood.

(I haven't bought these things yet, but upon applying some thought, I'm considering: thigh high velvet socks, turtle necks under jumpsuits, and corduroy, palazzo, harem, and velvet pants as possible solutions to not turning into a giant blanket in cold weather.)

Fall also feels like an uncertain time to me. On the Central Coast, our fall weather is almost always hotter than our summer weather, though the mornings are chillier and hot weather is punctuated by wind and the occasional colder day. It's an oddly difficult transition to make in my head. Commercial marketing and the general population are talking about fall, settling into school, gearing up for the holidays, etc. After a few onery days or weeks, I usually manage to find a silver lining or two, ONLY TO BE CONFUSED as the weather becomes scorching hot and everyone wants to go to the beach. In the grand scheme of things, this is not the biggest issue in the world, but considering that it does require some mental effort for me to shift out of summer, I do not appreciate this process being interrupted and prolonged.

Adjusting to fall is always a process of re-framing for me: finding how to tweak things that I don't like into things that I dislike slightly less, or simply declaring that something that I do like works for fall too. It's about realizing that the chill in the air also means a cozier bed and deeper sleep. It involves realizing that in terms of colors and decorations and appreciation for nature, natural doesn't always mean neutral, and also that unnatural is totally fine too. It's about embracing the drama of the fall lighting without descending into darkness. To those of you who are also very visual, maybe you understand how something so small could have such an affect. If you're not, I don't know what to tell ya... I get that this issue of fall colors and mood shouldn't really be a big deal. Yet I come back to this topic year after year because it truly seems to affect my life and I'm bothered that I can't seem to avoid it.

Fall feels lonely to me sometimes, because most people seem to lean into life, and I struggle to stay engaged during this time of the year. We have about 2 weeks left of cultural-fall (up until Halloween) and then everyone goes straight to Christmas mode, so with the help of some new (or old) pants, I think I'm gonna be just fine.

(Not-ugly fall photos from: 1) Pinterest - no better source available, 2-4) from @cannellevanille Instagram!) 

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