As I closed the door to my apartment and headed towards the park –a new feeling came over me. The air was crisp and cool, the steps up to my brownstone were covered in leaves, and I pulled my jacket tighter to my body. There was a sense of calmness and yet the feel of the city was warm and inviting.
I then realized that it’s here: the most beautiful time of the year. Fall.
There has always been something about fall that makes me melt. I love everything the season has to offer: pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks, cute boots and lightweight jackets, the smell of a campfire (well, maybe not this year!), and the ever-changing colors of the trees.
And of course, it’s the season of possibility.
Maybe because my birthday is right around the transition from summer to fall, or because I’m a fashionista like the next New Yorker, but to me –the new year begins with onset of Autumn. With all of the old dying away, all the sweat and lust of the summer fading, and the beauty of change unveiling in nature –how can you not feel like possibility is before you?
In year’s past, Fall also meant the start of school. I absolutely loved going to school, and I always made goals for myself. From making “all A’s” and “getting on honor’s list” to “getting better at doubles in tennis” and “writing more frequently” –I wanted and needed to always push myself.
When I reached college, Fall was always about what cute guy would be in my classes or if I would finally have a boyfriend while at Appalachian. The start of the school year meant a whole new selection of guys to choose from, who I was sure I had never met. And of course, after getting a rockin’ body every summer, I was ready to show off all of my goods and see what looks I got in exchange (yes, I’m admitting that).
But this year, Fall symbolizes something else.
Yes, it’s still about change and beauty and love. But it’s about changing my mindset to focus more on my inner (and outer!) beauty with a more positive attitude towards love. It’s about learning to love myself and to fall in love with who I am and what I have to offer this world.
I won’t lie and say the colder weather doesn’t make me crave a chest to lay my head on, feet to tuck my toes under, and someone to walk hand-in-hand with through the park while drinking coffee. I won’t lie and say it doesn’t bring up ghosts of boyfriends-past and the memories I had with them during this season. I won’t lie and say that seeing pumpkins for sale doesn’t make me want to buy one and have a “flirty carving evening” with an attractive guy.
Of course, I feel all of those things.
But for the first Fall –in a very long time –I’m enjoying going down the block for a cup of Joe on my own, running through the park with only my breath to keep me company, and curling up, alone, with a cup of tea –and all of my dreams of tomorrow tucked away lightly and lovingly…in the back of my mind.
This time, I’m going to fall in love with myself.