New Leaves

Fall always has this bittersweet feel to it. Maybe it was the old repetitive return to academia, or maybe the looming cold mountain air, but either way, it always makes me feel something. Winter is by far the ugliest of seasons upon my disposition — uncomfortable in my over-sized coats, uncomfortable with each passing year. Spring is a hopeful time, Summer is absolutely glorious. But Fall, Fall is the in between. The merging of such different feelings, the convergence of two fleeting seasons — it’s such an odd time.

It seems apropos… The transition towards the working world, the divergence from what I’ve known my whole life. The first breath of true adulthood after an Indian summer of play. Lately I’ve been feeling much more serious, much more concerned about my next steps in life. Thinking about car purchases, 401K’s, and if I’ll ever have children. And while I still put on Despicable Me when I’m feeling crummy and dance around to Destiny’s Child throwbacks, the beginnings of wrinkles around my eyes and sureness in my step makes me feel new. Grown.

I’m really not sure where I’m going. But I know I need to start moving. Yesterday I turned in my application to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner with NTA. I also began my search for a new car and laptop. I swear just yesterday I was playing dots and hangman with my childhood friend in front of the minster at the church I went to growing up. We now live on opposite sides of the country.

I’m still amazed with time. The way it slips so quickly away. I was so hurried as a child, waiting to grow into who I am now. Now I feel this irrevocable pressure to make moves. I see others my age — 24, and everything they’ve accomplished, and feel like I’ve been left behind somehow. All of my old friends, working their 9-to-5’s, returning to school, or finding wisdom across oceans… and here I am. In the same town, working 40+ hours a week at a restaurant. Finding solace behind a computer screen instead of putting both feet on the ground. The land of no opportunities.

There are so many problems with this process of thought. So many ways I can pick apart my own dillusions. And they’ll tell you, “don’t compare, we all have different stories” and it’s so true, yet we all still do it. But the funny thing is, no matter how much I compare myself to others, I don’t really want to be anyone else. I like who I am, despite where I’m at. I’ll always be the overly cautious girl, riding her bike around the neighborhood until dark, who was blessed with illness at an early age to demonstrate her strength. Now unbridled from mental captivity (otherwise known as depression), unchained from 4-year institutions, I feel like I can do anything. The problem is, I’m not sure what “anything” is.

So for now, I’m focusing on my own rebirth. The dark transformative Winter before the breath of new life into old trees. And maybe, by Spring, I’ll have some new leaves.

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