Sunday, October 14, 2018

Free Falling

Hayrides, bonfires, warm treats and busy schedules always filled with fun. The fall season arrived abruptly, as per usual, but I have somehow welcomed it with open and generous arms. I am actually stunned at myself, a true summer girl, feeling very excited and almost at peace that fall is here. For whatever reason, the autumn season always seems to solidify routine and a series of heartwarming events that I seem to be craving now more than ever. The cooler weather seems to be comforting me; we will talk again in a few months to see how ‘comforting’ I am finding the brutal winter season.

 I am beginning to mold into what a life beyond school seems to be offering me. My hours are long, my days are short. An undetermined pace and balance of time itself is brewing each week. And here we are, nearing the middle of October, making holiday plans and watching the scenery outside change before our eyes. Time speeds up faster year after year. I used to think adults were being dramatic as they'd say that in passing to each other at the grocery store or around a dinner table, but they were only speaking the truth that all of us surely encounter in our life.

 I still feel a tiny bit lost in this journey after college. And, I think that is still a tiny bit okay. I find glimmers of clarity each day surrounding the direction I am going in and trusting that powerful adventure. My day to day struggles aren't so much of "Why is nobody hiring me?" Or "What do I do without homework?" but more along the lines of "How do I still keep my creative spark alive while working a 9-5 job?" and "How do I properly rid a mouse out of my apartment?" It is a powerful turning point to realize that just as seasons come and go so quickly, so do our personal struggles and victories.

 Seasons, sometimes unfortunately, cannot be ignored. This season very well may hold the greatest triumph for you thus far, while also holding a gut wrenching disappointment that cannot help but change your current "normal". We must be prepared for change to happen, we must embrace it, and we must allow every part of it to just be.

 This Sunday evening, my very short "weekend" is winding down (Can you really consider one day off once a week a true weekend? That's another discussion.) and I am noticing a new season is in full swing like never before. It is a giant rush of wind that charges down a narrow street just to reach us. It has arrived and I am content. The beauty is truly in the details, but we have to slow down and choose to see those details. What new details are bustling around me in this new season? Well, let's see here.

 Go, Go, Go -- I am in a very busy season right now, like most us on this planet are. I now have a set routine that rarely budges even a slight minute out of schedule. I have two jobs that consume me. One, that is introducing me to a whole new side of the entertainment industry and fuels me with responsibility and a productive mindset. The other, simply pouring coffee and serving cakes to pay the bills. Rather than having the luxury of taking a nap in between classes (throwback to sophomore year), I now rush to job number two just in time to change my uniform and clock in. This new season has caused me to grow up faster than ever before. Though I am not in my ideal place currently, at the end of the day I am grateful that I have a job, and two really great ones for that matter.

 Penciling it in -- My time spent with those I care about is now rare. But, oh so treasured. I now have a greater appreciation for the love that is in my life. I never thought I'd reach the day that I would have to schedule a coffee date with a friend two weeks in advance. And if I didn't write it down in my planner, it is as if we never even conversed about the possibility of 'Coffee @ 2 pm on Sunday.' We all had it so easy in college. You wanted to hang out with a friend? Surprise, they were already around the corner from your apartment thinking the same thing. Oh, how we took those aligned schedules for granted.

 Prioritizing priorities -- As much as I would love to say I am living successfully on my own, working a full time job in a high rise, sharing adorable dates with a handsome guy I get to call my boyfriend, making smart financial decisions, meal prepping every week, hitting the gym daily, AND not having to find a pair of socks in the bottom of my hamper because putting in a load of laundry every few days is a breeze... I simply cannot. Only some of those things can be true on any given day. Each day, my priorities shift and I have to do what is best for me that day. Have I eaten cake this week? Absolutely. Have I gone on a run daily? Only once in the past couple of months. Is getting to the grocery store a task that always results in me regretting the now gaping whole in my bank account? Yes, and how disheartening. So what if I can't do it all right every single day? I am trying, and that is all that any of us can do and should do. If each day only brings one healthy and proactive stride, then three cheers for me. Life beyond graduation is one very forced giant bite that none of us can fully chew, so join me. Spit it out. Take smaller bites and chew slowly. It will all get done eventually, but we cannot force it.

Colors are shifting -- On a more realistic series of details, fall is here so the colors outside are just deliciously vibrant. Trees are debuting new rich hues that catch my eye every time. The air is crisper, making my coffee intake cozier. The city is alive in a whole new way. Chicago in the fall is something for the movies. I walk down the street in my newly bundled up fashion and I seem to breathe in sync with the world hustling around me. It hits me at the most necessary moments that we are all in a new season together. Taking on new challenges and viewing new colors for the first time in a long time.

You are not alone in this new season. The pumpkins, the crisp leaves, the dashing wind, these things are all changing right there with you. And, if you look past the picture perfect instagram feeds and the fake small talk in the elevators, your fellow friends and colleagues are all changing as well. It is okay and it is actually remarkably beautiful. Notice the details and embrace them! A new season is here, and it could be your best season yet.

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