Words according to Dakota, SHE II, and Raven Vanguard’s third member, also known as Sloth
October always flies by without warning. Every single year. It is my favorite month for a whole lot of reasons. Halloween (aka the only time of year people think it’s okay to be weird & like all of the things I like, such as true crime murder podcasts and horror films), cooler weather and layering clothing, warm drinks, the changing colors of the leaves, and the celebratory indulgence of all things pumpkin, but it is always fleeting. Fall usually exits around the same time October leaves us, as the leaves fall to the ground and we prepare for the winter to come. There is beauty to the changing of the seasons, and with this one comes the joy of the holidays. However, I always feel a twinge of sadness each time fall comes to a close. There is the momentary pause filled with, “why couldn’t the snow have waited until the end of November?” We know once it does come, it lasts until March or April. That’s how it is. Fall is mid-September through the end of October, winter is November through April, spring is April to June and summer is June to September. Yep, my favorite season in Buffalo lasts a total of 1.5 months out of 12.
Maybe that is why it is my favorite season. It is joyous for me but short lived. Until recently, I would never truly go out of my way to gain personal satisfaction for a prolonged period of time. Temporary quick fixes to maintain my general happiness were always my go to. I’ve always done things that I like, but for all the wrong reasons, in ways that were always intended to meet the happiness and expectations of others. I’ve tried my best to impress, achieve and be what is considered above satisfactory, but that has always been at the hands of others. Standards set by others. Expectations set by others. Until I dawns on me that I haven’t focused on anything that brings me personal, well-rounded joy, for quite some time. Growing up, it was all about small things at a time to achieve joy, instead of looking at the bigger picture that is my life and future of fulfillment. Not that small things like a warm cup of chai tea, or a night filled soup dumplings aren’t enough. Because those things should be appreciated wholeheartedly. It’s just that it’s not being true to myself for the long term. You won’t be the best version of yourself if you don’t take in account your own happiness.
I remember reading a few articles regarding the influence of social media gratification and the effects it has on reality. What people choose to show verses what they choose to hide. The damaging effects of rose-colored glasses and feeling inadequate compared to highly curated feeds. From my perspective, that exists in reality and online. In both cases, its good to have a breathing period where you take a step back to reevaluate what you know verses what you see. That’s how I’m choosing to spend my time during this changing of the seasons. It’s the perfect window between the holidays to step back and breathe. We spend the gift-giving season tirelessly aiming to bring joy to others that we forget to care for our own mental state. And I personally know that it’s always good to not wrap yourself up with quickly moving forward, trekking on like we do. But to take time for yourself. Let the passing of the seasons be a wake-up call for change, and a positive moment for self-awareness and appreciation.
And hey – it’s okay to keep eating candy into November. Don’t let anyone tell you that has to end with Halloween on October 31st.