First Week Of Fall

The clouds have come down with a softly audible whump this last week, and when I haven’t been listening to the Cure on the bus I’ve been listening to music about having consumption and parents not consenting to marriage with a commoner and running bloody through fens and leaping to one’s death from wide verandas. Yesterday I wore a skirt without tights for the last time until May, and this morning I switched out my awesome mermaid purse into my awesome seatbelt purse I got for my birthday. I’ve worn the black hoodie I got last weekend every single day this week. Tonight I’ll put an extra blanket on the bed and soon it will be time for the flannel sheets. We didn’t get an Indian summer this year, it’s just all of a sudden: fall.

I’ve had a good summer. It was a good mix of very exciting and very chill. I spent a lot of time doing a lot of things I really like with a lot of people I really like, and I spent a lot of really good time alone. I had a lot of very simple fun, like taking walks to the market or having tea with Treasa in the kitchen or going to movies or making cookies, and it’s been strange to notice how satisfying that has all been. A lot of the happiness of this summer, too, has been about realizing how very different it’s been from last summer, understanding how the absence of something bad can be just as positive as the presence of something good. I’ve mostly felt calm and peaceful for the past three or four months, full of sunshine and blueberries and pretty dresses. Pretty great.

None of this explains why this week has felt so dreary, though. Maybe it’s the continuing hurricane insanity…I mean, THANK GOODNESS KARL FREAKING ROVE IS IN CHARGE of rebuilding the South! Maybe it’s because I am reading four books at once and can’t seem to get through any of them. Maybe it’s because it’s getting harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning now that it’s getting light later, or because school is about to start which will make my bus commute even more annoying and lurchy than it already is. Maybe because the Top Secret Plans are still taking forever to work out even though I did pretty much accomplish my mission a couple of weeks ago. Maybe it’s because there are no more strawberries at the farmers’ market and in about two weeks I am going to have to stop eating zucchini every night and switch to Brussels sprouts.

But really, you know what it really is? None of that stuff. It’s that I’m feeling…angsty. Like, existentially. As if I were fifteen years old…see above, the whole “listening to the Cure on the bus” thing. Just this last week I have become consumed, for no reason I can figure out, with Big Questions, about life and love and the meaning of it all…no, really… and if they weren’t so bothersome to me I’d have to laugh at myself, because you know what I just really \\got\\, the other day? That I’m not going to live forever, and that if I am long-lived as many of my female relatives seem to be, I have sixty more years (I hope) to do everything I want to do in my life, and then it will be over. And I don’t know what happens after it’s over. I don’t know what’s going to happen before I die, either…I can’t even think ahead to ten years from now. I can barely imagine myself at thirty-five. Sixty years: is it a short time or a long time?

When I turned thirty I remember thinking how glad I was that I was done with my stupid, stupid twenties, which managed to be not very exciting but also overly melodramatic somehow, because I thought I was going to be much more self-aware and much more focused in my thirties, that I was going to really decide what I wanted and by hokey, I was going to go for it. And I’ve been thirty for six months now and while it’s true I’ve made some decisions about what to do in the next couple of years, if I can possibly make it happen (see above, the whole Top Secret Plans thing) I still haven’t figured out a lot of stuff I want to figure out. I still don’t know what my future holds and I know that you can’t ever know what the future holds but seriously, why does that really bother me this week? Why can’t I accept inevitability, why can’t I just adhere to my general policy of doing the best I can with the sense I have? And why can’t I seem to articulate any of this in a semi-comprehensive manner?

Y’all, this week I came thiiiiiiisssss close to writing, in my paper journal, “No one UNDERSTANDS ME.” That’s what this week has been like. How long will I last before I go out and buy myself a nice black velvet cape to keep myself warm all autumn?

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