Autumn is my favorite time of year. There’s something exhilarating about the trees shedding orange and red leaves — a beautiful and sensual undressing. It’s kind of… sexy. The air is crisp and holds promises of a new beginning. For me New Year’s might as well start in fall. I can blame the academic calendar — since childhood the fall meant the end of the summer and the beginning — new clothes, new teachers, the promise of new friends – the possibility of being a new version of me.
As an adult it means I can pull out my jeans and knee high boots, wear sweaters and not have to worry about the humidity messing with my curly hair. I can eat everything pumpkin until my little heart is full of warmth and I need to unbutton my jeans so I can breath.
It still feels like a new beginning even as an adult– hope for new possibilities. And it is with that sense of hope that I now find myself restlessly considering some major life decisions.
For starters, I gave up Starbucks. Like really. I went from using it as a reward to myself for showing up to work every morning to using it as a “once in a while” treat to myself. Even though it is not officially Pumpkin Spice Latte Season, I have in fact started making my very own Pumpkin Spice lattes to bring to work. I love it. I mean who says that I can only have pumpkin deliciousness in the fall? No really, I’d like to have a word with them.
*I’ll even share my recipe in another blog page as my gift to you. It’ll post this week*
I’m trying (always trying) to eat better and exercise more. It seems I’m on some sort of mid (ish) life crisis — or more like an evaluation where I am determined to make things count. I’m determined to start hiking with Finn. Finn — by the way is fully grown (hopefully) at over 100 lbs. I bought a hiking pack (which yes, is designed to turn him into a pack mule) because although I have plans to exercise, Finn usually doesn’t make it too far before requiring water. Carrying water for both of us is a bit more than I am designed for — so he can take one for them team and carry our H20.
My husband and I briefly considered training for a tuff mudder type event — until three seconds later when we both realized that it was ten miles (TEN.MILES!) to which we both agreed to push off training. In truth, I figured if the training got too difficult, I could just get pregnant and legitimatize my excuse to back out. BUT the idea of training for something does kind of seem like a great motivator. I’ve been intrigued by the idea of rock wall climbing or ropes courses lately — which is super weird because I am NOT a fan of heights. Then again if you spend as much time shopping at outdoorsy stores (Cabela’s, LL Bean, Columbia) well then you pretty much have to actually consider being — outdoorsy — once in a while (please note that while I say “outdoors” I’d probably prefer an indoor rock wall).
Beyond that, I’m close (SO close) to finishing my novel. This September marks the two year anniversary of when I began writing it, with nothing more than an image of a young woman breaking up with her boyfriend and a question of what had happened to her that caused her to tell lies. I was intrigued, so I wrote to find out who she was and what had happened to her and what she was going to do about it. I threw myself into my MFA program finally understanding that it wasn’t a choice anymore — to write that is — it isn’t a choice at all. It’s what makes me feel alive. I’d spent years envying people who said that they loved their jobs because they were doing what they loved. (WAIT…what? How does one do that?). It was admitting that for years when I tried to not be a writer (because writing is REALLY hard), that I just had to give myself over to, that the story would persist within me whether I ever wrote or not. It was the acknowledgement that I am an artist (why couldn’t I have chosen something more financially profitable?). But alas, it’s who I am.
Which leads to change — how do I continue to fund what I am doing? In the new year, I hope to send a final manuscript to some agents (one who was kind enough to ask me for a finished copy). Fingers crossed and maybe something will materialize. But i fit doesn’t — well I am pretty eager to start my next novel. My main character is getting anxious. She’s getting irritated that I keep telling her to hush. Her name is Willa. I don’t know her very well yet, but I can tell you she’s growing impatient.
The point is that, my life right now is totally awesome on so many levels. On top of this I have a head start on drinking pumpkin lattes AND I feel change coming — but good change (I’ve felt the onset of bad change as well and I can tell you this isn’t it). I’m excited for the changing leaves because I feel like I am about to embark on something new and for the first time in my life I have no fucking idea what that is — did I ever mention I have mild OCD and I am type “A” and I love to plan — EVERYTHING? And yet, all I can say is I don’t know anything for certain beyond my plans to keep making art.