I adore the Fall. Adore it. Hands down favorite season. The smells, the food, the holidays (Hurrah Halloween!), the Birthday (woot), the football, the colors, the crisp fall air, the sweaters, the cardys, school, warm homes, reading novels by the fire, pumpkins and nutmeg and cinnamon and baking, and (gasp for breath) I just LOVE it. And I believe that's what's gotten me through the last 3 years of what I will refer to as; "the worst seasons of my life" or "Fall Failures" or " What the *^$(#&^!!!" Though, I think loving Fall softened the blows of life during the past 3 years of Fall season. Stupid life and its blows. I shall explain...
For the past 3 falls/winters, I've struggled through all those struggles and trials and confusions and general crappyness that life inevitably dishes you sometimes. No one can avoid a healthy helping of steaming crap once in awhile, and if they try and tell you different, they lie. They lie pathetically. They lie delusionally. LIARS! All of them!!!
I admit when I noticed September approaching while going over my work and school schedule, I was thrown into fits of panicked nostalgia as I recalled where I was last fall and the fall before that... aaaaaand the fall before that.
Fall 2008: pathetically poor, dreams dashed in every way that dashing is possible from childhood on up, homeless (i.e. squatting at a friends and then mooching off my awesome Aunt in T-ville), mostly jobless (i.e. temping at the time), clothesless (from giving up all my clothes for said smashed childhood dreams), and incredibly, pathetically, newly abandoned by a boy and feeling utterly alone in a very dark and foreboding place. I remember my Birthday last year; and as one does when Birthdays roll around, I evaluated my life, and it came up ridiculously short. Turning 25, and ridiculous. That was my motto for the day. 25 is supposed to be the prime of the 20's!! Alas... not so much. It was my anti-prime.
Fall of 2007. This fall was full of much of the same, moved to a bran new town where I'd just LOST my first teaching job, struggling to find ANYONE to hire a poor college grad with an English teaching degree (data entry and retail as it ended up... wow the $20,000 undergrad was super worth it... cough), emotionally strung out from yet another poorly disabled and always dysfunctional relationship (that was to be followed by yet another... and then one more for good measure), and feeling, once again, pathetic, alone, and discarded. And stupid winter doesn't help what with its gloomy skies and biting freeze. Oh and my car broke down that year. Adding insult to injury really.
And lastly, Fall/Winter 2007: the hardest year of school I'd ever encountered, a lot of family traumas and stresses, again, you guessed it, emotionally crippling relationship problems (suddenly I wonder why I don't hate men yet... ha ha ha! Suddenly I'm GLAD I don't hate men! I don't want to add "became bitter and angry this year too" to this list), and really, I needn't go into the gloomy cycle for you again. Just press repeat from the above and you get the picture.
It's like my Fall/Winter life was on repeat; a really sick repeat that was someones idea of a cruel joke. What am I supposed to LEARN from this? What am I to get OUT of this CYCLE? (or how can I get out of this cycle?) Heavens!! No really, Heavens, I need a little direction here because survey says (and consistency and the patterns of my life support) I'm missing a very crucial piece of the puzzle. I'm going right instead of left, down instead of up, and am a little worried about how to handle the next Falls of my life.
Well, there is a happy ending the "Falls of Failure" story, as has been mentioned before on my bloggy blogerton. I've come out of all these crappy life happenings and yes yes yes, have learned a lot from them. I am now one of those suckers that can say I am grateful for those trials. No, truly! Without them I wouldn't be the person I am today, and the person I am today is much better, more refined, mature, and better prepared than the person I was 1,2, or 3 Falls ago. We have a very short period in this life to truly prove ourselves, solidify what we believe, to mold our character, until we face our final judgement. Frankly, without these swift and extraordinarily personalized refiners fires, who are we to count ourselves worthy to sit with those who have gone through so much more before us? Have given up comfortable homes to walk hundreds if not thousends of miles to an unknown land? Have been persecuted and hated for their beliefs? Haven't had enough food for themselves or their families? Yes. I am very grateful for my trials, and wouldn't give them back for anything.
I SURE HOPE THIS FALL ISN'T ON REPEAT! For real, ya'll. In the past year, as I glance back, it's incredible to see how I ended up here, in a cozy little downtown apartment I love, in a secure job that I enjoy, going back to school at a discounted rate (that's right suckas! What what!), finding good friends and enjoying the crisp October rain (October rain? Good old Utah) as I bake Oreo cookies and finish administrative theory homework. This is the LIFE my friends! And all week I've been breathing in this unseasonably crisp air full of anticipation and excitement for the season I love so much. Even after what seems a consistent "Fall failure" pattern, I've found optimism to replace my panic; and healthy anticipation to replace my doubts. Sure, I guess Fall could be on repeat again and it could all go away, the apt, the job, the cookies (probably not the homework...psh), but if I've learned anything, our trials are only for a moment, a season if you will, and somehow I've been kept on my feet even through all the unknowns, the tears, the hurts, the doubts, and the fears. During the times I felt like throwing up my hands and giving up, something kept me pressing forward with hope, even the tiniest sliver of hope, knowing that in the end, it will all be worth it. Even if it really only is at the very end.
Perhaps in adding to the pumpkin smells, ginger snaps, Halloween costumes, and cozy sweaters, I can now happily add to my fall list of favorites a "season of refinement" and rather than shivering with panic that my life will suddenly fail again, smile with a knowledge that even if Fall fails me, the Lord won't fail me as He hasn't the last 3 Falls of my life. And I have hope that maybe THIS Fall, instead of a steamy serving of super crap, I can get a little smashed potato's, gravy, and a side of sweet sweet cobbler. Yeah. It's high time for some cobbler.