With a nip in the air and the drifting of leaves, it’s no secret that the fall season is upon us. I’m reaching for a sweater or jacket more often than not and looking to outfits that accommodate shoes with socks (this is quite the dilemma for the already incredibly fashionably challenged such as myself).
Sad that summer is over, yes, but excited for fall, also yes. The fall season brings so many comforts we have enjoyed since childhood– from finding the perfect pumpkin to crisp apples and spiced hot drinks–perhaps with a little of the spices coming from some spiced rum? So maybe it’s a little modification from my childhood traditions; a girl’s got to have a little fun, eh? However, these days I’m finding myself haunted. Not by the ghosts or spirits we so often think of at this time of year, but by my past.
By no means do I have a particularly ghastly or sortied past. Pretty benign, typical middle-class, suburban, white chick trials and tribulations that could be often be summed up in some episode of Dawson’s Creek. But every time I turn around, I see or hear something that seems to be right on cue to remind me of something from my past. Not just one person in particular but various past boyfriends, friends or even experiences come to the forefront of my mind. More often than not, it’s a song that triggers the memory, and before I know it–and usually before the song is over–I’m knee-deep in nostalgia. And I’m talking smack-you-in-the face, smell it, feel it, hear it, nostalgia that would take the form of a vivid flash back starring a young Natalie Portman were my life a movie (come on, don’t you imagine your life as a movie sometimes? At the very least you surely have a theme song picked out, don’t lie).
If the nostalgia is about a boy, I’m right back to where I was the moment they walked out the door (let’s face, it was almost always they who were doing the walking). I’m slowly, piece-by-piece reliving every boy break up, friend break up or pseudo break up, I ever had. (Pseudo break ups= where the relationship really never took place either by means of officiality or even ever exchanging words. Trust me, every girl has one pseudo relationship at some time or another. I don’t think my 1st kiss ever thought about me again after that night whereas I felt we had been in a relationship for months). I’m remember with all-too-clear vividity the loss of friendships that growing up can bring, and finding myself missing those who I thought I had moved on from, lost care for, and forgotten about. This is especially a strange feeling considering I’m now married and have a wonderful group of friends, and at least for the ex-boyfriends, in all actuality, I don’t wish for them back. Nor do I wish for my teen years back. Like, at all. But I do find myself getting so wrapped up in the sentimentality and memories that I have been moved to tears and have to remind myself that five or ten years later, I don’t even know that person anymore.
Maybe I am beginning to feel my age and you know how old people always harp on the past. Or better yet, perhaps my old age makes me pine for the people I knew when I was young. The only other explanation I have for all this is the significance fall held for us in our younger years. Fall meant fresh beginnings, but it also often meant loss: bye-bye summer flings, sayonara to the social groups formed by last year’s classes and in comes the sinking feeling of having to start all over from forming lunch groups to study buddies (yeah, I was that girl).
Or maybe I’ve been programed to use the fall as a time to reflect on the past in order to move forward? Or maybe it’s just the time of year for hauntings (as well as horribly slutty costumes that set the feminist movement back about 50 years and prove a child molesters’ wet dream–sorry but have you SEEN the kids costumes for girls lately?!). ‘Til I figure this out, or just move on, you’ll find me in my room brooding over the past a-la’ Grease’s Sandy in “Hopelessly Devoted To You.” And seeking out some much needed therapy.
Theme Song: Ghost by The Indigo Girls