Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Truth About October

You want the truth about October? October hurts. October is cold, windy, and full of memories. A lot of firsts, and plenty of lasts happen in October.

I'm not making sense. Again. Give me another chance.

I love autumn. I love the chill in the air, the clear days with amazing clouds and the occasional rainstorm. I love the bicycles and the sweaters getting pulled out of drawers and shaken free of cobwebs and memories. I love settling into school and getting back into the familiar rhythm of classes and roommates and "life as we know it."

I don't love the memories. I don't like Octobers because of what happened last October. The Big Mistake which led to the Big S------. I wish I could forget. I wish I could call the Big Mistake a Big Mistake and stop looking back at it fondly. Because it was a mistake and it ruined me. It was stupid, and selfish, and hopeless. But I walked into it anyway, knowing all of that, and I still look at it and know that at the end of the day I probably wouldn't do it any differently. Because I wanted it despite all the reasons around me screaming about what a terrible idea it was.

Slow down a minute.

SO. Octobers. Leaves are dropping - though not as dramatically as they are on the East Coast - and I'm dreaming of scarves and Christmas. It's eons away but I still dream. And I'm fantasizing about a year ago today, when I first heard the M--------- word. And it scared the shit out of me. And I set into motion the events that led me here. I started crying for no reason a bit ago. It wasn't for regret so much as missing how things used to be, when life was something similar to simple. A year ago today. A year.

But tomorrow I drive north, like I do every October. 1st week: Rodeo. 2nd week: roadtrip. It's that time of year I take for myself and run away to people who lovelovelove me and sing and cry in the car and escape the city I love. Then, 48 hours later, I'll return, tired and perhaps hungover, but return I shall. Because unlike last October, this one won't break me. If only because I'm not giving it the chance.

I guess the truth about Octobers is that they're a time of change and settling. Settling into change, I suppose. I've settled into school and work and now I'm working out the balance. I'm doing things I enjoy - hugging, knitting, spending time with the few friends I have left, and bracing myself for the harshness of November. If I make it through those first few weeks, I'll make it through the rest. I have to. No repeats, no do-overs, no backing out. Not this time. So the truth about October is that it's forgiving, and allows some room for stretching out and re-settling. So I'll settle in and get ready for the cold that always comes, but this time I won't freeze. I'll huddle in a blanket but I'll get up every morning and do the things I know I'm supposed to. Because it's a new October for me.

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