My seasons are out of whack this year.
2019 began with two months Santa Cruz’s gloomy and rainy winter. I then completely bypassed spring by spending a cold and gloomy March in the UK and a very hot and humid April in Bangladesh. I got a few more weeks of May gloom in Europe before returning back to a mild 70 degree Santa Cruz summer. And when I arrived in Spokane, Washington at the end of August, it was 90 degrees for a couple weeks before very quickly lowering to 70 to 45, and suddenly at the end of September there were two weeks of intermittent snow.
Now I’m experiencing my first real fall, complete with vibrant yellows, reds, and oranges.
My body has no idea what in the world is happening. And honestly, neither do I. Amidst everything else changing around me (new city, new school, new sport, new friends), the seasons themselves seem to be complete chaos. Those four steadfast indicators of change failed to show up, or at least show up at the right times in the ways I wanted them and expected them to. But I am learning to find rhythm and be present in each moment (emphasis on learning). I miss home so deeply. The ocean, the mountains, the weather, my job, my family, my friends. But mostly, I think I really miss the familiar, everyday routine of knowing how everything works and where I fit in it all.
As I’ve stated a good amount of times here, I’m used to operating by what I think I should be doing. It’s a lot of pressure. Never pressure that actually exists, but pressure that I perceive exists or that I create myself. I’ve done a lot of work to free myself from the shoulds, but in new environments, I often revert back to this pressure. At school it looks like pressure to be or act a certain way; pressure to have a core community already; pressure to be the 4.0 student I was in high school; pressure to have all the answers; pressure to know what I’m doing with my major and thus my life; pressure to be having the quintessential “college experience” (whatever that is) and be having the time of my life.
And that’s not to mention the actual, pressing obligations of school and sports and homework that I have to attend to.
All that to say, I’m working on patience. There is time. There is time to find a new routine and rhythm. There is time to find deep, life-giving community. There is time to feel like I have a purpose here. There is time to learn to love this new city I’m in. There is time to experience all of the emotions I’m currently feeling and the ones that are yet to come.
This past weekend, I got to escape from that weird new bubble of school I’m in and spend some time in Seattle, a city that I love, with some wonderful friends from home who live there. I feel renewed and also reminded of how easy it is for me to feel trapped in one place, especially when that place doesn’t quite feel like home. I am thankful for candid conversations about the difficulty in transition, the desire for belonging, and the frustration when both are happening simultaneously to such extremes.
This is just the beginning of a new season, and with a little bit of fresh perspective, I can see that it’s going to be good and challenging and beautiful.
T-Minus 28 days until I get to see the ocean.