Thursday, September 10, 2009

Autumn Ambience and Attitude

Something about an East Coast Autumn is very special.
The season feels different here than it does in Kansas. I think for that reason, each time Fall creeps up on me I am instantly transported back in time to Princeton, New Jersey in 2003, when I experienced my first northeastern Autumn. At that time I was full of hope for what I anticipated would be a very bright future.

I was dating someone at the time and believed that I would either marry him or fall in love with a perfect WASP at Princeton. Neither of those expectations turned out to be true (par for the course with my expectations). Nevertheless, whenever the thermometer drops I can't help but feel that I'm on the brink of a wild, heart-shattering (in a good OR bad way), wonderful romance. Even though I'm, of course, in the middle of a lovely relationship I sometimes think I actually believe a prince will ride into Manhattan on a horse and carry me into the sunset.

In Autumn 2003 I was also coming off of a spectacular four years in high school where I was at the top of my game in every way: leads in all of the school plays, president of a great community service organization, blessed with wonderful friends, nominated for Homecoming Queen, a world-traveler, and feeling multi-talented. My first year at Princeton ultimately humbled me in ways I needed and also, unfortunately, in ways I didn't necessarily deserve and certainly didn't expect. Nevertheless, I always feel like something's about to begin when the leaves start to change.

And even though I'm finished with my undergraduate education, each Fall I feel like I'm a Freshman, but this time a Freshman in LIFE, standing on a precipice about to fall into a very different sort of future.

Moving into my dorm room Freshman year: tan, fresh-faced and full of possibility.


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