It’s almost fall time. Yesterday on the way to the Pi Phi house I could smell the autumn in the air, and boarding a bus in the cool fall sun made me feel like I was on my way to another cross country meet (I must have gone to 30 or 40 throughout my high school days).
What does fall mean to me?
It means Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks. It means running through mid-town Columbus in finally breathable weather, kicking my way through piles of dry orange and red leaves to hear that satisfying crunch under my every step. It means wrapping myself up in scarves and cardigans to stay warm in the mornings and evenings.
Fall is synonymous with new beginnings. The smell of the first day of school is undeniably sweet and potent: fresh ambition and potential mixed with freshly sharpened pencils and blank notebooks. I love fingering my way through the un-dented pages and imagining the things I’ll scribble there, idly or deliberately, over the next few months.
I look back on every autumn of my life so far with a degree of cynicism for my idealistic former self. I had no idea what was coming. This has been a common motif in a lot of my writing because I’m so astonished by how much a person can change in one year. I’m in love with the beauty of reflection, at looking back at myself a year ago from today and realizing that I had no idea what was in store for me. It’s comforting to know that I have an older version of me out there who is looking back on me right now wishing only to offer me comfort and reassurance that everything will be okay.
Well, here’s a little bit that I have for my future self. I hope you’re happy. I hope you’ve found great passion and authority in your life. I hope you’re independent. I hope you’ve been brave. I hope you’ve gotten what you wanted out of college. I hope you used your time constructively and made your résumé infallible. And I hope that you’re reading back on this now nodding your head at my naïve freshman hopes for myself and reassuring me now that yes, everything will be okay.