13 Ways Life is Like the Seasons

It’s just about that time of year we begin to crack the windows. There’s that after-rain crispness in the air and it fills our lungs whenever we step outside. The wind starts to feel good again instead of metaphorically smacking us in the face. The anticipation of Spring heightens and a fresh start is suddenly the answer to our prayers.

It might be my favorite time of year, and I don’t think I’m alone. But why is that? Why do we all seem to favor the idea of a fresh start over the other changes in season? We get that same preemptive eagerness come Fall, when the chill tiptoes back in – yet 6 months ago we were completely ready to kiss it goodbye. Are we a bunch-a-hypocrites? Or is it possible our attitude towards the seasons reflects our attitude towards life? Since I don’t like being accused of hypocrisy myself, I’m going to make my case for the latter.

13. No matter how many times we face transition, it never really gets easier. Because if you think about it, by the time you turn 23, you’ve already lived through 92 seasons. That’s 368 transitions. You’d think by now we’d have mastered them, but instead, they remain the most terrifying, exciting, awkward, and uncomfortable times in our lives.

12. We rarely stay present. Often times we don’t appreciate today until today becomes yesterday. Or maybe we liked today better yesterday when it was dressed as tomorrow. Why wait for the colors of Spring to enjoy the glaring sunshine of Winter? Or the clear skies of the cold? We’ll probably miss it on those hot August days. Maybe we should just embrace whatever season we’re in. That’s some good energy.

11. Little daily adjustments, big seasonal changes. As 20-somethings, our lives go through head-to-toe transformations year to year. Looking back on who you were 365 days ago can sometimes feel less like nostalgia and more like reading a story. Timehop plays games with my head. And yet it really doesn’t seem like that much is happening on a daily basis. Imagine if we made more positive efforts in our lives every day. They may seem small and insignificant, but think of the difference they’ll make over the course of 4 seasons.

10. Letting go will always suck, but time does heal. There isn’t a human on this planet who hasn’t had to let go of something or someone they didn’t necessarily want to loosen their grips on. We’ve all had a taste of this heartbreak, in some way, shape, or form. It sucks. For lack of a better word, it sucks. But time really does make it better. Maybe because time gives us more memories, more people, and more experience if we stay open to it. Maybe the change in season breathes spirit and resiliency into our lives. Whatever it is, it does get better. With time, it gets better.

9. Summer is a state of mind. Did you know that Macklemore is from Seattle? And Bing Crosby? Also, Hilary Swank? Seattle averages around 37 inches of precipitation a year, and yet somehow these people have still managed to live the dream. I’m not saying I wouldn’t prefer sitting on the beach over making snow angels; but I do believe that Summer is a state of mind. With the right amount of effort, we can keep that sunshine with us all year long.

8. Seasons hold different meaning with age. After college, there’s no such thing as Winter Break. It’s just Winter. But chin up, at least you’re getting paid! (Hopefully.)

7. As much as we claim to hate it, we crave change. We often meet change with crazy amounts of resistance. Especially when it has anything to do with what night your favorite show is on or the prices at the liquor store. I for one can’t stand when my friends re-arrange their living room and expect me to adapt like it’s totally normal. On the reverse, monotony makes us antsy. We need a change in pace, or temperature, to keep us hungry for more. It’s a pretty unhealthy relationship, but I find that a little bit of gratitude goes a long way.

6. Things are never what we plan for them to be. Schedule all the camping trips you want, but May will not be at all what you’re picturing in your head. Something will change, that is the only thing we can be certain of. What’s comin’ will come – it’s up to us to roll with it.

5. People change with the seasons. There’s always going to be that one Summer, with that one person. Or that semester with those three roommates. We tend to associate times in our lives to the people who were in them. Unfortunately, those people change. But the ones who don’t seem to fit into just one season, are usually the ones who are still by your side. Be grateful for them, and tell them why.

4. It is what me make it. You know why the holidays are so fun? People are nice to each other. We all set aside time to be with the people we love, we show thanks and gratitude, we smile, we look forward to whatever it is we’re celebrating. Why can’t we do more of this? Your season, or week, or day, will be whatever you want it to be. We have that power. You’re the Mother Nature of your own life.

3. There will always be seasons that change you. I bet if you were asked to look back, and choose the three most pivotal seasons of your life – you could rattle them off in under five minutes. “That phase,” or “The one year,” are exceptional statements by no mistake, and they’re usually introductions to the best stories. Even if they were the most painful, there will always be those standout seasons; the ones that changed you, and most likely the ones you will remember most vividly.

2. Uncertainty doesn’t always need to mean chaos. I can remember being in college and thinking that I always had to have a plan. When a professor would ask me, “So what’s after graduation?” my mind would automatically flip into panic-mode: “What? Well maybe I’ll get a job I mean I’ll definitely get a job but I don’t know what or where or if it will work and hey what did you do maybe I should stay in school and who knows I could be unemployed my whole life and be a failure ha that would show my parents and HEY LET’S DRINK!

Even after college, people are always trying to get your plans out of you – “What’s next?” “Got a man in your life?” “Thinking of havin’ kids one day?” You know what? SCREW THE PLAN. Nobody knows what the next season of their life will bring. It doesn’t have to be so chaotic. Embrace the uncertainty. Tell them that’s your plan.

1. Things make more sense when we look back on them. In the midst of any emotional downfall, it’s hard to keep faith in that this is just a smaller piece of the puzzle. And even though they mean well, when people say this to me mid break-down, I kindly send them for ice cream and wine. Might as well make them useful instead of giving me throwaway advice. But ultimately, they’re right. Even the most confusing of seasons will look clearer after a few more sunsets. It’s like the opposite of beer goggles. It will make sense, because even though it’s just a season, it’s one you lived through. It is a part of you. We all have those look-back moments, like, “Oh, that’s why that happened. But I’m here now, and here isn’t so bad.”

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