It’s that time of year that I get hella homesick. I’m bringing hella back, because that’s the only adjective that can accurately describe the severity of my autumn homesickness.
I would say 10 – 11 months out of the year, I’m very zen about my decision to pick up a move. I’m 100% proud of myself for all that I’ve accomplished since this life-changing decision: I have a career I love, friends I love, this house I love… I wouldn’t have all of this if I had stayed home. I’d have friends, but doubt I would have this career and know I wouldn’t be able to afford the costs of homeownership. I love the life I’ve made for myself.
But then there’s October. It’s always October. I don’t know if it’s because most of my major life crises have occurred during October so it’s like, a routine, or what. I recently read an article that said studies show that some people are susceptible to fall anxiety the way some people get the winter blues. The irony is that October is my favorite month, and fall is my favorite season! I just seem to get sad every October, and I miss home.
The things I miss about home are the things that they don’t seem to have here. Like apple picking. All of my Facebook friends have shoved apple picking down my throat for the last few weeks. I’m not mad at them, though, because if I had the option to go pick some apples, I would surely take photographs and post them on Facebook. This is the fourth year that I’ve been like, “I should fly home one weekend and go apple picking!” and then don’t do it, because I decide to fly home for Thanksgiving instead. What gets me is where do the apples at the farmer’s market come from? Do we import them? If they’re from somewhere close by, can I go there in person?
There is also a lack of mountains. There’s like, a hill or two in town. My car really loves this mega-hill we take on the 10 hour car ride home through Virginia because its one of the only hills it gets to experience. It’s not hills that I’m missing though. It’s the mountains in all their autumn splendor. By the time I get home for Thanksgiving, the peak of autumn has already gone by. All that’s left are empty trees and some very crunchy brown leaves. Meanwhile, where I’m at is either at peak or just past it. It’s pretty, and the leaves change, and this year I’ll get to rake leaves and that’s cool, but it’s not the same. There’s a smell that goes with autumn at home. It’s a combination of burning wood, wet leaves, cool air… but even that description does it no justice. By Thanksgiving, the smell is just winter. In fact, it snowed last Thanksgiving, so there’s your proof.
October is also usually the time where I realize I haven’t been to the Jersey Shore since before Hurricane Sandy and that one of the constants in my life is no more. This realization always sparks a series of memories in my head. The little apartment we stayed in, the outdoor shower, listening to the barbershop quartet on the porch on Thursdays, watching the sunset, walking on the boardwalk and taking in all the sights, sounds, and smells, playing Skee-ball and the Frog Bog, getting sunburns… Word on the street is that beaches around here (which are at least 3 hours away rather than 45 minutes) don’t have boardwalks like what I’m used to.
I’m a very sentimental person by nature. I believe that we all have stories to tell and that even though our lives may not be movie material our stories are still important and special. There must be something about the month of October that sparks my sentimentality, similar to how birthdays, New Years, and anniversaries spark it in others. What it is, I may never be able to figure out. Instead of focusing on the negative part of my homesickness, though, I’m going to end this on a positive twist. I’m lucky to have had so many experiences that I miss. I’m lucky that I know I’ve made new experiences here that I will miss if I left. I’m lucky that I can pretty much go back and experience these things again if I wanted to. This isn’t a complaining post but more of a way to share things that have shaped the person I am. So if you get to go apple picking this month, please enjoy a Fuji apple for me please and thanks.