It’s finally Fall.
Now, Fall never used to be my favorite time of year. I used to affiliate it with the looming depression that was to come with winter up until I started taking vitamin D like every day. Now I associate it with my favorite flannel shirt, soup, and trying to figure out how to wear my ankle boots with my short legs.
So what are we covering here today? The season, the physical act, and the emotional leap you take when you’re opening your heart up again? They’re all connected. As we’re starting the new season before the eve of a new year, we chose to fall – and that fall can lead to bloody legs or sad heart or maybe there is someone there to catch us in the end of it, cradling our heart in their palms like the most valuable thing they could get their hands on.
For me, and I’m sure a lot of people, this particular Fall comes after a summer of nonstop. It was a summer that had me jerked around, falling for, recovering, coming back, falling down, recovering, coming back, physically, mentally, emotionally, etc., etc.
It’s funny because I’ve had the idea for this particular post for about a week, but when I finally had a solid idea of what I wanted to cover, I thought of the song Tubthumping by Chumbawamba. Yes, that song. I loved it as a little kid. I was obsessed. And then an hour later, my mom called me because it was playing on the radio and it reminded her of those days where I would dance around the living room scream-singing it in my Disney Princess pajamas.
It seems as if 2022 has shown me what it’s like to get knocked down and then get back up again.
I literally can’t believe I am still going on about this Chumbawamba reference, but I stand by it and I promise it has a point.
As you know (which I assume, if you’ve read my last two posts), I went through a break up earlier this year. I had let my heart finally go in a certain direction and clearly it was the wrong one, and I am thankful for taking the detour before it could go on any longer. I let myself fall, and I ended up emotionally exhausted.
I dated throughout the summer, of course. Some dates had me laughing, some rolling my eyes, some wanting to throw my phone into Lake Michigan. Some guys were kind, but not for me. Some were not so great, and definitely not for me. Every single time, I fucking Chumbawamba’d and got my ass up and and tried again. I didn’t let any bad date, weird dude, and cringe experience stop me on my quest…well…my quest to fall again. Fall for real.
And sometimes, I have let myself fall and I would get so hurt. I would get hurt like I did in high school. I would get hurt like I did in my twenties. I would hurt like I did coming home. I would hurt like I did on the kitchen floor. The thing is now I let myself feel all of the hurt instead of packing it up for a rainy day, even if it means crying in my Uber while my poor driver passes me Kleenex while I explain how some guy broke my heart. And, I don’t care anymore because…feeling THAT deeply, even if it’s for such a brief period, helps push it all out of you like a cyst bulging out of your head and heart until the pain that it caused can’t be felt anymore.
Sometimes it reminds me of that quote that gets thrown around the internet about how if you can love (or like) the wrong person THAT much, imagine how much you can when it’s the right person? Blah blah blah. Cute.
Regardless, I would let myself fall and get so so so hurt because I realized the person I sought to fall for wasn’t there to catch me when I did.
So then what did I do? I got back up. Bloody knees, throbbing heart, soul scars from before that have been opened up again, but I would rise up, somehow more bound and determined to fall again. To fall again, but this time, in the hopes that it’s into open arms.
Falling, though, no matter how bound and determined you are to love again, can be terrifying. It’s terrifying because you simply don’t want to get hurt. I’m not very religious, but I am pretty spiritual, and I remember after a shit dating experience this summer, I looked up and addressed the big guy in the sky and pleaded in tears, “I don’t even care anymore. I just don’t want to get hurt.”
So, it’s scary. Why? You want it to work. You want them to like you back, you want the potential to come into fruition. It’s this anxious state of being where you’re asking the universe to “please let this work this time.” History has shown you that there’s a catch. And not the kind of catch where someone is holding you, wishing you could somehow be even closer that you already physically are in that moment.
Yet, YET! *stands on the step stool next to my kitchen counter* How beautiful is it to allow yourself to fall again? That initial hope, spark, crush that could turn into reality, fire, love? As scary as it is, it’s one of those things where if you don’t allow yourself to fall, you will never know that long lost relief of feeling of someone catching you in the end and whispering lightly in your ear, “It’s okay, I want/got/need/love you.”
When you let yourself fall again, you dare to not repeat history.
I thought of an old favorite song “Beige” by Yoke Lore while I was in the midst of writing this post. They sing, “I fail to see your faults so please don’t let me fall, please don’t let me fall.” In his explanation of these lyrics, he shares that in this vulnerable state of falling, he’s asking his new love to not hurt him. It’s this idea of giving yourself permission to emotionally fall while hoping you don’t end up emotionally bruised, bleeding on the way down. It’s letting the other person fall back on you in return knowing that you’ll catch them, too, despite it all.
It’s this trust you place into someone’s hands as you gently give over your heart to them with every date, every goodnight kiss, every small, but enormous milestone you hit along the way. It’s the late night whispers you know they can hear. It’s the gentle promise that you won’t hurt each other because you sense that the roots of something life-alteringly beautiful are being planted and are about to burst from the ground level that you’ve previously fell to. It’s being seen, heard, experienced and enjoyed for just being all of that. Just being is enough. It’s the pressure you love…to just hurry it up and have them be yours so you can exhale, while wanting to live in every single moment with them in slow motion.
I used to see Fall as a season of looming depression. I used to see falling as a means of looming depression. I used to feel that if I let myself fall, I’d be getting hurt in the end.
Now I see it for what it is. Fall, falling…it’s hope. It’s allowing yourself to fall into exactly what you’re looking for. It’s the trust that you and that other person are going to be there to catch each other as you fall.
Sometimes I wish I could relive in Xanga and have certain songs play on my blog posts when ya’ll visit my site. So, what am I listening to these days? I’ve been adding to a Fall playlist, and of course, a lot of these songs have inspired my writing. Check it out!