Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sweater Weather

I couldn’t believe it when I woke up this morning and threw the covers back, to find my warm hibernation had been invaded by a frosty chill. I nearly let out a yelp, jumped up, and quickly wrapped in my plush house coat, not the thin silky one. I needed warmth. After brushing my teeth and washing my face, I checked the thermostat in the hallway to make sure I didn’t knock the air-conditioning down to a low temp, mistaking having thought I cut it completely off the morning before. The temperature was set to 75, yet it felt so much colder. I hoped I wasn’t getting sick.

A huge smile crossed my face when I trundled back to my bedroom and picked up my cell phone and shining across my screen was a digital display reading 52 degrees. Below that sat a forecast for sunny skies and an expected high of just 75. Yeah, Baby, it was Sweater Weather!

Now I understood why I had slept so good and yet felt so cold… it was cold. It’s the type of weather you open the windows during the day, snuggle in the covers at night, and set the furnace to warm you in the mornings. So, that’s exactly what I did, I flipped the switch to heat and set the temperature to 68. A few minutes later after all the burners fired up in the furnace, I had to pull the batteries from my smoke detectors and open the back door as the first fire of the season cleared the dust from a long Spring and Summer. Don’t worry, I put the batteries back in as the dust disappeared.

The first waves of Autumn have arrived. This is my favorite time of year.

Other than a few cultural prejudices, the Georgia summer heat is one of the main reasons why I have this strong desire to move. Another reason is simply that I’m an explorer, a rambler, a curious cat that wants to see the world. However, a Georgia Autumn is one of the best and most prettiest I’ve seen in the many places I’ve already travelled. I absolutely LOVE this state when the nights and mornings drop to a frosty temp, the skies are clear, the days are mild, the leaves on the trees are changing, and the autumn flowers are blooming. It means it’s time to get back to the woods and explore more hidden trails, beautiful waterfalls, breathe in some fresh air, and climb some Georgia mountains. It’s the perfect balance.

The seasons are not the only thing changing. I’ve been feeling …different lately. I’m not sure how to describe it. It’s a mixture, much like the heat of summer fighting to linger as the cool air of Autumn fights to claim its dominance. My past and my future selves are fighting for dominance of my present. My passions are fighting within themselves, changing from a burning hot excitement to a more mellow, content state of being. Don’t get me wrong – I love to burn hot, but if I’m burning hot all the time, I’ll eventually burn out.

I’ve recently walked away from a relationship that was just… quite frankly, all wrong for me. Though this man made me laugh quite often, which was a wonderful thing, and he had a lot to offer, he also frustrated me in a sense that he lacked a fire burning in him to match the fire burning in me. I had all this passion bottled up inside me, but instead of providing a valve to help me release it, he became a stopper – dousing it with cold water. I found myself compromising often, pushing my desires and plans to the side, to accommodate a lifestyle I had already chosen to leave behind. I knew I could play this particular game, but I didn’t want to play it. I’ve been there, done that, and knew it would never make me truly happy because it’s not a lifestyle that accommodates who I truly am.

I also faced another relationship, another form of passion, another game, but found it too is not really the game I wanted to play. Unlike the above mentioned relationship, this one actually burned really hot, too hot. Instead of dousing me with cold water and smoldering my own flames, it threatened to overwhelm me completely, leaving me nothing but ashes. I’ve been there before too, and got burned. I still feel the licking flames and carry those scars. I don’t want to get burned again, so I found myself walking away from that relationship too.

The change that’s happening is that the relationship I’m choosing, the one that fulfills me most, that balances me, that pushes me into those new adventures, allowing me to experience many of the things I’ve always wanted to do and see, is the one that has the right mixture of hot and cold, excitement and calm, adventure and responsibility – it’s the relationship I’m developing with myself. Simply put – I want to date me. It’s sweater weather, and I want to cloak myself with the right kind of sweater, appropriate for the right temperature, to maximize the right level of comfort. Maybe someday I’ll meet a man that will bring the right balance for me, but until that time comes… I already have the right garment for these changing times.

Till next time,

~The Perfect Sweater

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