Category: Fall 2011


Life Is Made of This Stuff

Leaf Peepers  VS Locals:  

Admit it.  We all do it, it’s why we suffer through five or so months of blizzards and freezing cold and then mud season and pot hole hell – the leaves ignite themselves in a final blaze of glory, a testament to the last hurrah before they subside into their survival mode for the winter.  It’s when we can take pride in the New England we call home and breath deep.  That full bellied inhalation fills our lungs with a smell, atmosphere, and feeling that only fall can produce.  It hints at the days to come, while carrying the last dying scents of summer along the current of change.  We complain about the “busy buddies” with nothing to do, who travel from many a mile to see the leaves, slowing down to thirty in a fifty five and slamming on the brakes whenever they see a flash of red or gold.  True, they can make a drive to and back from work suicidal at best sometimes and we can wonder at their apparent lack of concern for the angry drivers that are forced to creep along behind them, but we would be lying if we didn’t say we know why they do it.  It is a beautiful time of year, one we sometimes forget in the mad rush to prepare for winter and our chastising about all we failed to get done during the summer.  The “leaf peepers” remind us to stop and take a look at our surroundings, stop bitching about our lots in life, and realize that at least one of Vermont’s seasons still captivates our attention. 

 

Fall in Vermont is like a wakeup call before the frost of wondering why we stick around.  It’s a good reminder of a certain crossroads point we all reach in our lives.  Fall reminds me that there is moments of light and flashes of color in times of gray and cold wandering.  I have realized that we all reach segments in our lives were we have flat stretches of life that do not jive with where we want to be.  It’s not a bad thing per say, it just is what it is.  We don’t have to like it or want to do it, but for the moment, we need to do it.  That’s my realization or the week (or month maybe).  I am at one of those points in my life where I have no desire to be where I am, struggling to just make some ends meet so that I can get to another point in my life that will be a want, not just a need.  On the other hand, I’m trying not put off life.  I’ve done that before, multiple times.  I’m still learning to avoid this dangerous path in life, but I know I will continue to stray when things get tough.  Still, I am also not fooling myself into thinking that I will be stuck in this rut forever.  It’s a short term part of my life that is based on what has to be done in order to get to those juicier bits of what it means to keep going.  Goals help a great deal in my opinion.  Right now, I am saving the money I am making right now to hopefully buy me some more reliable transportation and if my dreams can come true, I am vying for a Mini Cooper.  I have always wanted one and this is just the motivation I need to get there.  With that Mini, I am hoping upon hope to reach my ultimate goal: if I can survive things as they are until May of 2012, I plan to travel across the American Mid West.  It’s a dream, but a doable one that I am planning to stick to.  Right now, it’s what’s getting me through and probably what will continue to do so for the next few months. 

 

Vermont Fall

Welcoming a New Life:

It’s an easy thing for me to get all wrapped up in my little existence and forget about all the other things and people out there that have their own takes on life.  One great reminder is in the welcoming of a new life.  My sister’s boyfriend’s sister had her baby a week early, Friday October 14th, weighing in at 4 lbs and 11 ounces.  Now, I am not one to think that all babies are cute, quite the opposite really, but I have to say that she is absolutely beautiful!  Holding her while she was quietly dreaming, comfortably wrapped in her blanket and surrounded by people that love her so much, it adds a good dash of perspective to what’s really important.  I wish her all the luck in this scary and brand new world and I hope that the hardships she will come to face will only serve to make her stronger and ready to take on anything that life throws at her.  She has plenty of people looking out for her along the way and I guess that’s a good enough reason for me to keep finding ways of outrunning life’s little speed bumps.  It has and always will be the little things in life and as long as I can keep reminding myself that they are out there if I only look hard enough for them, each day will get a bit brighter than the next. 

Mable's First day of life

As a certain semi-famous (and one of my personal favorite) songs once stated, “we must accept certain inalienable truths.”  The United States isn’t going through a recession or trying to come back from a few setbacks, it’s dying.  America has beaten the stone for the last time and no more lucky strikes are coming our way.  We’ve coughed and wheezed our way through the last 20 or so years with false promises and “light at the end of the tunnel” hopes, only to face the reality that the cancer has spread so deeply into America’s heartland, nothing short of a miracle will cure our afflictions. 

The “Y” generation, my generation, is screwed (‘scuse my French).  We were never born with a silver spoon in our mouths.  Instead, we were told to get up and feed ourselves, walk on our own two feet before the world can crush us.  We were forced to grow up fast, firm in the realization that our “youthful” years would be spent pursuing endless amounts of education in order to put us in the running for jobs that don’t exist.  These careers will burn us out with being overworked, underpaid, and unhappy for the prospect of never being able to retire because by that time our 401K’s and social security checks will never be able to support the most basic costs of living.  It’s a race against ourselves and against the person on your left and right, who in a different time you might have been friends with, but now it’s a desperate fight to the death for a little more food on the table and the ever-present desire to get far enough ahead of the rest of the world so that we can slow down on our own time.

We are scared, worried, exhausted, and years too young to qualify for a mid-life crisis.

We are a generation born into nation that is hitting a wall.  We grew up with harsh realities and doomed expectations.  We are finding every avenue of life a deadly intersection and the fight for the crosswalk is more like a free for all than a desired stroll. 

Who are we?

We are strong.  We are the generation where whatever doesn’t kill us helps to make us stronger, more ready for the next battle.  We are painfully aware, but conscious of our burden to struggle through, perhaps prevail, and maybe leave a little less damage in our wake than our predecessors. 

We are angry.  To not be given a choice over the outcome of our own lives, to have the idea of a life of our own choosing wiped away with fewer chances of the life we deserve than winning the lottery. 

We want change, but we are annoyed that we’ve been told since we were able to listen that “it’s our job to fix it” and yet we can barely manage to keep our own heads afloat.  The natural environment should be the least of our concerns if we can’t even figure out how to keep our social and political environments from spinning out of control.

We are also inspired.  The past has provided many role models for our future, but I think more importantly it has given us plenty of faces and theories of who we don’t want to become and will ever continue avoid being.

We are no less special, no more of a lost cause, and not altogether unable to enact change and find our own ways of getting joy out of life.  We are a generation with very different ideas about faith and belief.  It leaves vulnerable in some senses, and more open to the world around us in others.  Whether it’s a good thing or not, I think that most of us have come to the conclusion that life is what we make, this is the one that matters, and we need to make the best out of a bad situation.  I’m not leaving this world in the clutches of a diseased economy and I will do whatever it takes to live a life that reflects my own ideals. 

I am who I am. 

I am scared, strong, weary, thoughtful, frustrated, loved, cautious, funny, clumsy, beautiful, awkward, and aiming to please.  I am all of these things and so much more, but I am myself.

Sometimes it feels as though I am the worst version of myself that I could be, claustrophobic in my inability to escape the confines of my own reality, but it depends on the day.  One step, one day at a time, I am finding my way and trying to outrun my future. 

We are us.  Deal with it.