I love fall in Orange County.
I am sure it is not as beautiful as the seasonal changes in the Midwest or on the East Coast, (although I have never experienced it first hand and only have Google images to prove me correct) but I notice the change nonetheless, and I embrace it.
The days are shorter, the air starts to cool, and beautiful clouds thick as cotton candy decorate the skies, but being that it’s Southern California, temperatures can still rise well into the 90s throughout the day.
The average fall day in Orange County consists of cold mornings, hot afternoons, and mildly chill evenings.
I noticed the first change of the year the as I was walking to the shopping center that’s situated right by my office. When I arrived on campus in the morning the air was crisp and cool, but by 9 o’clock it was no longer sweater weather and shorts and a tank top could have easily been viewed as appropriate attire. As I walked on the bridge that connected the shopping center to my university, I took it all in: the perfect temperature, the last remnants of rush hour, the dead leave crushing beneath my feet. It was a peaceful moment, and one where I realized that just like the seasons, my attitudes have changed with them.
Something different has occurred this time around. After the end of every summer since I was 23 or so I would become extremely discouraged by the challenges I had to face.
But not this time.
Now I am reframing my challenges as opportunities, and it was in that moment – walking towards something - that not only had I realized that the cycle had been broken, but that after all this time I was walking in the right direction.
The direction I’m walking in feels right. I might stumble. I might go off the beaten path for a while, but I’m walking towards the sun with the hope that I only see it set when I give my last breath.
And I hope you are too.