This is it. The weather I’ve been waiting for. Yesterday, in Austin, Texas, we didn’t see the sun. Today was sunny and 80 degrees, but yesterday- sigh- was gray and cloudy and just the right amount of drizzly all day and the kind of weather that just makes me feel so soft. The heat makes me sad and angry. The sunshine makes me feel like I should do something productive even if I don’t want to. But on days like yesterday, on glorious, sprinkling days full of gray, the weather demands nothing of me. It is middle weather. It makes me feel like the only thing I have to do is snuggle or drink warm beverages or stroll or watch movies, or really just do anything I feel like doing, and it’s the only weather that makes me feel this way, and thus, it is my favorite weather.
I’m sure if I lived in Alaska, or the Pacific Northwest, or Iceland or just anywhere that it was gray and drizzly most of the year, I may have different feelings towards the mist. But as it stands, I live in Texas, where I am hot and sweaty and uncomfortable most of the year, looking for places to hide from the sun. Which is its own thing. People are familiar with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Everyone has heard of SAD, and everyone equates it to places like Seattle and Portland. The Midwest. We know about cabin fever, and how during the coldest months, people get depressed because they are stuck indoors. But no one- literally- talks about how us folks in hot climates suffer from the same symptoms. We are overlooked, because doesn’t everyone like the sun? No. The answer is no. Actually, the sun is okay, it’s the oppressive heat that gets us. The feeling of being trapped, of being prisoners in our own homes, like we are snowed in but instead of snow it’s a thousand feet of degrees. Reverse seasonal affective disorder. I don’t know what the official name for it is, but that’s what I call it. And as the summers continue to get longer and hotter, my tolerance for summer has neared zero, and I think this is a condition that deserves more attention. Reverse seasonal affective disorder, not my tolerance. That is a personal problem.
But I do think this summertime sadness needs to be discussed, to be understood, to be taken into consideration because it is the one thing that makes me feel so incredibly understood by people that don’t live here, or don’t suffer like people like me do. Like winter cabin fever, there is a breaking point in the summer that is crazy making. There is a reason that crime spikes in the summer months, and it’s because heat makes people do stupid things. I can hear you summertime people out there from here. I can hear you say things like, “Oh, I like the heat! Oh, I’d rather be hot than cold!” I’m just going to stop you there. I challenge you to spend 15 summers (and when I say summers, let’s just say 5 month stretches) in a place that never even gets cool at night, where there are no breezes cooling down your sticky body. Because chances are, it will break you too. I know because I used to be like you. I used to be a, “I hate being cold” kind of girl. A, “It’s so hard to get warm, it’s so much easier to cool down when you’re hot,” kind of girl. A, “we have to go to Mexico every January or February to get warm,” kind of girl. And let me tell you – how the turn tables.
Fifteen summers have broken me. I understand cabin fever. I understand seasonal depression. It just shows up now wearing sandals and sunglasses. Because the thing is, when it is so hot, it may as well be a blizzard. You don’t want to leave your house. It’s too hot to workout, so you don’t get your endorphins up. It’s too hot to go to the store, or to get the mail, or to meet friends for dinner because you have to walk from your car to the restaurant and in those however many yards from door to door, it feels like you could potentially melt to death, plus it’s just too hot to eat. It’s stressful for your body, biologically. It’s stressful mentally. In cold weather, you can put on unlimited layers and eventually will be warm enough. In the summer, that’s not an option. You can only take off so many clothes. Literally. There is a limit. And even if you choose to walk around naked, it doesn’t help because then the UV rays beating down from a merciless sun touch your skin directly and that is somehow worse than wearing pants.
Which brings me back to yesterday and the joyous weather the Lord hath provided. This weather gives you options. It’s not too hot, but not too cold. It’s stay inside weather but also do holiday shopping weather. It’s reading a book in a coffee shop weather or for crafting in your pajamas. It’s not too rainy to limit your options but rainy enough to see reflections in small puddles, and to feel like Christmas is right around the corner. Want to go for a walk? You won’t even break a sweat. Want to wear sneakers? Totally fine, because it’s not like, raining-raining. But also, it is acceptable to wear boots and tights- which is my absolute favorite pairing. Flannels, denim shirts, hoodies, sweaters, t-shirts with cardigans. Leggings. Jeans. Beanie or baseball hat or nothing. This weather allows for all the options, as opposed to the summertime options of t-shirts or tank tops.
I feel cute in this weather. I want to wear more than just jeans and T-shirts; I want to buy plaid jumpers and miniskirts with pleats. All the cutest outfits. Braids. Cider. Lattes instead of Americanos. This weather makes me feel like if I lived someplace that had this climate all the time, that I would dress up every day in outfits that belong in a fall issue of Vogue, with winged eyeliner and dark lipstick, high-heeled oxfords, toting a canvas bag filled with books everywhere I went. Am I lying to myself? Probably. I’m sure the novelty of the ethereal, autumn-ey, woodsy evermore vibes would wear off and I would revert to hoodies and jeans. If every day forever was like that, I’m sure I would long for sunshine and complain about the rain because that is part of the human condition. Medium really is best. Moderation of everything. Too much of a good thing, and all that. But today in my daydreams, I am *that* girl, the girl that wants to wear corduroy and turtlenecks and wants to replace her entire wardrobe with vintage J.Crew pieces, *that* girl that is reveling in the drizzle, holding steady in the medium weather, in the cloud cover that gives permission to do anything and everything or nothing at all.
About the Creator
Very well written. Keep up the good work!
Compelling and original writing
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The story invoked strong personal emotions