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Even a forever summer chaser like myself has got to face facts at some point: fall is upon us. Sure, we may still enjoy some warm days, but there’s a certain gentleness in the way the sun shines at midday, like a mother hugging her child. No longer like the raw, intense, thirsty embrace of a lover, as it was back in July.

For years now I’d been dreading the arrival of fall, mainly because it meant that my loneliness and fears for the future could no longer be hidden in plain sight under the blinding rays of the searing summer sun. Retreating indoors meant those would all catch up with me eventually. With summer, my flashy distraction, gone, I could no longer avoid facing what needed to be faced.

It wasn’t always like that, though. When I was little, fall equated with going back to school, diving into a new learning cycle. I was always filled with a sense of curiosity and excitement at the beginning of a new school year; academia was where I felt at ease, it gave me a unique sense of satisfaction to discover, to accumulate, to know and to understand. This stayed with me for years to come. It also made me love fall, because I could cocoon inside my room and read, learn, grow. Then, at some point, this incomparable feeling succumbed to other preoccupations – the trials and tribulations of love and a broken heart; I lost it for a while and only realised this when it was too late.

By Ben Regali via unsplash.com

By Ben Regali via unsplash.com

But last year, and again this year, I caught myself looking at school supplies stacked in book stores with sweet nostalgia. It wasn’t just my usual nostalgia bubbling up (yes, I revel in my memories, relive them and keep them close to my heart), I found myself missing the restless feeling I experienced before the first day of the new school year. I was smiling for myself, remembering and trying to hold on to that feeling as tightly as I could.

It took me coming close to the age of 30 to fully comprehend that just because my school days are pretty long gone now in the traditional sense, it doesn’t mean I have to stop the learning cycles. Fall can still be a time to kick off new projects, pushing myself to grow in new directions. I’ve fallen behind more than I care to admit with my reading challenge, so it’s lucky that I can now wrap myself under a cosy blanket, with a kitten (or two) cuddled next to me and catch up on all the books I started over the summer but never got to finish. And since I was mentioning focusing on writing in a more organised manner, my self-imposed writing exercise is to start keeping a journal. What better way to practice regular writing than that?