7 Things About Autumn // Letters to October (7)

Dear October,

This evening I stood on my balcony and looked up at the stars. A train trundled by in the distance, then all was quiet. There, in the darkness mingling with the light of my bedside lamp, I felt torn. I’m both leaving home and going home tomorrow — leaving my family home and going back to England. I’ll be back soon, but even that reassurance is fleeting.

I looked at the apartment buildings facing ours. Lit kitchens and living rooms with families enveloped within. TVs turned on, people sitting around tables. It reminded me of a time when I was in that secure bubble. In a way, I’m lucky enough to still be in that bubble. I come home from time to time and enjoy the comforts of a child on holiday from school. But then I have to leave again, and real life begins.

It’s easy to forget in the long months of summer, but there’s something particularly ambivalent about repeating this pattern in the late months of the year. The murky sky seems to seep the energy from my bones. But the house seems cosier as the air turns chilly.

But because I don’t want every letter to be quite so pensive, here are a few things I really like about autumn.

Continue reading “7 Things About Autumn // Letters to October (7)”

On Making Friends // Letters to October (6)

Dear October,

When I was younger, I used to pray for a friend. I would clasp my hands and shut my eyes at night, muttering the request before bed. I’m lucky — as I know now — that I have best friends in my closest family. But I couldn’t help feeling that a piece of the puzzle was missing as I saw around me people who had become family by choice. Friends close enough to share not only moments of lung-shattering laughter, but also the quieter, darker moments. A best friend to fall asleep next to, mid-conversation, talking about everything and nothing.

The closest thing I had ever encountered to that was broken by physical distance, when I moved away from my childhood home at six years old. A few muffled phone calls and many imagined conversations later, those friendships fizzled like Diwali sparklers. They became safely ensconced in the warm, sweet haze of memory. Thoughts of those times were all I had when my new but hollow friendships came and went like the passing seasons. I wanted something more. Something for life.

Continue reading “On Making Friends // Letters to October (6)”

5 Ways to Waste Your Time // Letters to October (2)

Dear October,

Why is it that when you’re busiest, the mind wanders to all sorts of possibilities? I could be reading right now. I could be watching a film. I could be on a boat, exploring the world. But the moment the opportunity to do all those things appears, none of it seems as exciting anymore. The world stills and all the possibilities blur into one.

During these still days, I have done few of the excellent things I had planned to whilst writing my dissertation or moving houses. I have not finished reading all the books I own or completed all my mindfulness colouring books, I haven’t finished every film in the world, nor learnt every song on the ukulele.

Instead, I have found some very good ways to waste my precious free time.

1. Worry about the past

This one is my favourite. Reach back in your memory, as far as you like, and pick apart every single mistake you think you made. Think about what could have been if only you’d known better, how great it would be if you could have a do-over, or just settle into the misguided notion that the past was better than the future will ever be. It won’t be productive at all, but it’s great if you’re looking to become nice and grumpy.

Continue reading “5 Ways to Waste Your Time // Letters to October (2)”