Winters Burden

Photo by Todd Trapani on

The days are getting shorter; the cool breeze is making its seasonal return. The clouds are growing heavier shadowing our days with their ominous grey. The leaves are taking their last sips of chlorophyl preparing for their fall finale. The darkness is settling in, beginning to suffocate our light. The anxiety of seasonal depression is on the horizon, and those of us who struggle are grasping for every last ounce of summer comfort.

I have always loved every season as they come. As they run their cycle I fall in love with its quicks and characteristics. Every season is my favorite as I’m experiencing it. However through that love I’ve always noticed that my soul has peaks and valleys; periods when I’m full of love and drive, then others where I’m depleted and looking for reassurance of purpose at every turn.

I became curious about my valleys. I yearned to know the trigger so I could find a resolution. I found myself identifying with those who dread the holidays like some sort of scrooge. I contemplated how they affected me as a single twenty something year old. Were they a reminder of how alone I was? It didn’t quite fit but it’s the only answer I could conjure up, so I adopted it. I hated the holidays.

That perspective changed a few years ago when a brave friends of mine confided in me about her struggles with seasonal depression. She shared her overwhelming desire to hibernate when the world turns cold and the daylight is fleeting. Her experiences resonated so deeply with me. It immediately explained why I could love snowboard season so much but dread it full heartedly at the same time. The moments between those serotonin releases were like trudging through molasses. It was a heaviness I couldn’t shake in the winter months.

Through those winter months I find myself coasting; wading through my duties until I can be back on my couch curled up with my spiraling thoughts. I contemplate my life choices and goals; I spiral into wondering what I’m even striving for, what my purpose is. My energy is ever fleeting like theres no hope in catching up, or even the desire to.

It’s a comforting gust of wind to recognize that it’s just the season. It’s the clouds and the chill in the air. It’s the hibernating atmosphere and the cultural drive to relax that throws my equilibrium off. There’s hope in knowing it will pass, but there’s unparalleled dread in knowing it will return.

In the past, I’ve cringed when posting pictures like these. In my perspective they’re from the worst angle and the amount of chins I have is infinite..but then I took a step back. These pictures capture true happiness. That’s me, being undeniably happy. This is what I strive for my winters to look like all season long, however, for now those moments are short lived. So instead of hiding the unflattering picture, I’ve decided to post it, proudly. It’s moments like these that I’m exceptionally grateful for, and they should be celebrated. These are the moments that keep me fighting through the darkness of winter.

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