Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The First Day of Spring

As the weather gets warmer and everything outside begins to bud and grow so does my anxiety. I feel that tangled mess of emotions begin to coagulate in the pit of my stomach, which I know will only gets worse with the rising temperatures. And I know by high summer I'll feel like nothing is right, but the post-winter anxiety is the worst. There is nothing worse than the fear of the impending feelings of worthlessness, not even those feelings themselves. By the first day of spring it's official, I can't help but dread those coming summer days when I'll feel irritable, inadequate, and completely alone.

I like winter. The bitter cold of the outside sends everyone seeking the warmth of hearth and home. It only seems natural to curl up in a small bundle tucked away from the elements. To me that small existence becomes the entirely of the world, my world, and I have no trouble filling it. My thoughts, my dreams, my aspirations, my wants and desires are nestled close between me and the layers of warmth that shield me from the outside. And everyone I choose to meet in those cold winter months I invite into my warm world. Nestled together away from the chill, the occasions are intimate. Even our unspoken ideas mingle and linger together, close in the warmth inside the barriers we have chosen to erect around ourselves.

In contrast, summer draws people outside. Summer prompts us to shed ourselves of those protective layers and expose ourselves to gazes. It prompts us to bask and bathe in the gaze of the sun, and consequently in the gaze of strangers, and unlike in winter you don't have bulk to hide behind. Honestly, I've never taken kindly to a heated gaze of any kind, and unlike in winter where socialization seems controlled, deliberate, and intimate, summer occasions are... sweaty.

Heat makes me perspire. Uncomfortable social situations makes me perspire. Perspiring makes me uncomfortable in social situations and therefore makes me perspire. I know no way around this. All attempts to circumvent the consequences are futile.

The simple physicality of the season makes me uncomfortable. Having to be so bare, as an attempt (albeit futile) at physical comfort, is mentally and emotionally distressing. I'll be the first one to admit that I've never been a paragon of beauty - few are - and for it I have to try. Even the fairest of summer maidens wax and tweeze and shave and buff and trim and tone and tan. But personally the only consequence of such hard work is a clear canvas to showcase the brilliant glisten of sweat.

As the days are long, summer is mostly hot and bright, but when the glare of the sun has disappeared behind the horizon and the sight of strangers is hampered by darkness, I too can enjoy a fraction of summer's bounty. Those warm summer nights, shrouded in darkness, are akin to winter warmth. But unlike winter warmth that is still, enclosed within barriers, the warmth of a summer's night wafts. It carries with it the sounds and smells of far-off places. The warm breeze caresses my skin and takes with it my thoughts, my dreams, my aspirations, my wants and desires. They are carried off my person and in this world are no longer close, no longer filling, no longer attainable but far-off and drifting. I can't help but look up into the sky of stars on a summer's night and wonder why it is I am so small and so completely alone.

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