We are all familiar with the classic metaphor of seasons representing the different phases we are in, in our lives. We’re used to hearing it as an explanation for why certain people leave our lives and why things are hard, and so on. We’re used to taking it just as a lesson that while we’re suffering now in our current Winter’s a Spring is coming. Or for those of us in our Summer’s we choose to ignore the fact that Winter is ever coming back.
I love this metaphor because it’s true. Life changes so much and we all go through times where maybe we’re struggling a bit or a lot and then we have those moments where everything is all right and we can just take a breath and relax. Even the way we think about the seasons is similar, where people want to hold onto summer for as long as possible, still wearing shorts in early fall because they refuse to believe summer has ended. Then in Winter, people count the days until spring finally comes back and they don’t have to shovel their driveways anymore. All of these things are similar to what we call the seasons of our lives and I guess this came to my mind because I realized that this Summer is ending. As I realized this, for the first time in a long time, I also realized that I don’t resent Winter for coming. Normally I would be mourning the loss of my summer because I would remember my back aching from shoveling so much snow in the past. I would hate the thought of being later than I already usually am to my classes because of snow and I would hate winter for making me feel trapped inside because there was no way on earth I was going out there. However this year it’s different.
I have come to the understanding that the metaphor about seasons doesn’t just stop at realizing that they will change. That metaphor carries over into our ability to accept the seasons we are in and to find joy in them. There’s a quote that articulates this same thing, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain” (Vivian Greene) and I for one want to dance. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older or maybe it’s because of certain things that have happened these past two years but I am no longer satisfied with not being happy. I think this is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me because now I look around and I see with clear eyes that I have always had the ability to be happy regardless of what season I was in.
It took me realizing that complaining won’t make me happy, focusing on the negative won’t make me happy, and waiting for another season to come won’t make me happy. However understanding that in difficult times I am being strengthened makes me happy, surrounding myself with people who will love and support me makes me happy, and allowing myself to do the things that make me smile makes me happy. Just like how children can play in any season, I realized I have the freedom to do so, in fact we all do, we just have to decide whether we are willing to stop waiting for something better to come and enjoy what we do have. So, in the name of happiness, I am definitely ready to enjoy every season that comes my way and I hope that you will join me.