After one last gasp of hot, humid weather (or at least, we can hope it was the last gasp) autumn has finally arrived. The trees are changing, the evenings are cool, and there’s ten thousand little kids standing on various street corners waiting for school buses on my morning commute. There’s also a raft of new street work projects all over the city, which seems to be an annual September tradition locally — as soon as the streets and sidewalks fill up with students, the city digs them all up. I keep a constantly-updating mental map about which streets I have to avoid on my morning commute and various runs around the city, and it’s rapidly reaching the point where I just can’t get there from here… regardless of any given value of “there” or “here.”
I’ve been running around like crazy these last few days — between The Fiancée™ going back to school for her final year, taking over as the local canton Seneschal, The Boss™ going on a three-week vacation, and the home-stretch wedding preparations (three and a half weeks to go!) my stress level is rapidly climbing. Organization is key, obviously, and I’m starting to worry I haven’t kept on top of everything. I’d never really understood why “bridezilla” entered the English language, and now I’m beginning to grok it… and I’m not even the bride!
Autumn is my favourite time of year, which is one of the reasons we picked this season for our wedding but one the bittersweet things about living in a university town — especially the university town where you went to university — is watching the first-year students arrive. They swarm through the downtown and student ghetto, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with their shiny new laptops and clean t-shirts, exuding a cloud of nervous determination. They’re basically older versions of the little kids with new shoes and clean backpacks, but with more acne and no parents waiting to see them off.
I miss going to school. Sometimes I wish it was my first year of university again — I’d do it right this time, really enjoy myself. It’s a nice fantasy, but not exactly practicable: For one, I’m simply not the same person that I was when I moved away from home — sixteen years of growing and maturing took care of that. For another thing, my life right now is damned good — I’ve got a home, a car, a dog and very soon, a marriage. I really don’t want to live through my twenties again: sure it was an exciting, formative time for me, doing valuable activism… but I wasn’t exactly burdened with an abundance of good fortune in those days. Where I am now suits me fine, thanks… but I remember the squeamish excitement of those days, the freedom, the newness of the world, and sometimes I get wistful.