The other day I rode my bike past some oak trees and I noticed something peculiar. The leaves are turning yellow. Fall is fast approaching. In that moment, I could feel the wool sweaters on my skin and the hot apple cider touching my lips. I felt this rush of excitement knowing the season would be upon us.

Growing up, I never really like fall. Fall meant back to school. It meant being confined to a desk for hours listening to teachers lecture on about algebra. It meant shorter days and colder nights. It meant winter was on it’s way and growing up in the Midwest, that meant heavy snowfall and icy sidewalks. I missed the freedom of summer, of staying out till nine o’clock and catching fireflies or swimming in my apartment complex’s community pool all day. Now, as an adult that isn’t chained to the idea that freedom starts when the school bell rings for summer vacation, I find fall to be quite enjoyable.

Around the beginning of August, my friends started ironically (and unironically) sharing Fall memes even though our minds were still fried by the summer heat. The joke was, (and I hate explaining memes,) that if people can spam Christmas memes as early as October, then we can spam fall memes as early as August. Needless to say this viral trend got me hyped up for fall earlier than I thought. Now I can’t help but to plan my next Halloween costume and gawk at cute oversized sweaters.

I think there’s something inviting about lying in your warm bed with cozy socks watching cult horror classics. I can finally put my crock pot to use and brew myself a nice bowl of chilli. I can wear hats and sweaters and jackets. Wearing clothes and fabric actually feels great instead of torturous like it would in the summer heat. I can’t wait to kick around piles of leaves in the park and shop for the cutest pumpkin to carve up and let rot in my house until the end of October.

The older I get, the more excited I get about fall. It’s a relaxing holiday. More relaxing than summer which becomes stormy weather or extreme heat. It becomes overbooked vacation and a day on a crowded dirty beach. It becomes hiding inside my air conditioned house. Now I can crack open a window.

I’m looking forward to the smell of fireplaces and bonfires and cinnamon. I don’t care that much about pumpkin flavored everything but I do like that I can incorporate caramel into everything now and it just feels right. Of course, I can’t forget half priced halloween candy on November first! I love every aspect of fall and I think the closer it gets the more I won’t stop talking about it. I’ll get through this boring month of September when things slowly start to transition into red, orange and yellow. I’m glad I’m taking a semester off because school seems to be the thing that makes me dread this year. I can actually enjoy eating pecan pie without the worry that midterms are coming up. Maybe I’ll actually have time for NANOWRIMO this November. Fingers crossed.