by Megan Flynn
Fall has been my favorite season for longer than I can remember—there is something about it that makes me feel so truly myself that I really can’t describe it properly. I enjoyed fall as a teenager, in a high school in Roanoke, Virginia, but it didn’t speak to me the way it does now until I was studying English at Longwood University—two hours east of Roanoke in Farmville, Virginia.
I grew up in a Catholic church and school, which worked for me until about age eighteen, when I ventured off to college and found myself startled when, two years later, my once so rock-hard Catholic background no longer held me up. I still talked to God every day, but I was starting to feel that He was bigger than just one version of Christianity—or any religion, for that matter—could cling to. And at first, I was upset. I felt that oh-so-infamous Catholic Guilt and wondered what could possibly be happening to me.
But eventually (a few years later) I embraced my slow but sure transition from Good Catholic to Crunchy Unitarian. And again, the leaves changed color and the air got crisp and chilly and smelled like campfires in that grey morning fog and I felt like myself in that way I really can’t describe properly.
In Lynchburg, Virginia, home of Liberty University and just an hour away from my own alma mater, there are always Paneras and Starbucks full of Baptists fresh from Bible Study or the latest church service, zipped snugly into their North Face jackets and so surely into their faith. The leaves have changed color and the air is crisp and chilly and smells like campfires in that grey morning fog and when I am home for Thanksgiving, I pass through on my way to the J.Crew Factory store and even now, I will feel just a little bit jealous of them.
Today I live in Minneapolis, where apparently fall comes and the leaves barely change and then winter arrives at the end of October. It is nothing like the autumn I know, and I find myself wondering what I might learn about myself and who I might become in my time here. And I feel overwhelmed with the possibilities, and grateful that, even when it’s hard, I didn’t stay in one place forever.
We will find a way to discover ourselves and then be true to them through every season and city.
And, as always, I am thankful for another day to figure it out.
Megan Flynn is a self-proclaimed writer and foodie with dreams of a literary life. She has a master's in Children's Literature and an affinity for cultural studies, good food, cute animals, bookstores, and those first few weeks of autumn. Her hobbies include running, cooking, taking photos, crying over her favorite music, and blogging away at freckleditalian.com. She currently resides in Minneapolis with her fiancé, where she drinks coffee and tries to keep the house clean.