On Novembers

It’s the time when outside is warmer than inside; the time when you leave in the morning all bundled up, begin to undress as the sun rises and re-cover as it begins to set. The time when a new period begins, but the year will soon end. A time when you’re starting to put your foot on the gas and accelerate towards something more productive but you’ll soon be thinking about Christmas, the holidays and a possible getaway, and so it all goes to shit. It feels like you’re stuck in traffic, constantly: gas, break, neutral, repeat.

I love November. Not only because by the end of it I will be congratulated for having survived yet another year on this earth, but also because it’s deceptively full of promise, as am I. The last month of autumn: far enough from the summer to have forgotten all about it (good grief), close enough to winter that you can sometimes smell it in the air (like last night) and deep enough into the year to contemplate about what you’ve done, but not too late to rectify the mistakes you’ve surely made.

One of the few months in my country with no official holiday, nothing to perturb the metaphorical path you’ve selected to walk on. So walk. What’s stopping you? Your brain. It’s always your brain. Make it stop and use it to your advantage for once.

‘There is no such thing as emotion,’ someone told me yesterday. ‘It’s all either good or bad logic. The illogical decisions are born out of ego, fear or insecurities. We baptize them emotion and feeling to give ourselves an alibi.’ I disagreed at first, tried to prove the person wrong, with arguments, and logic. It was futile. I accused them of using the wrong word. ‘If it’s illogical or wrong it can’t be based on logic,’ I told them. I was playing with words. We all do it; play with them and pretend we’re making conversation, whereas what we’re doing is moving puzzle pieces around and put on a baffled look even though we know exactly where each piece goes, where it will fit, and exactly where it will not.

I keep thinking of last November, and then I think of the one before that. The changes between them have been dramatic, radical and somewhat hard to grasp for the person I used to be three Novembers ago. Sometimes I wonder how much of me is left, and then I realize I’m all here, just grown; not age-wise, but self-wise. I am a fuller version of me, a more knowledgeable one, possibly more flawed, but definitely more aware. I couldn’t have predicted it but I’m not surprised. I rarely am nowadays; cynicism will do that to you. I look at behaviours and try to find the pattern instead of asking ‘why.’ There is no ‘why’; I’ve learned that as well, the hard way.

I love Novembers because people have let their guard down. They’re immersed in their own struggle to make sense of the year that’s almost at an end, but not quite there yet to give up. Introspection, you could say, is the word of the month. It comes about unconsciously at first, one rainy morning as you’re sipping your hot coffee. You drift off as the radio is playing that same song you’ve become immune to, and so your mind goes numb and the thoughts pop up like advertisements you never really asked for. Summer memories have by now worn off, and become too weak to distract you. Let them go. Focus instead on what you can salvage, reiterate less poorly, remedy what’s broken.

It’s only November; turn the year around. 

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