Short days, cold mornings and downright dark, chilly nights, often with the smell of snow wafting in the freshly frozen air.
The cold kisses your cheek and you know one thing for sure.
Winter is coming.
Darkness is coming.
Sometimes, I convince myself how wonderful it’s going to be, that I’m going to curl up by my (non-existent) fireplace, sip hot cider, wear super-soft sweaters and ski my way towards nirvana.
The fantasies in my mind are gorgeous and great, but they don’t deliver.
Nope, not ever.
Truth is, I f*cking hate this time of year.
As it gets colder and darker outside, I feel so bleak and lonely on the inside.
I hole up in my apartment, feeling depressed, repressed and brilliantly blah.
I usually hide and wait for the last sprinkle of snow to melt before I start actually living again.
From under my thickest, coziest blankets, I become all-but comatose.
This year, I’m not running.
This year, I want to wrap my shivering arms around the loneliness, the difficulty, the darkness, the pain.
I want to run directly towards the bone-piercingly arctic temperatures and whirling winds.
I want to catch snowflakes on my tongue and stay up late even though it’s been pitch black for hours and I’m exhausted and my feet are all but completely frozen.
I want to spend entire days alone and just sit and think and write and meditate in the dark.
I want to feel sad and chilly and uncomfortable.
I want to bask in the bleakness, feeling more naked and exposed than ever.
This year, for once in my f*cking life, I am okay with that.
I am actually yearning for that.
As someone who used to spend my days in sparklingly meaningless conversations with people I hardly even liked, unable to enjoy the succulence of a moment alone, the darkness and loneliness is a welcome change.
Yes, the darkness still scares me.
No, I probably don’t “like” it but I am growing to appreciate it.
It’s a welcome reminder that I don’t have to shine bright all the time.
That I am allowed to sink down into the darkness, my soul finally able to take a long-awaited mud bath.
That I am allowed to submerge and soak myself in my pain.
That I am allowed to travel deeper inside myself than I ever have before.
And, funnily enough, that kind of freedom makes my inner light burn brighter than ever.
I light up because I want a meaningful life, not just a happy one.
So, no I won’t hide this year.
Hello, darkness, my new friend, I’ve come to meet you for the first time.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Sarah Harvey
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock