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Amber Paulen

Risk It

Today the sky is grey fleece, which means fall is coming. I can’t help but mourn summer’s passing every year. Fall means winter and winter and fall mean more of the introversion and introspection that I already practice in heavy doses. But there’s also the coming cold, carried now in a breeze, which I hate. One year I want to live a year of summers—of light dresses and balmy nights and the suspended twilights that feel like the days never will never end. Summer is a kind of infinity for me: endless heat, endless horizons, endless afternoons. But it always ends, as I suppose it should. And I’ll still mourn its ending, nevertheless.

This fall and winter I’m preparing for another jump into a relative unknown—and I can’t help but feel crazy for jumping, also as I suppose I should. This week I’m trying to get my applications in to schools so that in January I can start studying writing in New York. I’m not far off thinking this is craziness. A friend who just returned from New York said the hopes that gather in the streets there only create a mirage—people dream and no one goes anywhere. I’m not sure where my dreams are gathering. They might just stay behind in the Roman alleys and going to New York will be a well-deserved break from dreaming.

I try not to think of things much beyond finding a job, an apartment, a school and getting Simon and a couple cats into the country. I have found this quote by Jeanette Winterson makes me feel fine in moments of overwhelm:

I have noticed that doing the sensible thing is only a good idea when the decision is quite small. For the life-changing things, you must risk it.


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