Spring Fever: Marching to the beat of your own feelingsMay 01, 2019
Photograph by Tomoko Uji
For most, April ushers in spring and with it all of its exuberance, daffodils and renewal…for me, not so much. In fact, I dread it.
Phew. I made it through another ‘April’. You may be wondering what in the world I’m talking about. But the truth is that for most of my life, this month of great anticipation and spring exuberance for others — was a month I typically felt like crawling out of my own skin.
Was it a pattern or muscle memory? I don’t know. But for as long as I can remember, I would get antsy and overwhelmed at this time of year. My mother recognized it. I don’t think she knew what to do with it either. She would just call me ‘the wanderer’.
Yes, while spring would begin to stir new growth from the ground, something would also stir within me. But unlike all the perky flower buds that emerged, this felt darker like I wanted to run and hide. Feeling like I shouldn’t be feeling this way only made it worse.
That’s the number we do on ourselves. Sometimes we just need to honor the stirrings.
Let’s just say that my version of ‘spring fever’ didn’t coincide with others around me. While everyone was all abuzz with energy…I wanted to retreat.
While I see this in myself, I’m not sure I’ve made full peace with it. Somehow I try to negotiate it away, to pretend that I’m not climbing the walls inside myself. But slowly, I’ve let down my guard, showed up for those feelings and claimed them.
A new friend experienced this last year for the first time. Like we all tend to do, he took it personally as if he had done something. When he asked me what he had done, I simply declared, “this is just me. This is me in April.”
Even when we don’t have it all figured out, when we don’t know all the whys beneath something, when we are a work-in-progress — the first step is just claiming it.
Of course, I ask myself if these April emotions are serving me? Am I healing or hurting by disappearing?
Seasons look differently to all of us. While most want to run out and play at the dawn of spring — I desire to escape in solitude. This year I decided that I would explore showing up for myself differently and to nurture my feelings instead of trying to fix them.
Why are we always trying to fix ourselves? We all know that our most profound leaps happen when we are uncomfortable, when we are forced to pay attention. But instead of fixing anything, I decided to prep for April and to make a plan. (I like plans and to-do lists.)
My mother was right…I am a wanderer. But guess what? I’ve created a life I don’t need to escape from. That doesn’t mean I don’t need to honor my natural inclination to retreat. In fact, I’ve created a safe work life and personal life where I feel supported. And when I need to disappear for a few hours or a day, I can. And the truth is, that’s my rhythm. It’s who I am.
Be you. Build a support system around yourself of people who see you in all of your seasons. And be the support for others. We are each incredibly, beautifully, uniquely individual. Let’s honor that.
And in marching to this new beat, I’m happy to report (and without judgment) that I welcomed April in a new way this time around. I enjoyed her for the first time — dare I say, she was a welcomed guest. You know what? I think I enjoyed me too, in all my ‘me-ness’!
Don’t hide your YOU-ness. I see you and I love every quirky bit of you.
—Lea Haas, Owner, The Garden Café Woodstock