Earlier this week I was able to go out with just a t-shirt on, or at most a light hoodie. Today, I have a winter coat, and walking across a parking lot my nostrils were burning from the dry icy air stinging at them as I inhaled. There is no preparing for the weather here.
I realize that climate change has been offsetting the normal iciness of a Massachusetts winter, but for my entire life the weather has been chaotic and unpredictable. The one thing you can count on is that the weather will not be consistent or gradual. The weather is harsh and unforgiving in any given direction.
I’ve always been pretty vocal about the fact that I’m not a fan of the weather here, but days like today I feel it must be said.
I’m bipolar, and I also suffer from seasonal affective disorder. That is specifically based on sunlight, and gets worse with shortened days, but days like today when it is so cold that no one has any business going outside. So I tend on days like this to stay shut inside, and get less sunlight.
I’m not saying the weather is what makes me feel the way I do, but it is hard to not feel mood swings when you’re reflecting the ups and downs of the very air around me.
The truth is that the weather here is almost always too much. In the summer we have to deal with oppressive humidity, sticking to our clothing like a wet grocery bag sticks to vegetables; in the fall we get the wonderful sensation of never being able to dress appropriately “oh you wore a light sweater? Get ready to freeze you nips off” or “oh you wore a jacket? Hope you don’t mind sweating through it;” in the winter we get such bitter coldness that you feel as though you’re breathing in refrigerated dust, the air itself is a stinging powder of revenge against your nostrils, throat, and lungs; spring is nice. I hope you’re able to enjoy five days of beautiful foliage during three seasons straight of uncut suck.
So I come back to a question that has plagued me for some time, am I miserable because I’m in a place I hate, or do I hate the place because I’m miserable— I should mention, that part of being bipolar is manic level highs, so don’t feel too bad for me, I say miserable here because I’m unhappy with the place my life is happening, but in many significant ways I’m happy with this life.
I guess I know that the grass always seems greener on the other side, but that doesn’t really change the fact that the grass is burnt and brown and dying on this side. (Is it ok for me to state that I come up with some beautiful pessimistic metaphors? I’m like the best at finding the worst in things.)
Today was cold enough to freeze all the happy cells in my brain, but I’m sure they’ll thaw tomorrow and I’ll try to be a bit more upbeat.