March has begun, and I can feel the promise of spring breathing down my neck. It’s not quite there yet, but I know it’s coming. Its imminence looming over me like the serial killer in a bad horror movie. We all know he is behind them, he is just around the corner, yet we are still startled when he suddenly appears on our screen. That nervous feeling anticipating the impending doom of what is to come, that is what spring means to me. It’s an inevitable part of the year but still I am knocked down every time it does actually arrive again.
For many people, spring represents the beginning of better times, brightened moods and nature in bloom. A time in which not only nature flourishes but also the people themselves, eagerly awaiting summer. But what if spring doesn’t make you happy at all? What if you are not in love in the season of love? Or when you are not in bloom when nature prompts you to? What’s left of spring besides some fickle sunshine?
Well, what is left is the constant reminder that you are the odd one out. So, get up and go outside! Right?! Springs brings with it a lot of (social) pressure to be your best self. You have to enjoy the sun, you have to do fun things with your friends, you have to have a good time. And if you’re not having fun, you should just pretend to be, you weirdo!
It seems universally agreed that spring and summer are the best times of the year. And if you are like me, the odd one out waiting for Autumn to come back again, then these warm months are quite isolating and cold. Especially with Instagram reminding you every two seconds you are not living your best life if you are not having the same incredibly wicked, life-altering, YA-novel-worthy experiences. The sun is shining, right? So why aren’t you? Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy seeing my friends and I love being outside. But I like these things even more when I’m not pressured to do so.
Similar to New Year’s Eve, spring and summer never hold up to their end of the bargain. The idea is often enough much prettier than its reality. In that respect, you can easily compare spring with New Year’s Eve. People always seem to expect a lot from New Year: The biggest party of the year when all of us count down to midnight, patiently waiting for the climax of the evening. And then? What usually happens after 12 o’clock? Not a damn thing. You’re still drunk. Your resolutions still seem unattainable and going to bed early is getting more and more tempting each year. Because of this New Year’s Eve is often seen as a disappointment. The only essential difference between this and spring is that most people know by now that the idea of New Year is a lot more fun than reality. You can anticipate the disappointment of the New Year. But this disappointment is not shared when it comes to something so universally enjoyed as the seasons of spring and summer, which only magnifies the problem.
But what can we do during these months of sticky sunscreen and forced happiness? Until gloriously colorful autumn shows its face again, followed by winter. Until social pressure and FOMO will leave the season. When it will be perfectly normal again if you just want to stay inside and read a book on the sofa with a blanket and a cup of tea. For now, that means counting down to autumn, with the pressure and the deceitful promise of spring and summer urging closer.
But fear not. I have a suspicion that I am not the only one dreading spring’s imposed festiveness and summer’s thirty-degree weather. So how can we combat this pressure and the isolation that comes with it? I propose a club of spring and summer misfits. The odd ones out. We’ll share countdowns to autumn and hoard Autumn Storm and Winter Glow tea in anticipation of our time. We’ll muse on days where the sun will set before dinner, you can wear comfy sweaters, and all is right in the world again.
By Minthe Woudstra