Thoughts on Fall

| Sep 4, 2017

Amanda and The Golden Gate.

Fall is my favorite season. We don’t really have a Fall here in Northern California. It just gets cooler and rains a bit. Winters are just a little cooler and rainier. Fall has always been a favorite of mine because it’s the season of change. Spring and Summer seem to go together. Summer just seems to be an extension of Spring. But, Fall is when things start to really change.

I have had so many drastic changes happen in the Fall. It’s also a season where my forays into womanhood started to ramp up through the years before transition. I knew I could shave my legs because I could wear long pants. The cooler weather called for more clothes that could hide my maleness. In October, Halloween is basically the TG Christmas. Fall was a time for me to be a girl.

I love the Fall colors. The deciduous trees around here are no match for the vibrant colors of the Appalachian States. The multi-color trees are my favorite. The cooler nip in the air signals football season is upon us. Fall festivals ramp up as Labor Day winds down. The smells of pumpkin spice, apples and cinnamon fill kitchens as appetites call for more hearty fare. Fall fashions were always a favorite for me, as I perused the huge JC Penney and Sears catalogs looking for sexy business suits, tight sweaters, leggings, and long sleeved tops that could hide masculine arm hair.

Not all of my memories of Fall are pleasant though. I never liked the beginning of school. It was always nerve-wracking. I still, to this day, get a twinge of anxiety when I see school supplies at my store or school busses. I can still feel the sinking feeling I had as the free and easy summer days waned and the first day of school approached. College was better because I felt a little more adult and free to choose my own schedule. Plus, I commuted for all of my college days, so home was only an hour ride. I did love coming home in the middle of the afternoon and having a few hours to be all girly before my parents got home from work.

The worst Fall memory was the Fall of 1999 when my Dad had a sudden heart attack at age 53. He died two weeks later. It was a huge trauma in my life. I never thought I would lose my Dad that soon. I wasn’t even thinking about it. We had just started to re-bond in the years before his death. Even 18 years later, although time has dulled the razor-sharp edges of grief, I can still feel the immense loss and trauma of losing my Dad. I miss him dearly.

Amanda, 1991.

The loss of my father did kick my transgender activities into high gear though. I felt life was too short to not be myself. I really ramped up the clothing buying and made bolder moves just to be able to be how I wanted to be for so long. Perhaps I wanted to get caught by my wife. I lied and made up overnight work field trips just so I could go to a hotel and be able to have an extended time to be a girl. I did not get caught the first time I did it in December of 2000, but I did get caught after the second time in early December 2001. This major late-Fall event was to become the gateway from old life to new some 9 years later.

In the Fall of 2010, I left my home as my wife filed for divorce. In the Fall of 2011, I met my partner, I started my transition and I moved away from Pittsburgh, Pa., where I spent all but two and a half years since birth. The only time that I had not been in the Pittsburgh area was when my family moved to Hawaii from late 1979 until May 1982. That was another major Fall event. We moved 5000 miles to a strange land in November of 1979. This affected me greatly as a delicate kid. My first day of school in mid December of 1979 was the mother of all first days of school. A delicate, shy kid is ripped away from his friends in the middle of the school year to end up starting a new school with so many strange faces and different races. I remember I puked on the way to school I was so nervous and anxious. I can still feel that nervousness today.

In October of 2011, my partner was losing her house and she decided to move to South Carolina with some girl she somewhat knew. I was dubious (turns out for good reason) of this move and of this trans girl, whose house we were moving into. I had nowhere else to go and wanted to continue being with my partner, so I was off to South Carolina. It was yet another big Fall event. And, of course, we were thrown out of that crazy trans girl’s house and had to move to another city in SC. You guessed it, that move happened in the Fall of 2012.

In September of 2014, I set out for the San Francisco Bay Area with my now ex-partner, but still good friend. This was yet another major Fall event. It really is amazing how Fall is some sort of doorway or a crossroads of sort for me. I don’t know why this is. Maybe the change of season affects me, or maybe some sort of metaphysical earth vibration or vortex gets ahold of me. Fall is a corridor to new things and major shifts in my life. Some of those shifts were very tough to handle. All of those shifts are indelibly etched in my mind.

Amanda’s new auto pal, Scarlett.

Two Falls ago, in 2015, I experienced another event. This event is still with me. For some reason, be it California, or stress, or my job or some mysterious, metaphysical force, I was stricken with terribly strong anxiety. It was hellish for a number of months, stretching into 2016. I feel like the last two years have been an anxious blur. It has taken everything I have to keep going and fighting this specter of the mind. I did manage to buy a new car in the Fall of 2016. That was possibly the start of my healing. I really like the car and have enjoyed getting decals and accessories for her. She is a pretty, red Ford Focus. She looks classy and sporty with her black wheels.

That brings us to today. It’s September 3, 2017. 4:36 a.m. Another Fall approaches. I feel the ebbing of the mysterious metaphysical force. I am restless and unhappy here in the Bay Area. It is definitely not all it was cracked up to be. My time here may be drawing to a close. The record heat and the smoke from the brush fires are taking their toll on me. It just gives me a couple more reasons not to like it here. I am dreaming of cool, green, fern-covered deep forest floors with tall trees as far as the eye can see. I miss green. I miss rain. I even miss snow. I miss my friends. Will this Fall be a time of change? There is a good possibility, judging by the way things have gone in past years. Happy Fall everyone!

Are you moved to comment? Login here and use the comment area below.

Tags: ,

Category: Body & Soul

Amanda F. Steele

About Amanda F. Steele: I am a transwoman originally from Pittsburgh, PA. I have been living full time for 4 years. I work in retail but am an artist/Graphic Designer and aspiring writer. I tend to address the controversial in my writing. I would love to change the world one article at a time. I moved here to The San Francisco Bay Area to start over, again. The adventure continues...

Comments are closed.