Autumnal Ennui

Transitioning from one season to another can often be an exciting thing, but more often than not, it can be mundane going from one chapter to the next. It can be analogous in life, as seasons often mirror the mental, emotional, and physical evolution of the self. When a person is constantly evolving, moving from summer to fall inspires new aspirations, ambitions, and dreams. And yet, since we are human and not impervious to fall into a pit, it may not always be the case. If summer provided wonderful opportunities and amazing new experiences, fall can be perceived as a graveyard for what once was. Perhaps that may be a tad histrionic, but that is what is can honestly and viscerally feel like. The meaning behind the word ennui derives from the language to mean lifelessness due to a lack of excitement. In succinct prose, it essentially means a lack of drive in life originating from boredom or inspiration. In fact, as I will continue on this tangent, it can be easy to lie in the ennui and let life pass you by, becoming a character in your story that you read about as opposed to experiencing it firsthand. If life is akin to a story or novel, rereading the same chapter over and over and over again induces nostalgia and boredom. Likewise, life shouldn't revisit things past. That is not to say to appreciate what has occurred or learn from the past, but don't live in it. So, the question I pose is how to get over this autumnal ennui? Surprisingly, there are simple things that you can do that not only brighten your spirits, but also inspire you in a way you never would have imagined.

1. Build upon your wardrobe by purchasing fall-esque pieces.

This is not to sound petty or completely materialistic, but buying a new top or skirt can put a smile on your face. Plus, if it a wardrobe staple that can function in the fall as well as other seasons, it can be extremely versatile. Also, mixing and matching pieces in your closet is a fantastic way to go shopping in your own closet. Pairing pieces of clothing together that you already have creates a different look every single time you step out of your room. In the meantime, the effect of a compliment paid to a person largely beneficial. Who doesn't like hearing something nice about themselves, particularly when it's about how you look? Precisely. I must add that it isn't about vanity; rather, it is the recognition that humans being the sociable creatures that we are like hearing nice things about ourselves (particularly if it's true). A boost of confidence is always a great thing. So go ahead, buy those heels you've been eying and the skirt you've lusted for some time now. Wear it proudly. 

2. Rearrange your room/apartment/suite/dorm

Rearranging your room or apartment or wherever you live is such a simple thing to do, but it can do so much more than merely moving around pieces of furniture. It can create new space, it can remove clutter, it can provide locations for old things to leave and for new things to take its place (my apologies for the profuse use of insightful metaphors), and to add little knickknacks here and there. Purchasing an ornament in your favorite color can provide a burst of color in your room, a sense of vibrancy, and a pop of color stimulates the mind. Adding lights can create a peaceful and contemplative ambience. Starting a library of your own is always a great place to start. Maps are a fantastic way to inexpensively decorate the room. (Plus, glancing at the map can inspire you to travel and see the world.) Adding throw pillows to liven up your bed spread. Lamps are always a good idea. Simple suggestions that can ultimately change the entire mood of your room. 

3. Flowers

I have this recent obsession with flowers. I'm not exactly sure and I'm not sure if I can explain why, but I can't stop looking at pictures of flowers and flowers in vases. Whether you prefer to have real flowers from the supermarket or fake flowers, it really doesn't matter. It's all a matter of preference. But I will add, having real flowers does smell nice...It adds color to the room in addition to providing a sense of femininity. Putting them in vases is the real fun, though, because the possibilities are literally endless. You can put them in tall vases, short vases, wide vases, lean vases, etc., etc., etc. At the end of the day, having flowers are a minimalistic way to add a certain je nais c'est quoi to your room. It not only looks nice, but it can also smell nice, if you get real ones. 

4. Read. This isn't some literati post that is supposed to tell you that reading is a wonderful way to tell you the world of literature. The world of Austen,Tolstoy, Dumas, or Fitzgerald. While I can very much that literature is a strangely dazzling yet marvellous realm, I'm suggesting reading for an entirely different reason. Rather than reading for your classes or because you're assigned to, read a book for leisure. Read about travel. Read about what makes you happy, sad, passionate, or peaceful. Regardless of the reason, read for the simple sake of experiencing the emotions of that novel. Experience the protagonist's delight, heartache, and accomplishment. Vicariously time travel to Vienna in the '70s. For whatever reason, just read. 

5. Gain variety in your makeup. As a college student, I don't have a lot of time in the morning to develop extravagant makeup looks and I migrate towards a particular look. But quickly, I realized that I entered into a makeup rut. I always had the same look, the same application, and even the same colors. Instead of doing what you routinely do, try new colors, try a different look, wear a different color lipstick, wear a lipstick for a change. Try something different. Having a different makeup look every day enhances your features in a different way every single time. You express a lot of yourself through your makeup, so let your palette do the talking. Be the woman that when you walk through the room, all eyes are on you and question who you are. "Who is that woman?" everyone whispered to each other with urgent curiosity. Wear eggplant eyeliner, wear maroon lipstick, wear plum eyeshadow, highlight your lips. Doing something different with your makeup can really boost a woman's self-esteem and confidence. But it really showcases your beauty because when you do something different and yet people still can't stop looking at you...It's not because of the products. It's because of the beauty and radiance that precedes the cosmetics. If you are aware of the plethora of talent in the Youtube world, then you also know that it can be the perfect canvas for experimenting with makeup and hair and other things. Among the endless list of beauty bloggers, my personal favorites are ZoellaTanya BurrPixiwooChloe Morello, and Fleur

6. Take a weekend trip. With an unquenchable desire to travel, even going somewhere for the weekend is a good place to start. Anywhere within 6 hours is the perfect time because it provides ample car time for jamming out to tunes, chatting with your road trip companions, and experiencing the stops along the way. Whether it's NYC, Boston, Charleston, or Philly, enjoy it for the weekend. Have the 3 days away from whatever it is that you return to on Monday. See new things, try new foods, and meet new people. Go out and experience the world. 

7. Go for coffee dates.

That may include actually going out to a coffee shop, but it can also include making coffee and going to someone's room or dorm and spending the hour discussing anything other than routines and assignments. If you decide to go to a coffee shop, go with people, go with someone else, or go by yourself. Soak in the atmosphere.  Bring a book to read. Talk to someone near you. You never know what might happen...If you decide to stay indoors, talk about ambitions, goals, travel plans. You can surprise yourself where the conversation may lead. Above all things, enjoy yourself. 

I certainly hope that this post has inspired you in some way. It may not even necessarily be anything that is on this list. It can be to see that indie movie playing at the local cinema, baking a new recipe, or taking up dancing. It can be anything. Whatever it is that you enjoy or can frighten you (in the best way possible). Enjoy this season. It will be the only Autumn 2013 you will ever have, so enjoy it and make it memorable.