Fall leaves in Central Park

My First Fall in New York

I tripped over my feet, launched my body into the air, and skidded across the pavement on the descent. Both knees were bloody as well as my palms, and my pinky finger defied its known flexibility. I was shaken, but alright.

This was in September, Labor Day weekend to be exact. And, the thing was, everything wasn’t going to be all right.

For weeks afterward, my knees were so bandaged that I couldn’t climb subway stairs, or sit on the train. My hands were also bandaged and grasping a train pole was difficult — let alone holding on during stops and starts. This fall unhinged the delicate balance that I had created between work, home, and my head time.

The pain that accompanied this fall would drive me to ice cream binges, short-tempered spats, and fits of depression. Whether the pain was the cause of my depression, or whether I was depressed and that intensified my pain isn’t know. Though if I had to bet, it would be the former.

Even as my skin healed, I felt the weight of not being able to exercise on my psyche. And so, instead I walked to the train cross-town instead of taking the bus, drank lots of water so I could trek to the bathroom far from my desk, and took a walk around the block at lunch (but only sometimes). Just to get some exercise, just to find some head space, just to feel better.

Autumn is my favorite season in New York. I love the changing leaves and the chill in the air. This year it began with me hitting the pavement, but hopefully by the time the last leaf falls, the pain and the internal chaos it brought will be a memory.

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