I type this while waiting at the Daytona Beach airport for my flight back to Boston. I’ve spent the past week in Philly with my closest friends for the weekend, and then soaking up the Florida sun for the rest of the week, instead of pounding out spreadsheets under the unforgiving fluorescent light of my windowless shared office. Returning back to the 9 to 5 grind sounds rather dire at the moment. I suppose the fact that I’ve been feeling rather blasé about my job at the moment doesn’t really help. I’m due a bit of a reevaluation on that front.
As I sit staring out the airport window over the massive Daytona Speedway- it’s Bike Week, and the town is filled with hogs and motorcycle gangs of slightly scary looking leather jacket clad men- I like to think of them as kindly grandfathers who happen to like motorcycles- I contemplate how something so simple as a change of location, a change of climate, can have such a profound effect. Even with the stress of work feeling close by due to a phone connected to my work email (I didn’t do an amazing job of getting off the grid, this time, admittedly), the sunshine has done wonders for me. Although for some reason, the thought of moving to warmer climes rarely crosses my mind in a serious manner, I come to life in the warm weather. I am like a little flower bud that opens its petals in the sunlight, a far cry from my bundled up hibernating Boston winter self. When one lives in place with harsh winters, a sunny getaway is good, no, vital, for the soul. I am fortunate that I have an aunt I adore living in a tropical paradise, whom I can visit to escape. Days spent working on tans by the pool or on the beach, evenings spent sitting in swimsuits in the hot tub late into the night, chatting about life, this is the stuff that my happiness is made of. As the week wore on, I could feel my cold hunched up shoulders dropping, the warm weather undoing the damages of a long winter. It wasn’t even the harshest of winters this year in Boston, we were lucky in comparison to the previous year, but a reprieve from the elements was just as appreciated. I have for many years suspected that I suffer from seasonal affective disorder, and this year, I think I confirmed that it is indeed true. I am simply a happier person in the summer, and the winter causes me to dig deep into my inner most reserves to find the cheeriness to make it through the dark cold months until the sun and warmth come back again. The difference is quite noticeable, and each spring I emerge from hibernation weary and battle worn. I know this may sounds trivial, and indeed in some ways perhaps it is, in the grand scheme of things. Although I don’t think depression, in any form, should be considered trivial. It is at times all-consuming, not matter what its source.
Tomorrow is Sunday and I’ll be back in my apartment in Boston, spending the day doing laundry, buying groceries, and catching up on all the things I’ve been blissfully ignoring for the past 10 days. It will look all too familiar and mundane, but on the inside I’ll be feeling a little bit brighter, my step a little bit springier. It’s not always easy having emotions that are dictated by the weather. In fact, sometimes I feel downright crazy for having moods affected by clouds in the sky, but for now, as the sun shines through the airport window, I’m on the right side of my SAD. I can’t help but wonder if I should think about relocating to a warmer place, where I can feel this way all the time, but for now, a quick 10 days in paradise spent with people I love, will do.