Getting Existential: Are We Repeatedly Hungry For Change?

Credits: Photo - Anonymous, Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - Kensington Crescent NW

This is my fifteenth September in Calgary and I’ve just noticed something. As soon as the calendar rolls from the thirty first of August over to the first day of September, things get chilly. The evenings are chilly, over night drops to single digits, and the mornings are chilly, nay, crisp AF.

Calgary surely isn’t the only city like this, but it’s my benchmark. With colder temperatures creeping in, the Labour Day long weekend seems like months ago (although it’s only been days). As soon as the thermometer dips and the kiddies are back to school something happens in my mind. I have this sense that I need to make changes. I feel the urge to get back to the grind of it all.

“To what,” I ask myself?

I retort, “To it, silly.”

Confused, I probe further, “Right, right, but could you be more specific?”

Upon reflection I’m not actually sure what "it" is, but the pressure of it looming feels real. In the western world a seasonal calendar is ingrained in our life: January you make resolutions, Spring time you clean up, Summer you YOLO, September you get back to slogging, and before you know it - sure enough - it’s the Holidays. Rinse and repeat... repeat... repeat. It can be exhausting.

This seasonality is multiplied exponentially when you have four severe seasons. Obviously a Calgary summer is different than our winter; spring is different than autumn. There are distinctive activities and requirements (clothing just one requirement) every few months. I understand the ebbs and flows of seasons and the impulses they tempt, but why do most of us succumb to the temptation? Is there something cathartic about shedding the previous seasons skin as soon as possible - so to speak – and start fresh with a newness? Isn’t it a bit extreme that we ditch and pivot HAM in an instant?

This clockwork calendar got me thinking: in a city that has multiple, drastic weather-driven seasons and a go-go-go-get-er-done attitude, are we addicted to change? Do we find pleasure in swinging from one extreme to the other so rapidly? We hammer away at summer activities and after Labour Day, we throw away all that fun, button up, and get serious. It’s incredibly intense.

If this rat race is true I have a question: why do we get comfort in change rather than finding comfort in a less rollercoaster-like existence? What would happen if we dialed it back a bit, all year round? Would we be content? Or are we addicted to the feeling of promise or rebirth or second chances via the next thing? Are we that tired of ourselves that we grasp onto it so willingly? Surely the amount of messaging – visual, social, audio, internal – are heavily pressuring us. Influencing may be more accurate. Is it easier to just go along for the more-is-more ride than it is to carefully select which ones to actually listen get a ticket for? I think I’ve gone cross-eyed thinking about it.

What’s the point of all of this babbling, you may ask? I'm nearly there. Kindly stay with me fashion friends. To me, style is a combination of clothing – aka: fashion – and the individual person who is wearing it. It’s a delicious mix. Some folks think they need new things every fall to accommodate this new season. What I am saying is maybe chill out a bit. Fashion weeks haven’t even started yet. There's no need to banish your summer clothes just yet.

Give you credit cards a rest for a quick minute and first look in your closet. Could you wear that huge turtleneck over a favourite summer dress or skirt? Do it. Could you put a cosy jacket over that cute romper (or romphim)? Sure. For those icy tootsies, add some socks to your favourite heeled sandals and go about your day.

This year you could slow things down a bit. Tell all that noise of, “Do this totally different thing right now or perish,” to bugger off. Even for a week or two. Maybe as we ease into fall, we can all take a beat and realize we can too, ease into our warmer clothes while still loving our cool summer duds. Let’s wait for the leaves to fall before we go pumpkin spices latte loco, shall we.