The past few Septembers felt rocky and unsteady as I struggled with this idea that, hey, I’m not in charge of everything. It’s a time of transition and change and ragweed, all of which I’ve written about before in a kind of can you believe this? tone that even I am sick of. 


This year I don’t feel so fooled into thinking I am in charge or need to be. This year I keep noticing how yellow everything looks, like the green is leaching out of our landscape in preparation for the brilliance of fall. This year, for some reason, I keep traveling back to September of my freshman year of high school. 

That was the September I tried out for cheerleading and made it, not because I was good but because there were only two more girls than spots and the coach showed mercy and let us all on, though true mercy would have been to point me in the direction of recycling club, which was a real thing because I joined it the next year and littered the hallways with preachy posters made on non-recycled paper. 

Cheerleading and I just weren’t a good fit. I was the cheerleader who always seemed half stoned, and only occasionally because I actually was. I only did it for that one excruciatingly painful fall into winter and tried to laugh about it later to people who didn’t know me then and who would say “hm, I can’t really picture you as a cheerleader.”

That was the September I tried on a completely different me that wouldn’t fit and in fact would have to be returned, but in that glorious month I drank rolling rocks and made out with older boys in backseats of now classic cars and accepted the life I was sure I was meant to have. Once the rolling rocks wore off and the older boys avoided eye contact in the halls, I wrote terrible short stories about a cheerleader who fell from the tippy-top of a pyramid and haunted the school. No shit. Man, I love that period of my life now. I’m so freaking glad it happened. That might not make sense or maybe it does. 

Fall is still one of my favorite seasons. It used to be the undisputed favorite but got put on probation after I got sober. It’s taken the completion of three falls to not equate this time of year with Oktoberfest merrymaking, ie Beer. I think this makes perfect sense. I drank for so many falls…more than 20. Would my brain suddenly forget just because that would be more convenient for me? I think it takes a long time to break some of these associations, these strongholds in the warmest, fuzziest (bald-faced lying) recesses of our memories. 

This September fits. It’s the only way I can describe it. I’m not happy about some things and I feel kind of stagnant, but I’m mostly okay with not being happy and this makes me feel less stagnant. This year I want to take in the yellow of September because it’s only here for a little bit and it’s really quite beautiful.  

Bison! I’ve been looking for these guys all summer and here they finally are.

25 thoughts on “Yellow

Add yours

  1. This was beautiful in so many ways. Your writing is so layered (I often tell that to Christy) and it’s what appeals to me the most.
    Loved the trip back and how you are looking forward. Fall is my undisputed favorite, yet I wrote about winter this morning and even then, it felt like I was snubbing the Autumn yellow. Now, I know why…you were taking care of all that right here. xo


    1. Yours was a lovely post, and thank you. Indian summer is tough because fall feels as far off as winter, and both are coming (plus the prettier one doesn’t last as long). So easy to get swept away, so much harder to stay here in the moment. Anyway, I think it’s neat that today we covered two seasons!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. reminds me of Robert Frost…. “natures first green is gold, her hardest hue to hold… nothing gold can stay. ”

    sigh… now I just had a flashback to high school, the outsiders, and ponyboy 😉 thanks!

    I’ve been enjoying your blog… I’m very early in my sobriety and have gotten many good insights from you. thanks so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome and thanks for your comment! I love your blog and writing and look forward to following you. I hadn’t thought of that poem in a long time and like how it fits for those in between seasons.


  3. There’s some delightful writing in this piece — i.e. “wouldn’t fit…” I’m glad you don’t dismiss your high school self, which is what we tend to do, especially when it’s a bad fit.

    Summer is my bad time, and camping in particular. Survived another one of those, number 4. Onward!


    1. I remember you mentioning camping last year, and can only imagine how that would be tough to relearn. You’re an old pro in year 4. Incidentally, I worked up the nerve this year to suggest family camping, however we only did it in the back yard. Wish I was kidding.


  4. “I’m not happy about some things and I feel kind of stagnant, but I’m mostly okay with not being happy and this makes me feel less stagnant.”

    I just published a post. If I had read yours first, I would have linked to this particular line in yours, and said: this sums it all up.

    For the record you always make sense to me. Having met you, I can honestly validate the “hm, I can’t see you as a cheerleader” sentiment. No offense to any cheerleader reading, but this is one of the highest compliments I can pay a person.

    Just went to our booze-fest of a family reunion, and had the same experience, as in the first time I can go and enjoy without the association and fixation of beer drinking (and in the presence of much beer drinking, so it was quite a feat).

    I don’t know what it is about your style of writing that has me commenting in this stream of consciousness fashion, but I love it! Now I’m going to go out and enjoy the yellow that is September, and think of you while I’m enjoying it 🙂


    1. I wonder if I have any cheerleader readers. Even any short-term, fallen cheerleaders. Probably not.

      Booze-fests can suck it as far as I’m concerned. I usually don’t feel tempted to drink, but it’s the last place I feel like being. A family reunion is a great reason though, and I’m proud that you went.


  5. I’m envious of your approaching fall. We’re firmly stuck in summer here. I wish someone would breed a cactus with needles that changed colors and dropped. Although, you wouldn’t want to jump in the piles. Beautiful writing Kristen!


    1. Ha! Cactus needle piles! Actually, jumping in leaves is a little dangerous because of sharp twigs and spiders, so you’re not missing much. Hope you get a break in the weather soon!


  6. ” No shit. Man, I love that period of my life now. I’m so freaking glad it happened. That might not make sense or maybe it does. ”

    LOVE this.
    I’m not sure how to put into words how this makes sense to me…maybe gratitude for the adventures + learning from the past + no regrets + softer edges as we look back = loving all the periods of our lives.
    I guess the big = is getting older and seeing the truth in all those moments we thought were, well, whatever we thought they were. I laugh now and revel in those stories, they are all gloriously part of me.

    I can’t see you as a cheerleader either, pom poms and dance routines, but a cheerleader you are, here and in comments on other’s blogs…a supportive cheerleader, in the best sense of the word.
    Rah, Rah!


    1. You nailed it….the gratitude and softer edges that come from getting older. And I guess we’re all like perky little cheerleaders for team sober. You can do it, rah rah! ha!


  7. Ahhh the 70’s were IT for me. I rebelled all through high school and used to look back with regret. Now I see it as a chapter in my book that is so different from where I am now – that no one would believe it. It’s fun to collect unusual chapters.


  8. Duuuuude…quit writing so well…lol.

    Fantastic as always. You need to write a book. Or sonnets. Or film vingnettes. Something. Oh wait, you have this killer blog. Ah okay…then I’m all in. {sits by palmtree and reads while the ocean waves crash nearby}

    Ya got the gift.

    Happy cheerleading 🙂


    1. Thank you, Dear Paul. Here is a short sonnet about a film. And by sonnet, I mean not a sonnet because I don’t know how to do one. And by film, I mean Poltergeist 2 because it was just on the other day and you try looking away from a train wreck. Go ahead, try:

      The ghosts called on the phone instead of TV.
      One slipped in through a mezcal worm,
      Nothing like a haunted clown or tree, if you ask me.
      The scariest change by far,
      Was the skeletal preacher Kane and that little song he sang.
      The Poltergeist curse was just building steam,
      With 39% on rotten tomatoes,
      And a worst supporting actress nod for Zelda Rubinstein.


  9. Hi!BB
    Goes without saying that your writing and your increasing sensitivity to so many beautiful things, is reflecting the inner – person you know yourself to be.
    I have had some really special times reading and understanding the world from your perspective. Now, to see you entering another phase of your life is just magic.
    As you see the yellows and greens that faded once, know that they are always there and it is through their stability that we can grow and develop our own confidence.
    In the centre of our country (Australia) there lies a massive rock known as Uluru.
    It literally sits alone in the landscape as if it landed there from outer-space.
    This rock is millions of years old and is one of the most majestic, spiritual things I have ever encountered. But the one thing it does tell me is that, even though things are crazy in the world – even though the weather is crap – even though work is pressuring; that the rock doesn’t care. Uluru has been here too long to consider those trivial ( yet extremely important to me) things, as anything other than a speck of passing dust.
    The stability of Uluru and of the September Greens and yellows you write of, is as simple as it is.
    I am reminded of a book(and I can’t remember the author) that is titled “You’ll See it When You Believe It”, which carries a lot of merit.
    BB, you are beginning to see so much and we are enjoying it immensely.B


    1. I spent some months in Australia (NSW) in the early 90s and never made it to Ayer’s rock. I was too young/broke/shortsighted to see the opportunity as precious as it was and I feel it now as regret. I’m glad you wrote about it here. Thank you, B.


  10. I love the idea of being OK with not being happy. Makes being not happy much easier. Plus, it leaves open all possibilities. I found that when I set out to find something, I couldn’t. When I just set out … I found so much more. This blog, for instance.


    1. This is so true. When I go looking for anything, I usually don’t find it and often miss everything else. I like the idea that real happiness lies in the periphery and includes transient periods of unhappiness or restlessness or whatever you want to call it.


      1. Right. And happy periods don’t all have to be rosey. Happiness isn’t the absence of sadness; it’s having other stuff going on that keeps it from being the star of the show.

        Look forward to reading more of you. I like your perspective.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I love the line “this September fits.” For some crazy beautiful reason I am feeling the same way. Why I do not know, but who cares. What a beautiful piece. This might be one of my favorites that you’ve written. It is what it is and it’s all okay. 🙂 Lisa


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: