Austin weather can be searingly hot but lately it's been my favorite kind of weather: hot bright sun with a cold, cold breeze. I know that smell is supposed to be the most evocative scent but for me weather is even more nostalgic. For some reason the breeziness reminds me so deeply of high school, where I didn't have many friends and got by each day by telling myself that college was going to be a magical fun time full of happiness and troubles I could call "challenges" instead of "difficulties." Things were supposed to just be better once I got out of my city.

Of course, college is not some panacea for a lost young person. If anything it can exacerbate the things you want to run away from. Freshman year was a terrible time. I remember trying to be happy. I would go outside when the weather was like this and write and read and try to be a hardworking adult. It felt like I was playing dress-up. Often I was more concerned with looking like a responsible person to total strangers in a coffee shop rather than being a responsible person.

I really associate this weather with trying and hoping and feeling uncertain. Sometimes I get the good side of the coin where I can treat my uncertainty as nothing at all. Other times I feel like I'm forcing myself to hope for a better time because other people seem to be able to do that, so why shouldn't I?

Lately, though, it's been brighter. Which is why I edited the photo like this - light and breezy with some cold undertones but lit up with a warm glow. I think with any kind of hope there's a lot of uncertainty (if you weren't unsure, it would be called an expectation and not hope) but that's what makes the feeling so powerful, and for me, nostalgic. This is a new year, I've just turned twenty. I'll have something new to worry and think about - an entirely new decade. But instead of simply wishing like I did in high school, and in my freshman year, I've also drawn up a list of things I want to accomplish. I don't think I'll finish all of them, but I deliberately overshot so I'd feel more internal pressure. I'm excited. This list is like a tangible piece of the weather - warm, and so inviting.

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