I looked at the road, and then I looked at my fuel gauge. I was thisclose to running out of gas. Our phones weren’t working, we were lost-in the middle of the country with no signs of people anywhere. At that moment it dawned on me that I probably should have filled my tank before driving an hour and a half out of the city…

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I love when the seasons change because it’s always a physical reminder of the cycles of life. Fall is about leaving behind all of those things we need to let go of and embracing transformation. As the leaves switch from green to orange, we are reminded that now is the time for change.

Although I feel grateful for all of the discomfort September brought because I know it’s a necessary part of growth, I was very much ready to leave it behind. The first few days of October I focused on researching fun activities to do in and around Atlanta. People joke that this is cuffing season because everyone just wants to snuggle with someone and Netflix, but I decided this would be a time to explore with good friends and find comfort in adventures instead of the arms of someone else.

In the spirit of exploring Georgia, I decided to do the ultimate fall activity: visit a pumpkin patch. Maybe it’s because I’m Mexican or because I grew up with a single mother who spent a big chunk of time working, but in all of my 21 years of life, I don’t recall ever going to look at massive pumpkins and hay. I messaged one of my girlfriends, and around 2:00 p.m. we embarked on our quest for the Great Big Pumpkin.

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but for a long time I was one of those girls who only had guy friends, so this year I really focused on cultivating friendships with strong and amazing women. I was really excited to spend the day with my friend Melissa because this would be our first time hanging out one on one, and in that long car ride from Atlanta to Burt’s Farm, we really opened up to each other.

We often have ideas about what someone is like, and we seldom take the time to really understand them, so it was such a great experience to really get to know her and appreciate why she is the way she is. “I think everyone has a purpose in my life, and if you don’t have a use for me, I’m not interested in keeping you around,” she said.

I snapped back a little concerned, “Babe, that’s awful, you can’t treat people like they’re dispensable,” but then she explained that it’s deeper than that. If people aren’t enriching your life on a positive level, why would you keep them around? In her blog, she wrote that my purpose in her life is that I offer loyalty, trust, and positivity, a genuine friendship, and reading that warmed my heart. Our time is precious, so we must be selective with whom we chose to invest it in.

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When we arrived at the farm, we saw kids running around everywhere, families picking out pumpkins, and pumpkins almost as big as us! You could tell that fall was in the air. There were little pumpkins, big pumpkins, orange pumpkins, white pumpkins, pumpkins as far as the eye can see. We must have taken a hundred pictures, trying to get the perfect shot, laughing as we fell off of pumpkins and struck funny poses. The little farm was super adorable, bursting with life, and it was totally free – unless you ended up buying a pumpkin or any of the delicious concessions like funnel cake or pumpkin bread.

When we left the farm, we decided to check out a sunflower field nearby. We drove around for fifteen minutes a little lost since we couldn’t use our phones to GPS it. We passed a field, but it said “farm truck parking only”, so we were convinced that we were in the wrong place. I started panicking because my gas tank was starting to get really low until finally, we got service. Melissa pulled up a gas station, and we made it there right as the line hit empty.

FullSizeRender-3.jpgWe looked up the address, and it lead us to the field we had passed before. “It says no parking, but this must be it!” Melissa said. We pulled in and parked. We then spent another ten minutes trying to cross the mud to get to the sunflowers, until yet again we realized the field was right in front of our faces. Isn’t it funny how we always want to make things harder for ourselves?

Fausetts Farm had sunflowers taller than me, with warm yellow and golden tones and stems as sturdy as tree trunks. We spent a good half hour exploring the field, taking pictures, and appreciating their beauty. Eventually, we bumped into another group of girls, apparently, it was $10 per car, and the entrance was just down the street. We had totally missed it! We kept on laughing at how much we struggled to find the field, but in our back and forth we created a genuine friendship that had nothing to do with loud music and neon lights.

We got back into the car, rushing to avoid getting in trouble for not paying and parking where we weren’t supposed to, and as we began our ride back home I felt grateful to have a friend so willing to just jump into the car and explore. When we made it back into Atlanta, we ended our night with two delicious slices of pizza each and a promise that this October would be nothing short of magic.