‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house. . . absolutely nothing was happening. Thus leaving me feeling completely alone and very sad. I have no real reason to be all up in my head like this, but. . . there’s always a but isn’t there? This year has held some intense emotions. I’ve laughed and cried and caused laughter and unfortunately some tears too. I’ve loved and I’ve lost and I’ve been lost and found on occasion. In the end I find myself sitting at Denny’s on Christmas Eve (ironically in a booth that holds some funky memories). I’m sitting here because I couldn’t bring myself to brave the downtown crowd alone again. To see the same faces – or not, and lump myself in with “them”. You know “them”. The lonely ones, the sad ones, the ones you feel bad for when you’re all dressed up and out with your friends. The ones you feel sorry for because there alone on Christmas Eve drinking to feel better. It’s not the drinking to feel better that I’m craving, but the company. Don’t misunderstand, I have friends and they love me as much as I love them. They are good and loyal and mostly far away. They have lives of their own. I don’t so much have a life right now. I work, I wander, I wait. I wait for my phone to ring and hope it’s a call from the love I can’t have. I wait for a call from an unhealthy boy that I’m not sure even likes me. I wait for my friends to call and tell me about the fun stuff they’ve been doing, I wait to hear about the lives they’re leading so I can feel like I have one too. I wait for my mom to call because it’s a consistent call. I’m lonely. I’m not alone always but I’m lonely. I need to be okay with the state of my life until I can change it.
That is the upside. . . I’m headed for changes in the coming year. Big changes, good changes. I’m going to leave the town I’ve called home for 14 years. I have much to leave behind. There’s much I’d like to keep, but more I’d rather leave. 7 years of sadness, struggle, and pain dominate my memories. I will leave behind the places and all of the associations too. Knowing everyone has advantages for certain, but (there it is again) it has major drawbacks too. It means never being able to put the past and it’s bad memories behind you. It means seeing people out every time you go somewhere and hearing about it later (regardless of how innocent it may be). I can’t even sit at Denny’s on Christmas Eve without knowing someone. It also (maybe most importantly) means my dating pool is the size of a Dixie cup. Everyone knows someone I’ve dated or is their friend or worse, is friends with my ex. Beyond that it’s a college town so half of them are too young – no, no, I tried and have tapped out my reserve for 21 year old boys because even at 31, they’re still boys. I am ready to move on and leave behind the rollercoaster of emotion I’ve had for the past year. It was just too much. I want to put all of the sadness in a box – losing my best friend (or so I thought – and maybe that’s the worst part about it) and the fact that I still don’t understand why and have no closure on the situation. Giving away the last piece of my soul. . . the one I’d held in reserve for so long to a boy who taught me more in 24 hours, than I learned in seven years of marriage. Or the unhealthy boy that calls because he needs me to take his drunk ass home or he needs an ear to hear him and keep his secrets or he needs comfort and a warm body in his bed. . . or the hurts I’ve caused to those I love and even those I didn’t. I want to seal them up and label them “POISON! Do not open!” so I can stop being numb and I don’t know start living my real life.
I try to believe, I want to believe that there is this great fat man in a red suit who’s been watching how good I was so he can reward me with goodies. If I go to sleep can I get one of those tickets for the polar express that will help me believe? Maybe I’ll find the faith I used to have. The one that made “Christmas” an actual holiday for me rather than some overly commercialized non-event. That faith I used to have in “the reason for the season” is shattered and lying in pieces with the memories of good times or at least my illusion of them. I used to believe Christmas was beautiful, special, and amazing time. I went all out and decorated, baked, cooked, planned. I was full of Christmas spirit. I knew all the truths, the baby was really born in summer, the Christians decided to have it in winter to get more pagens to join in their reindeer games, blah, blah, blah. . . I still believed in all that the holiday stood for and meant. I’ve defected. Not because I’ve stopped believing (well, not completely – but I am in doubt about most all of it.) but because I don’t feel like celebrating when there’s no one to celebrate with. Don’t get me wrong, I have a nuclear family (though none of my siblings or I practice any type of religion). And I have a nephew that makes the fat man part fun. Otherwise the closest I got to actual celebration of a “holiday” was solstice and that’s not really a holiday – it’s an event. Scientifically occurring twice a year every year, no hypocrisy or commercialism involved. I miss celebrating. I need faith. Not the radical craziness of my youth but real faith found on my own. I want a reason to celebrate in December. I want to gather beloved friends for a celebration. I want to eat, drink and be merry with them, celebrating – life, friendship, love, seeking, finding, everything. I don’t want to spend Christmas Eve at Denny’s (unless of course I’m craving fries at 2am with my friends) even if Christmas isn’t the holiday I choose. I want to leave a coke for the fat man that can magically make it around the world to every house in one 24 hour period. Maybe, he knows my secrets and won’t stop after all. Or he’ll leave me a sock full of coal with a note saying be better next year. –> –>Either way the coke will be gone and I’ll know he was there leaving a sprinkling of faith behind to refill my spirit.
Even with all the sadness I felt this weekend I still have a smile. I know that the dark cloud is moving slowly by and that next year brings hope for brightness. I will make the sun shine, even if I have to string flood lights in the living room. I will leave the sadness and heartache behind and make a new home. The thought makes me grin even this second.