Last Christmas was probably one of the best that I’ve had in a long time. It was filled with family and friends and presents and food and happiness. We hosted dinner at our house for 30 people and there was no strife, no political arguments, no children crying, no hurt feelings. To an observer, it was a snapshot of a perfect Christmas. My home was overflowing with holiday cheer and for that one day, so was I.
Under the surface, it wasn’t so perfect. I was unhappy and knew that I would be making a difficult decision soon. Some of the friends who attended had their own rocky struggles going on internally as well. But for that one day, it felt to me like we put it all away and just relaxed. Just pretended that there was no tomorrow and no yesterday, and today was a moment that could last as long as we participated in it.
This year has been one of transition and change and hope and growth and happiness and sadness. I’ve spent most of the year completely numb. The only times I’ve really felt anything have been when acting out of character, doing things against my nature, and pushing the boundaries of my friends, testing their ability to put up with me and forgive me. (And can I say that almost all of my friends have really been amazing. My appreciation knows no bounds.) I know that I’m not done, either. That numbness is still there, and there are fears and obstacles I have to overcome before I can let myself feel anything genuine again.
As I sit in my hotel room, 500 yards away from where the rest of my family shares a two-bedroom condo, I count down the time until I return home to my empty house, with no expectations except those I inflict upon myself, no need to fake emotions that I’m incapable of feeling, and no guilt over this desire to be completely alone. This year, Christmas wasn’t Christmas. It was Saturday. And I’m okay with that.