I woke up early today to take my friend to the airport at 5 in the morning, and immediately tumbled back into bed as soon as I returned. I totally missed a conference call for TFA, panicked a little bit, but rescheduled it and lingered in bed a little while longer, pondering over the notion of going out to the redwoods for a brisk run. I decided against it because I’ve been feeling sick with a stuffy nose, so I packed up some of my belongings and headed to my boss’ apartment where I’ve been tasked to cat-sit for the next two weeks. It works out perfectly because our dining hall closes for the winter, so having a kitchen to play with is such an awesome deal. I cooked oatmeal for breakfast, ate leftover Zachary’s and made sweet potato fries for lunch, and had some veggie dumplings and broccoli for dinner, with some helpings of vegan chocolate ice cream in between meals.
And here I am now, sitting on the nook of their couch, where I’ve been binge-watching Friends for a solid 9 hours with the needy cats vying for my attention, and thoughts suddenly hit me and I felt the incredible urge to blog. It’s been a while, a little over a month or so, but I’ve been bottling a lot of things in because I do not know how to express it all through words. Lately, it is as if I’ve been purposely numbing myself from feeling– switching off whatever it is that allows me to process deep emotions because there doesn’t seem enough energy to deal with such complicated matters. A lot of things in life feel really, really heavy right now, and I would rather not face them. Call me cowardly, but it feels like the most logical thing to do at my disposal. I am only a 22-year-old trying to make sense of my surroundings, of this world that is filled with violence and hate, trying to analyze why things unfold the way they do. I don’t want to pay attention to the bad vibes, but I have to face it eventually, right? Right.
So here’s what I wanted to blog about right now: I want to talk about how this is the first Christmas that I am going to spend all by myself– but wait, before you start feeling sorry for me, don’t!!– and how completely content I am with the fact. Maybe it is because I’ve been used to it… I’ve been the RA on-duty every holiday since last Thanksgiving, but that’s because I don’t mind being here in HNU. Maybe that is a little hard for people to understand, but I’ve never been more comfortable in any other place in my life. Everybody has a home, and this just happens to be mine. Anyway, I usually always have company during the holidays, but for some reason, I crave solitude this Christmas… it’s nothing personal against anybody, but sometimes I prefer being on my own, especially when there are things within myself that I need to sort out.
I’m not going to lie, it’s probably going to feel a little weird. I’ll probably forget that it’s even Christmas for a moment, when I wake up in my dorm room and don’t see a Christmas tree. But I have complete faith that this is exactly what I need right now. This year of 2016 has been filled with so much goodness: two trips to Hawai’i, a couple Lumineers concerts, my very own car, gave up meat, finished my tennis season on a high note and jumped right into a memorable experience of being a cross country runner, got a 4.0 this semester, and beat all odds and solidified a job after graduation. Aside from those materialistic things, I’ve developed a greater understanding of myself, accepted my body, become less apologetic, deepened my faith, fell in love with Oakland, and just felt a wonderful sensation of freedom that I’ve never felt before. In learning more about myself, I’ve found my voice and I now know what’s good for me and what I deserve.
But with the highs always come the lows. This is just a simple fact of the balance of life. This year, Donald Trump is President-elect of the United States. The world has suffered more violence and brokenness than I have ever seen before. I pushed people out of my life who hurt me. I reflected on my childhood and realized a lot of heavy things that drove me to be bitter for a while. My grandfather passed away just days ago. I was convinced that I was emotionally and mentally unstable and felt very much impossible to love. So much pain and sadness. Too much pain and sadness.
I didn’t know how to deal with grief, and truth be told, I still haven’t mastered it. I can keep getting more piercings or tattoos (“new pain makes old pain hurt less…”), but that doesn’t cut it. I journal sometimes, but my inconsistency and lack of dedication drive me crazy. I can only share my feelings with so many people until I feel like it no longer should be their burden to listen. I know I can always pray. God is always listening, and I know it, and I’m very grateful for it. That’s probably the second most healing thing.
But what I’ve found to be the most helpful, which does come with prayer, is being by myself. I need that alone time to take a step back and reflect on the other great aspects of my life. Often times, when things get really, really bad and they start piling up, I forget to breathe. I lose sight of all the other good things that I’ve got going on. Taking the time to be on my own allows me to fully reflect on why things happen the way they do, and what good can come out of it. Everybody knows that everything happens for a reason, but we sometimes forget what that reason is when we are so wrapped up in all the negativity.
So this Christmas, I am going to be by myself because I need it more than anything. I’m going to eat some bomb homemade food, watch A Charlie Brown Christmas, play holiday music the whole day, plan my next little getaway, write a little bit, maybe go out for a run (but let’s be real here), pray, and heal. It’s going to be really good, I know it.
Happy Holidays to everybody and their loved ones ❤