- London Christmas // Oxford Street
Where is Home?
Before age 10, I had moved 7 times. The last move brought us to a lovely, diverse city in Michigan that I was lucky enough to spend most of my formative years in, even after my parents divorced. My dad lived in Chicago, about 400 miles away, and before I graduated high school, my younger brother moved in with him. My older sister peaced-out to Michigan while I was in college and my mom moved twice between the four years I had graduated high school and college.
“Going home” during breaks always took on a new and different meaning then.
When the hubster and I left Michigan to move down to Florida so he could start medical school, I didn’t leave a single blood relative behind in Michigan. They had all already left.
As people start talking about “going home” for the holidays, pangs of sadness always remind me of that tender spot. Gosh, how nice that must be; to have a home base, somewhere they always know will just be there.
There’s nowhere for me to “go back to.”
I don’t have a home.
Quite frankly, I haven’t had one since I was a teenager.
- Hong Kong Christmas // The Peninsula Hotel
Being Alone on the Holidays
This isn’t being shared for sympathy, but rather for community. To commiserate amongst the droves of you who share less than idyllic feelings about the holidays. This is Not Your Average Gal after all. Even if I’ve made a lovely home of my own now in my ripe old age, there’s still some loneliness associated with the holidays.
At the current time, my husband, sister, brother, dad and I all live in 5 different states: Michigan, Oregon, Nevada, Minnesota and Florida. I’m also pretty positive we live at least 1000 miles away from each other. Yup, just Google-mapped it. Ha!
Traveling each holiday to be sure you aren’t by your lonesome gets expensive and exhausting. And it’s okay to say, “No.”
It just means you may find yourself alone on the holidays.
AND THAT’S OKAY TOO!
You’re not an awful person. You’re not socially inept. You’re not being shunned because you may be on the next episode of, “Hoarders: Buried Alive.”
There is nothing wrong with you.
It just didn’t work out this time because of schedules, lack of planning, lack of money, lack of sanity, lack of Xanax, WHATEVER.
You are truly not alone; so many other people experience the holidays by themselves. So much so, it’s really not correct to say that you’re alone. You’re truly amongst a large crowd.
- Sydney Australia Christmas // Darling Harbour
Feeling Sad Around the Holidays
The holidays bring along a myriad of mixed emotions for so many people! People who even still hang out with their families discussing politics over dried-out turkey while tapping the bottom of the wine bottle to make sure they got every last drop. (What? It’s good stuff.) The holidays cause familial anxiety, fuel the need for perfection and play into our materialistic desires.
Heck, you could be surrounded by a room full of jovial relatives and still want to cry in a corner. It’s not just about feeling lonely; it’s about the constant barrage of perfect holiday charm and feeling, well, less than perfect.
It’s all bullshit, pals! That fake crap they want you to buy into? It’s not fulfilling.
The holidays may be dotted with Starbucks Toasted White Chocolate Mocha, cutesy decorations, terribly cheesy (but amazingly awesome) Hallmark Christmas movies, beautiful, almost-Goddamn-perfect family holiday cards, and fun, open bar office parties for you, but it’s not like that for everyone.
For some, the holidays are a reminder of (for however brief) how alone they
are feel, the tension with toxic friends or family or the sadness from friends or family who have passed. The reason for the season goes far beyond the dollar bins at Target and nestle their way into your heart. It’s about friends. It’s about family. It’s about love. It’s about connection.
So if you’re feeling less-than-connected or don’t have a place to call “home” this holiday season for whatever reason, don’t beat yourself up. So many people are in similar situations and feel the same way.
Just remember, the people trouncing around with their Starbucks red cup in one hand, while beaming about how glorious this season is, may really, hand to heart, feel like that. They may also go home and stab the holiday voodoo doll they own to help keep up with this Christmas charade.
It’s not all sugar and spice and gingerbread nice, guys.
So be a babe and make an active choice to be kind to everyone, especially this time of year.
And from my less-than-perfect, chaotic life to yours –
Happy Holidays, Not Your Average Gals and Guys!
- London Christmas // Hilton London Bankside
For those of you wondering, I’m actually not going to be alone this year! The ER doc hubster is working again on Christmas Eve and Christmas (some heroes don’t wear capes) but I’m spending it with my dad and stepmom in Minnesota. I cashed in some unused Delta Skymiles and decided to go after the hubster reminded me I was really talking like, a whole heck of alot, like, please shut up, about being alone on Christmas. Besides, that’s why we accumulate our frequent flier miles, right? Just so you’re not the crazy lady sitting alone at the pool in a santa hat drinking a Bloody Mary this year again.