A couple of years ago I found myself breaking up with boyfriend. We had been sharing an apartment together but the break-up came so quickly that neither of us at the time could afford to start new lives apart, so we ended up living together for nine months afterwards. It was an interesting experience to say the least, but it was definitely hard.
Unfortunately, our living arrangement meant that we were locked into spending the holiday season together. I normally love Christmas but that year I dreaded opening the Christmas boxes. Just the thought of it made my stomach churn.
My ex could see that I was hurting and encouraged me to bite the bullet and open the boxes. It felt like I had had a Christmas tree thrown at me; it was painful, and shocking, and itchy, and not at all festive.
After we recovered from the shock, we put on a brave face and decorated anyway, because it was Christmas, and I loved Christmas, and you can’t ignore the things you love and make you happy just because you feel so overwhelmingly sad about everything else. And as painful as the initial reveal of all that Christmas stuff was, it did make me feel a little bit better to put up the tree and some lights and see everything twinkling from outside our building.
I tell this story now because I know there are people out there who are in the same situation as I was – people who are newly single, or still dealing with loss, or just feeling plain damn lonely because the holidays are coming. I usually share fun recipes, or great books that I read, or organizing things that make me happy on this blog. But what I don’t write about are the periods of transition in our lives- of people coming together only to fall apart again – and the natural ebb and flow of people coming and going from our lives is astonishing. It can be a learning experience. But it can also be painful.
Life is hard enough as it sometimes without having to deal with stuff. It doesn’t help that around Christmas talk of friends and family and togetherness is constantly being crammed down our throats. It makes you feel stupid. It makes you feel lonely. It makes you feel like you failed.
For those of you who are out there, going through the same things that I went through, I want you to know that you didn’t fail. You’re not stupid. And I know it feels lonely. But you’re not alone. You are attractive, and smart, and talented, and brave, and strong and although you may feel lonely, you are not alone. Not forever anyway. I truly believe that there is so much love going around in the world that we don’t always feel it, but it’s out there, and it can reveal itself in the strangest of ways. So I’m sending out my love to all those lonely people out there over the interwebs. With love, we can get through the Christmas season together.
We’re all in this together so email me if you’re feeling down at firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking ways for distract yourself over the holidays? I’ve got tons of ideas on projects to keep you busy here.