Wednesday, December 3, 2014

All I want for Christmas is you

I find it hard to get excited about Christmas. I don't want to cut down a tree and bring it inside where it will die slowly, pine needle by pine needle falling to the floor. I don't want to clutter up my house with decorations and ornaments. I don't want to race around buying things no one needs. Some people get pleasure out of these traditions and I totally understand that, but I'm just not into it. I want Christmas to be magical and meaningful and instead it is commercialized and stressful. And then I am disappointed, sucker punched once again by my own impossibly high expectations. I don't want anything for Christmas. Thing being the operative word. What I want for Christmas is the same thing I want every day: connection, friendship, love, laughter. I don't want things, I want people.

Sometimes I convince myself that I don't need it, that I will be ok with whatever happens, that if I don't get lifelong friends and a life partner, I will still be fine. But pretending I don't want something just to save myself from possible disappointment and sadness is futile. Because the truth is that what I want most out of life is meaningful relationships, real connections, to feel less robot and more human. And if I don't get that, I guess technically I will still be fine. But I don't want to be just fine. I don't want to live a half life.

A little over a decade ago someone told me it would take 10 years before I would be able to connect with people. This person was basically a stranger and I should have forgotten the words as soon as they were spoken. But something about the specificity of the time frame - not just years, but exactly 10 years - made it seem almost like a curse. For some reason it resonated deeply with me, probably because I was afraid it might be true. And now that 10 years has passed, I thought...what, exactly? That someone else would come around to tell me that my sentence is up? Like the tarot card lady at Alison's birthday party? I know it's ridiculous to even entertain this notion and yet it speaks to the fundamental failing I have, the inability to fully connect with people.

Christmas only makes it clearer how out of touch I am. I don't understand why we have to run around going crazy buying lots of things to show people we love them. Can't we just tell them? Can't we just spend time with them and hug them and listen to them and go on adventures with them? I'm trying to opt out of Consumerism Christmas this year. My immediate family lives in different states now so I suggested that in lieu of presents we do something together in the new year. I don't know if everyone will go for that but at least I asked.

Last night it was cold and sleet/hail-ing. If I was sitting at home I'd look outside and think what a crappy night. But I wasn't at home. I was TrailsRoc-ing it up at Ellison Park. And we were getting pelted in the face with hail, climbing up big hills, getting stuck in prickers, getting lost outside the park boundaries, sliding down steep hills on our butts, talking about funny things and serious things and I was thinking what a great night. And why can't Christmas be like this? (And then I made myself some sweet potato fries and they were all salty and cinnamon-y and delicious. Because apparently the stove is the gateway drug to the oven. And I'm using pans now. I don't think I like where this is heading.)

I don't even like Ellison Park. And getting hail in my face isn't my favorite either. But it doesn't matter where I am or what I'm doing. The thing about Awesometown is that it's not a destination, it's the company you pick up along the way.

So all I want for Christmas is you. Especially if you know how to break curses.

Lyric of the moment: "The nights are getting shorter. I don’t know where they go. And I am getting older. And it's starting to show...I don’t want to wake up lonely. I don’t want to just be fine. I don't want to keep on hoping. Forget what I have in mind..."

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