I hope you, dear anonymous Internet reader, have been enjoying your holiday season, whatever that looks like to you. Me, I’ve been muddling through and trying to enjoy it as much as possible. I knew this year would be weird and harder than most, so I’ve tried to throw myself into it as much as possible. I’ve spent a ton of money this year on gifts and I’m really not mad about it. Sure, I’m perpetuating the rampant consumerism that’s all around us, but I’ve gotten some really awesome gifts for my family and friends (if I don’t say so myself) and am happy with it. I was afraid I’d lose all joy for Christmas this year and this has helped a bit.
The real reason I headed over here for a post wasn’t just to ramble about Christmas, or even directly to procrastinate more on this paper I’m writing (it’s like pulling teeth). I need to blow off some steam and this is the only way I really can.
I spent a good chunk of my life playing the why game with myself. Why didn’t my Dad want anything to do with me, why didn’t he fight for me, why didn’t his family want anything to do with me, why wasn’t I good enough, why, why, why. To be honest, it got a lot worse after my grandma, my dad’s mom, died in 2008. That side of my family got in touch with me because she asked to say goodbye to me. So I said goodbye, and she passed away, and it was sad. It was also weird and uncomfortable because I spent time with family members I hadn’t seen in upwards of 10-12 years, many of whom I didn’t remember much. At the time, though, I took it as a sign. I wanted a relationship with these people. I went out of my way to attend birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Long story short, and without naming any names or bashing anyone openly, that side of my family was less than welcoming. Aside from a couple of well-intentioned folks, nothing happened with anyone else. At best, they ignored me or weren’t openly hostile. At worst, one person told me my mom had raised me to be a disrespectful brat. Either way, it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to, but I’ve always kind of harbored that small resentment. Earlier this week, I reached out to one of my family members for a recipe for some fruitcake my grandma used to make. My mom told me it was delicious and I really wanted to try to make it. Instead of giving me the recipe or even saying no, this person just blocked me on Facebook. Normal reaction, right?
I guess this sounds really stupid when I put it all out there like that, but I really wanted to make this and it was an eye-opener for me. It doesn’t do to dwell on the fact that these people don’t want me, not when I have a family all around me and friends all around me and coworkers all around me who choose me every single day. People who embrace me, love me, listen to me, cry with me, care for me, every. single. day. I have a great job, house, dog, car, family, friends, education. I am doing just fine. And this is empowering to me.
Sometimes God closes door and you just need to fucking leave them closed, whether you understand it or not. Tis a valuable lesson.