This time of year has always brought me such bliss and warmth. Nothing can compare to a piping hot cup of tea in your winter cracked hands while you sit in a room filled with the people you love. It seems like there is magic in the air as the weeks lead up to those few days and those fleeting hours are spent cozy and comfortable.
As the years go on, however, I am plagued by the notion that the traditions that me and my family know now, will not always be. My sisters and I are getting older, we are building lasting relationships with other people, and we therefore feel compelled to spend portions of the holiday season with them. No longer are the days of matching footy pajamas as we three bound up the stairs, only to lightly slumber in hopes of getting a glimpse of the man in red and white. No longer are the mornings spent ogling over the tree piled high with presents, and little nibbles from Mr. Clause’s cookies. No longer are we awake when the moon is still high in the sky and we jump on our parents bed to “wake up!” No longer are the Christmas Eve’s spent snuggled up watching “White Christmas,” and singing Christmas carols around the piano.
We are changing.
Our traditions are changing.
Part of me wishes I knew how precious those few years were of it just being the five of us. Soon my sisters will be married and have families and traditions of their own to uphold. Maybe I too will have all of those things.
But for now, I am only consumed by life’s uncertainties.
If you are in the market for testing your relationship, why don’t you try being stuck in the car for over 5 hours, and then proceed to spend the entire weekend with your extended family with zero alone time. I must say … he passed. We have been together for nearly two and a half years and this was his first go at meeting the aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and the like. I admire his ability to walk into any situation where he knows nothing about anyone and come away with relationships. Me? I’m the kind of person that clings to the people that I know and seldom do I push my social boundaries and talk to someone that I don’t know. When I am around the familiar I dominate conversation and I let my outgoing nature shine. But throw in a few foreign faces and I shrivel in shyness and insecurity. He has a way with people, and a way of making you feel like you have known him for years immediately upon introduction. It wound up being a nice little weekend away with him. As he called it … it was “an adventure.”
just a little glimpse of my morning walk. i love this time of year.
I think how quickly things have changed for me. But that’s the personality of change, isn’t it? When it’s slow, it’s called growth; when it’s fast, it’s change. And God, how things change: some things, nothings, anythings, everythings…all the things change.” | David Arnold, Mosquitoland
When I was growing up, I was terrified of anything that would invoke change in my life. The simplest thing, like painting my bedroom, would cause me to panic. Every eve of the first day of school I would spend the day pacing the halls of my childhood home and the evening wrapped in my mother’s arms. Anything to help the nerves. It seems a little silly now.
David Arnold knew what he was talking about. Everything changes. Each day is a change in it of itself. Even the mundane ones. There are the days where we walk boldly in the face of change. But, then their are the monumental days that force change upon us. Someone we love passes away. It’s like a winged letter of change has been dropped at your doorstep. Signed. Sealed. Delivered in all of it’s pain.
I think that the one thing that I have learned despite the fact that change can still knock me off my feel. There are no shortcuts in life, particularly when it comes to growing up, and change is all part of that. It just amuses me that I was and still am a little terrified of something that I am surrounded by day-in and day-out. Maybe it’s the lack of control when it comes to certain changes, Or the fact that everything can change in a simple blink of the eye. Maybe I’m just rambling.
Maybe life is just built upon the foundation of changes and the ever-changing tomorrow for our “somethings, nothings, anythings and everythings.”
My mother always told me I could be whatever I wanted to be. I could love whomever I pleased. I could live wherever I chose.
I was raised to believe that independence is powerful and deliberately sets you apart from the rest. Yet, I see friends of mine living with significant others far too soon. I witness people relying on their partners to help make every little decision, from the color of their home furnishings, to their internet provider. I feel like people are terrified to go through this life alone, when we all know that we came into this world alone, and we will leave it alone.
Sure, it is comforting to wake in the morning and see someone lying next to you. It can soothe you to sleep knowing that there is someone on the other end of the phone who would do just about anything for you. But, I think it’s important to remember that your decisions are still your own, and shouldn’t be dictated by a person you choose to spend your time with. Our own ability to make choices for the betterment of our own lives is the key to happiness.
My aunt has been stuck in a marriage that has only given her a burden to bare. She has a sadness in her eyes that makes my knees feel weak when I am in her presence. I have always wondered why she didn’t walk away? Is it the fear of being alone? The fear of being forced to be ultimately independent?
You should have the power over your own life to be your own person. If you want to take a vacation from your life on a Saturday and only seek comfort in the words of a great book, do it. If you want to treat yourself to a movie and dinner out, do it. If you have a date with a bottle of wine on a Monday evening, do it, and don’t be ashamed. It is your life. Do with it as you please.
Now, with that said, I understand that for some it is the right time to move-in with someone, or to start that “next chapter” of their lives. But, just be sure that it is a decision for you, and you alone. Not for fear of the person abandoning you because you aren’t ready, or because society has thrust the idea upon you that it is the right time. There is no statistical “right time” or “right way” for anything. The decision is yours. Own it. Don’t let anyone take it away from you.
So, I have been working as an elementary school teacher for the past year now, and part of me is having doubts about this career path. Some days I come into work and feel so inspired and passionate about what I am doing with these young students. Other days I peer down at my pitiful excuse of a paycheck and wonder why I signed up for this.
Just this morning I was surfing around job board postings online to see what options there are out there. What astounded me was that a personal assistant position was going to pay 70K, provide a car, a cell phone, and there is no required education level. Currently? I am pursuing my masters degree and I only see money slipping out of my account and not coming back in at nearly the same rate.
I didn’t chose education for the money. I knew that going in I wouldn’t be living a lavish lifestyle. But, sometimes at the age of 23 I want to be exploring the world, traveling and enjoying this time in my life where I have ultimate freedom. I worry that I have chosen my path too soon, and settled too quickly into something that I love, but I don’t know if it’s what I want to do forever. I don’t know.
I really love to write, and despite knowing that I can still come home every day and write and continue to work on pieces that I have been creating over long periods of time … it’s still hard to get up in the morning.
If you have every felt like you are going in the wrong direction, or have gotten cold feet about a major life decision please comment below. I hope I am not alone in all of this!
This month will mark two years with him.
Two years of patience. Two years of reliance.
This will mark not only the longest, but the most successful and the most meaningful relationship I have ever had. Neither of us have compromised the people that we are for the other. We support, boost, and embrace the people that we are. I love that about us.
People always say that there is peace in solitude. But, these past two years have been the most peaceful of my life. For me, there is peace in companionship. When I am with him the noise of it all kind of falls by the waist side. The noise is still there but it’s muted when we can work through it together.
He isn’t one to be sappy or poetic about our relationship, and if he read this he would probably roll his eyes about every other line … but that’s okay. This is my outlet. He has his. What is important is that together we can still celebrate the two people that we are and have become.
I must say … I am pretty lucky.