Tag Archives: different


Things change as you get older. For me, the holidays used to be filled with… magic. A lightness, an excitement – enthusiasm. There were stories of baby Jesus and Santa, whispers of presents, and tours through neighborhoods of brightly lit houses. For days and weeks there was a wonderful anticipation and, from that perspective, everyone felt it and longed for what was coming. All of it culminated in a day or two of sheer bliss, wrapping paper strewn everywhere, time to play with cousins, treats always at hand, and ending the day exhausted but falling asleep with a smile on my face.

I’m incredibly grateful for that experience. I know that’s not how everyone grew up. I  wish it was because everyone deserves to share in that goodness.

It’s different now. There isn’t really a ‘holiday season’ anymore. I’m sure others would disagree but that’s how it feels to me. The only thing prior to Christmas is trying to figure out what to buy for others (and then actually remember and find the time to buy the gifts). Then I leave home to return to a place I used to call home. Then that day or two that used to be bliss is still filled with family, but it’s not the same.  The love is still very much real and treats are still always at hand, but I tire quickly of being surrounded by people and dread the drive back. Now, I can see the cynicism on people’s faces and feel the underlying tension. The cousin I used to look up to now actually doesn’t like me, so we avoid each other. Now, instead of playing with toys, we sit and chat or play a game of cards, trying to ignore the questions about if I’m with anyone yet or not. Now, some cousins aren’t even there to celebrate because they live far away or are with their partner’s families.

It’s not that the holidays are bad now. Like I said, the love is still there, which is all that matters. I guess the point is that… the love isn’t perfect. Most of it is well intended of course, but it’s no where near perfect. And the day isn’t perfect. And the weather is never perfect. The presents aren’t perfect. The meals aren’t perfect (though the desserts usually are, I’ll be honest). And the people. Yes, the people definitely aren’t perfect.

What’s fascinating to me is the concept of family. You’re not supposed to get annoyed by them. When you only see your aunt a couple times a year, you’re not supposed to get tired of her. When you have this amazing, huge group of people who love you endlessly, you’re not supposed to miss the quiet of your one person apartment. And yet, so many of us feel all the things I don’t think we’re supposed to feel during the holidays. I mean, no one wants to feel anxiety or depression hitting them square in the chest during the ‘most wonderful time of the year.’ But we do. And going back to the place we grew up to visit all of our cousins and uncles and grandparents and aunts is more difficult than we ever knew it would be when we were kids.

The magic and the children who felt it during the holidays is gone. And you know? I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It’s just a grown up thing. I can accept that.

It’s not that the holidays are bad now. Like I said, the love is still there. And that is all that matters.




To the fixers:

Maybe you don’t know what else to do, so you give a suggestion. Maybe my problem seems easy to you. Maybe you can’t relate. Maybe you see an easy solution and you can’t imagine why I haven’t seen it. Maybe I have. Maybe it’s not as easy as you suggest. Maybe I can’t do what you can do. Maybe your solution is just a step in the right direction, but that same solution is surrounded by obstacles in my life. Maybe I don’t need a solution. Maybe I don’t need you to fix this. Maybe you want to help and you want to take control and fix this. Breathe. Just take a breath and be here with me. This can’t be fixed so easily.

To the challengers:

I see my flaws. I know there are many things I need to change. I’m probably more aware of them than you are. You challenge me to have perspective. You challenge me to think in different ways. You challenge me to think passed this. I can do those things. And nothing you are saying is wrong. But you’re invalidating what I’m feeling. I’m in a vulnerable place and you’re telling me, “Hey. I know what you’re feeling. But stop feeling that. Because you haven’t thought about it in this way. You just need some perspective.” I am allowed to feel what I’m feeling. You make me feel like I’m bad because I’m feeling this way. Just stop. Just hear me. Empathize with me.

To the uncomfortable:

You asked me why I was crying. So I told you. So you made a face that said you understood. Then you looked away. And you looked back and talked about something else. You tried to make me laugh. You ignored what I said. I know you’re not comfortable. I know you don’t want to help me carry this burden. Then please don’t ask. If you can’t handle it, please don’t ask me why I have tears in my eyes. Please don’t ask me how I’m doing. Because watching you see my pain and then ignore it? That’s something I can’t handle. So if you want to engage in my pain with me, then please do. But if you don’t want to–if you can’t– then leave me alone.

To the distracted:

You heard me. You not only heard me, but you said all the right things. You are the closest I’ve gotten to feeling a bit of relief from the sadness inside of me. You have gotten my hopes up that maybe, just maybe, I’m not alone. But you are busy. And the hours and the days and the weeks pass by and you seem to forget everything I said to you. When you see me, sometimes I can see you still remember, but you’re hurried. You have to move on to your next task, your next meeting. You say we’ll connect again soon as you pass by. Or you are so busy and distracted that you never follow through. In any way. You don’t even ask how I’m doing. Either be one thing or the other. Either be my friend, or don’t. But do not get my hopes up.

To the listeners:

Where are you?



I don’t think I believe in coincidences.

I mean, to a certain extent, I do. But, mainly, I think everything happens for a reason.

Today, I got distracted by the facebook page of a friend that I haven’t talked to in years. It’s not that there was any sort of painful break that caused us to part ways. Actually, she moved away and we just drifted. At first, we tried to keep in contact. But our lives kind of swept us away and we just… faded out.

We were supposed to become roommates my sophomore year of college but she called me two weeks before and told me she couldn’t come back to school. I haven’t seen her since.

She was, I mean, probably still is, one of the good ones. You know what I’m talking about? She’s one of those people that… I don’t know. Made me better somehow. Just by being around her. I think I was always a little intimidated by that– by her goodness. I think, maybe not in a bad way, but that it kind of held me back. Maybe actually in a good way.

It’s just interesting to think of what my life would have been like if she had come back to school and we had been roommates. I don’t think I’d be the same person I am now. But, maybe I’m wrong. But, being her roommate might have impacted me more than I can imagine. For that semester, I ended up rooming alone, which was during an incredibly painful time in my life. That space might have helped me heal in some ways, but it might have just enabled my isolation. And if she had been there, would I have gotten to know who is now my best friend who lived right down the hall? Or would she have become my best friend and would I have spent most of my time with her?

I don’t know. I’ll never know. I think that’s what’s fascinating to me about the concept of the parallel universe. One simple change and the course of my life, your life, our lives could be completely different. Maybe that’s not something to waste time thinking about.

I just think it’s fascinating.



It’s not the same.

Goodness. I knew it wouldn’t be.

There’s a difference between seeing someone daily and then not seeing them at all. There’s a difference from being face to face and then only communicating through a phone or computer screen. You’d think it’d be okay. They say that, with all the technology we have, it’s easy to keep in touch with people. But that’s just not true. There are time differences and busy schedules and computer glitches. And it’s not the same.

And I miss you.

And it’s also different because you and I aren’t really dealing with the same parts of life any more. You have someone to be with. And I don’t. And that makes a difference. Usually I have no problem with that and you love him and I do too. But there’s a difference between talking just to you, and talking to you with him in the next room. I’m fine with it and I’m really happy for you, but… It’s just different. It’s not bad. Or good. Just different.

And I’ve never been good at change.

I know people grow up and move their separate ways. I know that’s just a part of life. I know it won’t be the last time it happens. I know. That doesn’t mean it isn’t hard though, you know?

I just miss you. It’s hard living life with someone and then just… not doing that.

I’m fine with it. It’s just kind of… sad.


Missing you.

I couldn’t find the vanilla.

I knew exactly where it should be. I’d been down the baking isle three times. I wondered from it, up and down every isle now because clearly it had to be here somewhere.

A song came on the radio. The familiarity struck me even before I realized what it was. It was late enough that most people were in their homes instead of grocery shopping so the store felt peaceful. I sang the song softly as I wondered around. What had I been looking for?

Did you still listen to this band? Hmm. I never would have heard of them if not for you. I found myself looking for a drink you once got here that I’d never been able to find since.

Where would I be….How different would my life be…. If you were still in it?

I squeezed my eyes shut for just a moment and tried to picture calling you right then if nothing between us had ever gone wrong. Because I wanted so badly- I want so badly- to talk to you. And not to rehash anything or figure out what happened. Just to talk. Just to hear your perspective. Just to hear you. Just because I miss you.

Yes, even still.

But I couldn’t picture what my life would be like now if our friendship would have lasted. I can’t imagine it. It’s taken so many unexpected turns since I knew you. I don’t know if they would have been effected by your presence in my life somehow or not. I just don’t know.

But I do know it sure would have been nice to call you today and here your voice… I so much hate that…. it seems like a foreign concept now. I’ve… I’ve lost pieces of you as time has gone on. I so much wish I had never had to. But I… the person you knew no longer exists and the only memories I have of you… well, they’re actually hers.

The way you cared about me wasn’t fair, you know. The way you saw me wasn’t fair. It didn’t make sense. You shouldn’t have been so good to me. You shouldn’t have been so in tune with me.

Because now I miss you quite terribly.

And then the song ended. Something much friendlier came softly through the speakers above me, like the other song had never played. And no one noticed the change. No one felt like something so, so, so good had been cut way too short. No one felt an emptiness in it’s absence.

Except me, of course.

Now….where was the vanilla?

Missing you.



Change is inevitable. I mean, clearly.

You know what else is inevitable? Strangers. Meeting new people is just a part of life. Within the next month, I’m going to be meeting a lot of new people. And not only that, but I’m going to have to be with them, work with them, and do life with them.

Part of me is excited. This is often drowned out by everything else, but I actually love meeting new people. I love making new friends. I love getting to know people. I love that stage of a friendship where you can literally just ask each other questions for hours. I love figuring people out. Observing them. Learning what makes them tick, what makes them light up. Goodness. It’s so silly. I get almost… Giddy just thinking about it! People are fascinating.

There’s another part of me that’s nervous. The more normal part of me. I worry that I won’t fit in with these new groups of people. Worried that they won’t like me. Worried that they’ll think I’m someone I’m not. Worried that they won’t even see me. Worried that I’ll think I’m making new friends and then something will happen that makes me feel completely rejected.

I’m also worried that I won’t be who I want to be. That the silent me will come out. That I won’t like them. Or that I will like them so much that I’ll be intimated by them and not be able to talk. I’m worried that I will want to be a part of them and they will not want to include me. Or worse, that I’ll just think they won’t want to include me so I’ll hold myself back. And that just sucks. I just hate it because, if I get to that point, I will get used to that and then I won’t change.

I just don’t make friends as easy as most people. Sometimes, I can. Absolutely. Sometimes, I’m a crazy person and I can meet a new group of people and talk freely and I really like that person. She is very carefree and actually has a lot of fun. But, that part of me rarely come out.

I think that’s the worst thing. Going to meet a new group of people and not knowing which side of me will come out.