There are no bells-a-ringin tonight. Christmas time is here, but the reindeer are no where to be seen. The sweet smell of pumpkin pie and ginger bread cookies lies solely in my yearning heart. I sat at the window this morning to watch the snow fall, but instead rays of sunshine fell in its place. (Thenceforth I was forced to put pretty little ones on my blogspace.)
I can’t believe Christmas time is here! One year ago I was living in New York City, shopping on Fifth Avenue, watching the magnificent white horses pull wide-eyed tourists along in their velvet lined carriages. I was checking the guest list twice, bringing the holidays in with a shot, a gulp, and a cheer. Santa left empty red cups and melted jello shots for us to clean up, leaving us begging for yesteryear’s milk and cookies, stuffed animals waiting to be loved under the Christmas tree. The cameras told us stories of our loved ones gathered round, giving thanks for all that we have, throwing our heads back in glee. If only that splitting headache would leave us be, perhaps it really would have been the perfect snowy white ending to another year.
I might be taking a trip to Tahoe tomorrow, catching up with old friends from the prepubescent days of innocence and bliss. I might be sitting by the fire drinking much too sweet chai cuddled in a blanket with my ever growing number of cousins scheming on how to turn this perfect night into a sleepover for the books. I might even be sitting in my room writing about love and fate and truth and hardships while I listen to Jewel on my hard earned stereo system.
Alas, I am having dinner with people I have never met, taking a gift, and hoping for the best. I am taking a trip to Ho Chi Minh to see all the glory that Vietnam has to offer in hopes of finding some reminder that Christmas time is here, and has not forgotten about me. I am spending New Years Eve with people I do not know, wishing I could give my Dad and Mom a big hug as the clock strikes midnight. The one moment every year where it is His birthday, Her birthday, and the mark of new beginnings, the end of all that has passed, and the chance to reinvent once again. I find myself regretting all those years I convinced them to let me be with my friends on New Years Eve, feeling lonely without anyone to kiss at midnight, realizing once more that no amount of music, drinks, friends, and distance could ever replace the love that exudes from my parents’ arms.
I love waking up everyday knowing I am in an amazing place in the world. In my life. In my career. But at what cost? Will my niece recognize me in the years to come? Will my friendships distance? Will my parents blame me for leaving them?
What becomes of all that I am? My support system; the interlocking web of my heart. What becomes of who I will be? How do I reinvent without the people that define all that I have become and all that I hope to be? Do I venture forth or reflect back? Do I bow my head and power through the obstacles that lie before me, or turn back to recognize everything that’s made me who I am?
Am I a traitor or a trailblazer? Do I decide for myself or rely on my understanding of the world to pave the way for the entirety of my life?
I struggle to determine what the real answers are when I have no grounds for perception and comparison. How does one answer the questions that hurt most, the questions that are the most trying, when one has not lived enough to understand…truth, love, fate, and hardships?