It’s officially a week until Christmas. Which means there are only about two weeks of 2018 left. Which is crazy. It looks it was yesterday I was welcoming 2018 coming back to London after spending Christmas at home, in Portugal.
Yup. It’s been a year. And cheers to another Christmas.
But this year was hard. Bloody hard. I dealt with some demons, still dealing. And I think that might have seriously affected the enthusiasm I usually have towards this time of the year, the time I really used to consider the best time.
I don’t believe people change, but I do know people are moulded, shaped, according to circumstance. I’ve been 3 years in London and, oh lord, I’ve been shaped in ways I could never imagine. I don’t think I have changed. I think I just see things more clearly now. And perhaps I am now closer to my true self than ever before. Which brings me back to the topic.
My old self was able to block reality just for Christmas. Yes, I know how materialistic and hypocrite the season can be. How charitable actions are only remembered during this time. How society lost sight of what really matters. And what really is important is in front of us for the whole year. It’s up to us whether we choose to ignore it.
A few years ago, I was working in a supermarket during this time. My life was a bit messy. I had graduated that year, and I had been looking for a job for over 6 months, with no prospects. I was living with my parents and it wasn’t easy, especially after coming back from the freedom I had as a student living away from my family. I had lost friendships and the future didn’t look so bright. And there I was. Christmas Eve and I was selling bottles of wine and other spirits in a crowded supermarket full of desperate humans fighting for time – to get those last minute presents, and to make sure the Christmas table was complete.
I looked at my colleague who was also feeling pretty depressed about that spectacle. This was what anti-Christmas people preached. It was there, in front of my eyes. But despite how bad life looked, I told her
“What really matters is that I have somewhere to go tonight, where people who matter await”
Her eyes widen up as if I had opened the door of a dark room letting a breach of light coming inside – she had a small kid and he was also waiting for her at home. And that was really what mattered.
This year is different though. It’s been harder for me to be in the spirit. It’s as if I’ve lost the will of letting myself to be beguiled. I look back at this younger version of myself and try to find the positivism I had on that moment. I am flying home for Christmas. I’m going to see my friends, my family, my dog, my cat.
But that younger version of myself would never think I would make it in London. I would be here for three Christmas in a row and, instead of feeding the jolly spirit, I’d be looking at the lights, the markets and simply feel emptiness.
But, well, it’s Christmas and I am making myself the favour of trying to at least ignore all the wrong happening around me, as I cannot control it. what I can control is the way I face things or at least try to. And what matters is that I have a place to go, where important people await me 🙂
To all who read this whole thing, or even who just scrolled quickly to the bottom of it, I wish a very Merry Christmas!