Honest, ramblings

a letter to those who have no hope for the holidays

Dear friend, 

I want you to know I get you.I don’t understand or know your circumstances. I don’t know the deep places of your heartache.

But on a soul level; I get you. 

There are a lot of times in life that dealing with a gamut of heartache sucks.

Anxiety, grief, loss, singleness, depression, estrangement.

All of those are magnified during the holiday season.

Even just finding a template for a Christmas card was a glaring reminder of my relationship status. Every template featured a happy couple, a new home, a new baby, a diamond ring.

But, this isn’t a blog about that.

It’s just an example to you.

I get heartache.

On so many levels.

And I know that yours is oh so different. 

Your story, your heartache doesn’t match mine.

And mine doesn’t match yours.

But I guarantee that there are at least two people around the table with you who could say the same thing.

Who get you.

What I am trying to say is that you are not alone.

And I know that’s hard to read without rolling your eyes.

(It’s hard for me to write).

Because when you are physically alone it’s hard to remember. When you feel alone it’s hard to remember that. 

But it’s true. The beautiful thing about humanity is that even if it’s just the person in front of us at the grocery store, or the barista who makes are coffee- we are not alone. We all have stories and frown lines and spots on our pillow from tears.

We just have to fight the battle to remember that.

I have to fight the battle to remember that.

So, here’s the deal: I want to challenge you.

I want to challenge you to find a new way to infuse joy into your holidays. Make a new tradition, revamp an old one.

I want to challenge you to laugh. 

And be ok with laughing.

And lastly, I want to challenge you to be ok with crying. To not feel shame in telling a story around a fire.

To not feel shame in taking moments to yourself or sitting in the dark with just the Christmas tree on.

Because when there is a heartache so great that it comes to you in times of joy, I believe, for the most part, you can find joy on the other end of that heartache.

Don’t put yourself in a box of heartache this holiday season. 

You aren’t defined by that heartache. You aren’t ruled by it. It’s just one of the colors in your picture of life.

It’s not all that you are.

Even if it feels like it.

And if you ever feel alone, just remember me, in rainy, blustery Bellingham. I’m with you.

I’m for you.

This holiday season will be new. It may still have heartache but if you need some I am holding some hope for you (and cinnamon sugar almond bars).

With love,

Meghan 

Honest, washington whimsy

Sitting in the dark.

I’ve been hemming and hawing over grouping these words into sentences for an hour or so mainly in my brain but also over text to my friend Amanda.
During the holidays there are articles and videos and news segments about dealing with this or that or the other thing. There are lists of coping with depression or grief or being away from home or being alone or being single or divorced and literally everything in between.

I don’t like to add to white noise.

But the nagging in the back of my brain reminds me that there’s probably something I need to say for myself anyway.

I live a full life.

An always-busy-never-see-my-roommate-have-no-clean-clothes-survive-on-espresso-and-la-croix full kind of life.

I honestly couldn’t count on one hand the amount of completely free weeks I had in 2016.

Sometimes I overdue it and I’m learning to say no.

The holidays are like my normal schedule on crack. Presents to buy, presents to wrap, cookies to bake, parties to throw, parties to attend and also sleep and sanity.

I came home Friday night after having beers with coworkers and just sat in my dark house watching tv. Because, along with all the things that the holidays brings it also brings anxiety.

I think all of the lists and articles are good.

But I also think it’s ok to take a moment to sit in the dark. It’s ok to take a breath. It’s ok to miss a party so that you don’t have to “make it through” the holidays but so you can enjoy them.

For me, sometimes I’m sad. Sometimes I have anxiety. Something being a single person during the holidays is hard.

Sometimes I need to sit in the dark.

So I did.

And it helped.

Because I live a full life.

I have people that love me and I love them back.

I have a job and a life and traditions that I am creating regardless of my marital status.

So my mantra for the holidays is this: choose to sit in the dark with some Christmas lights on. Choose to slowly drink your coffee or catch up with a friend while baking. Choose to cry if you need to and wipe your tears off so they don’t freeze on your cheeks. Choose to do what you need to do to enjoy the holidays not just survive them.
Choose to have this be the year that redefines how you live during the holidays.
Savouring, laughing, and maybe, just maybe, sitting in the dark sometimes.