I was a sophomore in high school the last time I was single for the holiday season. I was sixteen years old. When you’re sixteen, you have this fresh heart. This heart that is pure and clean and unbroken. This is the heart of a matured child that wants to grow up yet knows it’s best not to. You’re not alone because you’re surrounded by everyone who has ever loved you. You’ve never. been. broken.
But I’m not sixteen anymore and this heart is not so pure and clean. It has shattered and felt things so deeply that it has broken itself over and over and over again and continues to do so even today. I’m twenty-one this year and I’m learning how to be single over this holiday season for the first time in five years. Damn. FIVE years. So, as I’m sitting in the cozy living room of my parents’ house, back from school for Winter break, I think about what it feels like to be single for the first time on Christmas day in a very long time.
I didn’t want it to hurt this badly. I didn’t want the memories from the last five Christmas’ to come flooding back. But guess what? Those feelings, these memories, well they’re inevitable. It can be a lonely time of year, my friends, and I no longer blame people for being scrooges during this lovey-dovey holiday season in which we’re all surrounded by love and rings and engagements and kisses and that look in a person’s eyes when passion is beaming out of their being like rays of sun during a humid, summer day. You feel bitter because it’s not you. The passion is not aimed your way and you’re the one in the corner getting drunk off cheap punch in your grandma’s musty living room as your cousin proposes to his lover and your sister and brother-in-law bring home their newborn son with a glint in their eyes that only a parent can reveal. You’re there. Forgotten. And this feeling consumes you so deeply that you reach for another glass as you only foresee the next hour before you dive off into the great unknown of drunkenness.
Being alone Christmas night is not ideal, and not having that New Year’s kiss is probably going to kill me. I don’t like to be that way or say those things, but it is the truth. After you have a love so on fire that you would kill for your significant other only to turn around and lose them can be one of the biggest losses to ever experience. I would never wish it upon a soul that walks this earth.
So, I’m taking this time to learn more about myself, about what makes me happy. I’m going to continue sitting on this couch, staring at this tree, until I figure out how to be single for Christmas (not that I have an option otherwise.) I think about the money I would spend on a significant other for a gift, and decide I’m going to take that and spend it on myself. The time I would spend with his family, I am going to spend diving into a good book after a long, hard run, while I enjoy a nice, overflous cup of hot chocolate. And on New Year’s Eve, when it comes 11:59:59, I am given the option to kiss any man (or no man at all) that I damn well please to ring in the new year. I can do whatever I want. And that’s a pretty freeing thought. No, it may not be as wonderful as spending the holidays with a lover, but I am trying like hell to make being single just as, if not more, wonderful than having that him.
Yeah, this season of the year is going to be tough, but I’ve had 11 months of the single life to prep me for the next two weeks. I’ve had time to cry and time to laugh. I’ve had time to drink too much and decide to stay in. I’ve allowed myself to make out with multiple guys and make noodles on the floor with my best friends at 2 am. I am going to take every single emotion and feeling I have had since the breakup, combine them all together, and use them to get me through this holiday season alone. I encourage you to do the same. Cry when it hurts and laugh when it hurts even more. Surround yourself with your best of friends each day during this rough time and make memories together. As I tell you this, I’m also advising myself to do the same. BE FREE. CHOOSE HAPPINESS. and I promise it will make all the difference.