I can’t quite remember when I started having to pretend to enjoy the holidays. I know that it happened a long time ago, before the holidays meant being three thousand miles away from my family. There came to be a certain point in time when Christmas just meant stress and the realization that everything was changing. When I was a sophomore in college I had a few jobs and was only able to make it home from a few hours on Christmas morning. My brothers also started having other obligations and soon it seemed as though we never had everyone together for Christmas, so we always tried to get everyone together for Thanksgiving. Then I screwed that up by moving to California and only making a point of getting back to Vermont when someone died or was getting married.
Now I can’t seem to escape the inevitable sadness that comes alone with the holidays. I thought staying in California and working through them would help but it just makes me feel lonely. I hate going back to Vermont because that makes me feel even more lonely and unsuccessful. It hard to be around my happily married parents and my brothers and their wives. I feel as though I just completely missed the boat on the whole marriage thing. I often wonder if the holidays would be a little less painful if I wasn’t alone, but I have now been alone for the past 7 Christmas’s, that’s almost a decade. I don’t know what Christmas with a significant other would even look like anymore.
So now I am just that pathetic single girl who everyone invites over to their family dinners because they think I have nowhere else to go. The truth is I don’t really have anywhere else to go, but I’d rather just suffer through and forget that it was happening. Instead I feel obligated to go and hang out with other peoples happy families. I try to be pleasant and laugh a lot but in all actuality I am just so jealous of people who have their families with them. Even if those families are overwhelming and dysfunctional. I have separated myself from my own dysfunctional family and all just because I am not a strong enough person to face the sadness of being in Vermont. So instead I face a different kind of sadness here. Really it’s a no win situation and as soon as I do manage to make it this very tough time of year I only have two months to prepare myself for another miserable time, my birthday.
I love you. That is it, plain and simple. I love you and I am in love with you. I have tried for years to not be and I have spent countless hours and days thinking about all the reason I should not love you, but I do. I love you. I want to know all about you, I feel the need to live inside your brain. I want to learn about who you were as a child and what you dreamed of being when you grew up. I want to know exactly how you take your coffee and what your favorite comfort food is. I want to know how to get under your skin and really drive you insane. I want it all. I want all parts of you, the good and the bad, the unpleasant and the wonderful. You are wonderful. You have this heart that very few people have ever experienced. You have this deep down desire to help people and be a good person. I love that about you as much as every thing else.
Please let me be the one, the one to finally earn a spot in your life. I don’t know what happened to you, I don’t know why you are the way you are but I love you. I love you so unconditionally that it scares me. Where did this come from? How is it even possible for me to love someone so deeply when I don’t even really know who you are? But I want to, I want nothing more than to know you, your quirks and insecurities and your flaws. If ever there was someone able to love all parts of your complex being it is me. I love you. I am in love with you.
I own a love seat and now a recent addition of a hideous green chair that swivels and leans back way to far. This is where I choose to sit in my little apartment, the ugly green chair that makes me feel as though I am going to fall over every time I lean back. I have found that often in my life I choose the things are just made for one person. When I broke up with my boyfriend of three years and stayed with my parents for a few weeks I could only sleep on the couch even though my father told me repeatedly that the guest room was all made up and that he didn’t want me drooling all over his nice furniture. I could not bare to sleep in the queen bed with the pillows for two.
When I decided to move out of my last place with my friend it was because she is in a wonderfully loving relationship with a guy she will most likely marry. Although I love them both I could no longer sit there night after night as they planed out their dinner and what they were going to do on the weekend. Every night the three of us would sit in the living room, me in an old leather lazy boy and them on the couch, hugging and talking to each other as if they were five. When I finally told my friend that I could no longer live in a house with her and her boyfriend I found the worlds smallest place to move into.
My apartment is a tiny little mother in law unit in the back yard of a rental house. It has no stove, but I don’t like to just cook for one anyway. The bathroom is small enough that I would be able shower, brush my teeth and do my make up all at the same time. My refrigerator would never suffice for a normal person but I really don’t feel the need to have to much food in my house. I looked at a lot of other places before moving here, this one just felt right. I didn’t realize it until I got everything in and then didn’t want anyone who I wasn’t very close with to see it, that I moved here because this place is for one person.
I have a fear of to much space, space that is meant for two people. I know someday I want to live in a normal size apartment and feel comfortable on a love seat, but I just don’t think those things are made for me. I sleep at the very edge of my bed every night, curled up in a little ball almost falling off. I’m surprised that I haven’t resorted to sleeping in a twin bed. I fear that the longer I stay single the more accustom to my ‘made for one’ life style I will become. Will I even want to sit on the love seat if the opportunity arose? Will I resent having to go grocery shopping so I can cook dinner? Maybe I am just meant for this life of one.
All I can do is laugh as I hang the shower head over the back of the toilet basin. The water is far to scalding hot to be able to actually stand under it and since the cold water pipes are frozen I decided to use the really hot water to fill up the toilet so I can flush it. I wait until the hot water has run out enough to be able to stand under it. Now it’s just a matter of showering fast enough before the water gets to cold. The whole scenario is beyond ridiculous and although I find humor in it I can’t help but be saddened by the fact that I’m all alone.
I am aware, on a daily basis, that I am all alone. However it is not until things start to go wrong that I get really sad and resentful that I am all alone. It started a few days ago when my internet stopped working. I know that it seems pathetic that such a small thing can upset me but for me it is my background noise, to stop the feeling of being all alone. If I am home I have noise on and that comes from stupid shows on hulu or Pandora. So when I don’t have the internet I don’t have a distraction from my thoughts. Having no internet I decided that I would make use of my time and make a face mask that I saw on Pinterest, yes another need for the internet. This face mask is a combination of coffee grounds and other things. I slop it on my face and wait for it to do it’s trick. Then I turn on the shower as I get undressed, but something is a miss, the water does not seem to be draining. At this point the egg whites that are in the face mask are beginning to make my face hurt. I have to get into the shower and get this shit off of my face before my skin falls off. But there is no safety drain on the shower because I live in a make shift shoe box of an apartment. I jump in and try to shower as quick as possible. The coffee grounds are sticking to the shower wall and curtain as the water starts to flow over onto the bathroom floor. I stop the shower with gobs of conditioner still in my hair. I run into the kitchen to grab the largest Tupperware I have to start scooping the coffee ground soapy water into the toilet so I can flush it. At this point the coffee grounds have made their way to the inside of the toilet bowl and all over the floor. The conditioner is starting to drip into my eyes and I decided the best way to rinse my hair is in the kitchen sink. I have no idea what to do about the drain, it had been working fine the day before. I get down on my knees and stare into the murky water and start a combination of laughing and crying. This would be the case for the following four days.
I was able to unfreeze or unclog the drain with a really scary chemical that took the nail polish off my fingers just by holding the bottle. I was so relieved that I could once again shower but within a 24 hour period the temperature dropped down to negative 15 and I woke up to no cold water. Without the cold water I could not flush the toilet, hence placing the shower head over the back of the toilet basin to kill two birds with one stone.
The thing is that I can handle all of this, I can figure things out and solve these stupid issues but I just don’t want to do it alone anymore. What is the point of having all these bazaar things happen without having someone to laugh with, or having someone to cry to? It’s not that I need a man to come in a save the day but it would be nice to know that I have somewhere to shower when everything freezes. I feel as though I have proved myself time and time again. I am a very capable human being who can handle most things that life has to throw at me. But at what point am I going to have someone to go through all of life’s shitty times with? When is karma going to be on my side and make all of these terrible times seem worth it?
It’s snowing. The kind of soft snow that is just barley covering the ground even though it’s been snowing for a several hours. It’s beautiful and makes me want to be in love. It’s the kind of snow that can make you feel terribly lonely and sad while all along being in awe. The snow fall seems to invoke the power of all of my memories, the wonderful ones of having someone in my life and the frightening ones of being all alone.
The coming of winter is always a strange time for me. It’s signifies a renewal and a certain cleansing. It’s clean, it covers up so much of the ugly that is left behind from fall. Winter makes me want to be loved more than any other season , it’s perfect weather to have someone to come home to. But even without having someone to come home to, I still am always relieved when winter rolls around.
Fall is when my life almost came to an end. Although it is now close to six years ago since I hit rock bottom and ran away from my life, the fall always brings with it a twinge of those hard to face feelings of the past. I fled three thousands miles away and left everything that resembled my prior life. I left all of my family and supposed friends to completely change who I was. I have spent these past six years really trying to better myself, reinvent myself and erase all remnants of who I ever was.
Moving to where the trees don’t drop their leaves I thought would help ease the pain of fall. Growing up in Vermont the fall was by far my favorite season. I loved everything about it, the smell, the colors and even the gray after all the leaves dropped. I would be sad when the snow would come, especially knowing that it would not go away for a very long time.
It was the end of September when I sat crying in the middle of the driveway, clutching the phone as I told my father I needed help. I gave a months notice at all three of my jobs and stayed with my parents, driving over two hours everyday to go to work. By the end of October I was unemployed and more lost than I had ever been. I would lye on my parents couch and think about all of the steps that lead me to wanting to tend my own life. I watched the leaves change color, I watched them turn brown and I watch them fall to the ground. I watched all of this through crying eyes, through Nyquill and Benadryll induced naps and the worst pain that I had ever endured.
Then the snow fell and I got up. I got off the couch and stop crying long enough to plot out my escape route. The snow covered up the ugly long enough for me to function. I always thought that I hated winter, but that year it saved me. It gave me the blank slate I needed to make a change.
I made the change but the feelings still remain. Every fall I feel a little bit of me struggling and falling back to the dark place. But then God makes the snow fall and once again the ugly is covered up and I can breath again and continue on my path to out run my past.