Christmas, Maude, and Feelings

Hi guys! Welcome back to another blog! I am honoured that you would check my blog during the holidays. People experience all kinds of feelings during Christmas, don't they? This one is about my feelings, some of which aren't all happy, and some that people don't want to talk about. I'd like to talk to you about them, because I think they are important. I hope you will enjoy!

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When I was a child and teenager, I never understood why the Holidays would be a day of sadness for anyone.

Some of the kids in my school used to gripe about how terrible Christmas music was at the mall, and I heard on the radio about “The stress of Christmas celebrations”. I thought they were insane. Christmas has Santas! Presents! Reindeers! How could something that happy possibly make you sad?

Now that I am an adult, I understand. In all 33 years of my life, I’d never managed to become financially independent, whatever that means. And during Christmas, this triggers all kinds of emotions that I don’t want to feel.

After high school, I’d had one well paying job for two years. The rest, I spent in various schools, some ending with degrees while others not, working in places that I liked but didn’t make enough money, I often found myself in situations where I was in one way or another supported by someone else. I say that with much gratitude. In fact, I am so grateful for all the love and privilege that my loved ones have given me, I am scared to fully embrace it. But the fact remains, I’d never became an adult in the eye of the world. I am working on it, and have been for a very long time. But sometimes, I wonder if I was ever cut out to be one.

Last year, when the Holiday parties rolled around, a part of me got very defensive. I call that part Maude. Maude is a little girl who lives inside of my mind. She exhibits traits found in feral cats. This is what she looks like:

Maude said, “I don’t want to meet people! I don’t want to answer questions! Your judgemental remarks are just lurking there underneath the surface, I can see it! You want to say it, ‘this girl is lazy and she is never going to amount to anything’, don’t you? Well then just come and say it to my face you big fat liar!”

Maude wanted to bite and scratch. How dare the world be unfair? How dare people bear judgements? How dare people bear judgements against ME!

Another part of me just wanted to hide in a little hole in the ground. That part looks exactly like Maude except she never made any appearances. And because of that, I never gave her a name. Let’s call her Ghost Maude. When the parties rolled around, Ghost Maude went into a corner where nobody could find her, and said to herself: “Just you watch. I’ll get better and better, and one day soon, I’ll be better than all of you. Then, I’ll be able to show up without feeling bad.”

Maude and Ghost Maude came to bother me a lot. They were making a lot of noise even after Christmas was over. I thought it was really annoying, so I tried to shut them up. You know what, they got even worse! This year, I decided things are going to be different.

This year, I am going to support all of me. I am going to support me where I am, exactly as I am. And that includes Maude and Ghost Maude. I can’t demand that everybody I meet support me. But very luckily, my partner supports me. My parents support me. My friends support me. And more importantly, I support me.

Support. It’s not just financial. It’s much, much, much deeper than money.

In anticipation to the parties this year, I asked Maude and Ghost Maude to decorate their own Christmas Tree. And here is what they came up with:

It’s an interesting tree, isn’t it? It's different than the traditional green and red trees (which I like), but I like this one, too. The ornaments are Maude and Ghost Maude, and my honest feelings, and they are not bad or ugly or shameful. Just like how I am not bad or ugly or shameful, just like how Maude and Ghost Maude aren’t. And just like how you aren’t. I hope that, if you are feeling any of these feelings, or any other feelings that are hard, you find your own way to embrace them, and enjoy your Christmas. You have all the power.

Merry Christmas to you!

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