i've come to terms with the fact that i am missing a lot of "emotions" in my brain that most other people seem to have. i am not sentimental. i'd rather risk hurting someone's feelings than bullshitting with them. the only person that gives me "warm & fuzzies" is my husband & it comes in the weirdest ways. i don't understand the feeling of a holiday feeling special. it's just a day, isn't' it? thanksgiving doesn't make me feel any more thankful than i did the day before. christmas doesn't make me want to spend time with people any more than it does the day after. easter definitely doesn't make me want to go to church. valentine's day doesn't make me feel more in love. paid holidays make me thankful for a day off work & time with ryan & that's about it. i'm not sure i understand why a big deal is made of all them. i don't particularly remember ever being really into holidays but i'm sure as a kid i probably enjoyed them more than i do now. i know this is nothing new; there are a lot of scrooges in this world but when you're the only one in your family & friends group, it can get uncomfortable.
i stopped decorating for christmas 3 years ago because i've never enjoyed it & finally realized that i was definitely not doing it for myself. every year growing up, we had the same tradition as everyone else that celebrates christmas. you decorate for christmas the day after thanksgiving. a lot of people look back fondly on that tradition & that's why they continue to do it their entire lives. me? i look back & remember the yearly dread of having to go up in the attic, pull everything down (the joys of being the smallest, youngest & most helpful) & then putting that damn 8-foot tree up, limb by limb. i hated it. the only thing i ever wanted to do was put up this one little nativity scene we had. no idea why. after the decorating was done, i then had weeks to let my anxiety boil about all of the christmas gatherings to be had in my future. that has never changed. as i've gotten older, i've stopped going to most things that aren't for someone who i cherish extra. i'm not going to go to a work party just because there is one. free food is not worth it. i'm not going to go to a funeral because i knew someone who died. funerals don't bring me closure. all they do is trigger my anxiety & i feel like that's definitely something that is a personal choice that nobody should have any say in. i'm not going to go to an extended family wedding or celebration just because my mother asks me to. listening to snide comments & jokes from family members that i have nothing in common with, while trying to play nice & smile for my mother's sake is not how i want to spend my time. it makes a lot of people mad. they don't get it. my mom thinks it's my dad's fault & my dad thinks i'm just a dick but truth be told, when it comes down to it, i just cherish myself & my time too much to put myself in situations that make me miserable. hanging out with a bunch of trump supporters equals my idea of miserable. joking, not joking?
the second worst thing about christmas (& birthdays) in particular is gifts. please don't buy me gifts & please don't expect me to buy you gifts. i am not a gift giver & never have been. it doesn't make me feel good to give them & most of the time unless it's something i really need, i don't feel good about getting them either. (there's a 99% chance that if you buy me an object, it will end up in my donation pile anyway so you're just wasting your money in most cases.) on that note, why the hell do we expect people to open gifts in front of us? it can be so traumatizing to a person & here we are, making kids do this from the time they're born. i remember being in elementary school & always feeling like i'm dying inside every time i had to open gifts at a party. my 16th birthday? my mom threw me a huge party & gave me a car in front of all of my friends & family. i remember the feelings from that day like it was yesterday. that panic i had when i realized what was happening & that i was going to have to quickly come up with some sort of vocal/physical reaction to getting a car. i was crazy excited about the car but it didn't matter because i "didn't show it". saying thank you & giving a hug isn't the expected reaction. people want some yelling & jumping. i don't yell & i definitely don't jump. people: meet jana, a guaranteed lifetime of disappointing reactions & interactions. jana: meet holidays. your time to really shine.
i say all this to say, if there's someone in your family or friends group that doesn't participate in things that you think they should, they probably have a reason for it. you might not like their answer but it doesn't matter what you think. we all just need to do what feels right for us & sometimes, that's going to piss people off but in the end, your life is yours & nobody else's so fuck it.
soooo.... happy holidays!
psst. i'm finishing my bathroom tonight so once i have some natural light to take pictures of it (i.e. saturday), i'll be back for the reveal!