Tuesday, September 8, 2015

#249: Happy holidays

I'm so grateful for this weekend in McCall! To be included, to participate, to feel comfortable in my own skin, these are all new things.

I used to dread weekends and holidays because I was consumed with emptiness and loneliness. For the entire week before spring break, for example, I would be anxious about not having any plans for the week. I'm not saying that this was reality, but it really felt like reality.

This is perhaps why I like retail so much--I always had to work the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve and Labor Day and the 4th of July and every other long weekend--so I always had an excuse as to why I didn't have any plans. Hard to make plans when you have to work!  The truth was, however, I didn't make any plans because I didn't have [think I had] anyone to make plans with, at least since I've been divorced.

Being married was great for this particular fear: we were always busy doing stuff. We travelled all over the country and had cool jobs, so this loneliness inside of me rarely came out in this particular circumstance.

This all began to change about 3 years ago when a friend of mine who is also a teacher heard me complaining about feeling so lonely before spring break. She told me later: the reason people have stuff to do over spring break is because they make plans.

Since then I started making plans and it helped, though the loneliness didn't disappear completely. I think loneliness is mostly a God problem and over the last few years that part of me has filled up a lot.  So much, in fact, that I don't feel that loneliness every Friday afternoon like I used to.

Funny, as that has filled up over they years, I find myself more frequently having those types of experiences I always hoped for: fun, happy things to do with people over holiday weekends. I am able to be present for people and self-consciousness has slipped away. I feel good about who I am and love my life.  But that stuff didn't come to me when getting it was my goal. Isn't life funny?

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