Happy day after 4th of July! I hope everyone had a great and safe holiday. I spent my day going to car dealerships and comforting my dog when she was cared of the fireworks outside. Let’s just say it wasn’t what most people think of for a holiday. And it got me thinking. Holidays are not ever very fun for me. Here’s why.
I moved a very long distance from my family for college and stayed here after graduation to continue my education and work. Now this means that I don’t have the luxury of going home for any holiday like many college kids do. I never really thought about it until I spent my first Thanksgiving away from my family. Luckily, my aunt was still living in AZ so I went to her house with my cousin. I am not close with my family here and they don’t really do Thanksgiving traditionally. I think we had steak and baked potatoes, which isn’t bad. But my family goes all out for holidays. Thanksgiving consists of two turkeys, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pies and Hawaiian food. And we would have friends and family over and eat all day long. We start Christmas basically on December 1st and our house is like Christmas on crack. Our house is definitely the brightest on the street. Other holidays are understated for the most part but we go all out with food, inviting people over and grilling or having shrimp boils for different holidays. The community also gathered quite often to celebrate holidays like Labor Day, Veterans Day, and the 4th. So holidays are always times that I associated with food, family, and community.
So being away from my family, eating food that I don’t associate with Thanksgiving, and not being around my community, it was a bit of culture shock and I became sad about what I was missing out on. As I sank deeper into my depression, these days became worse without even thinking about it. I have spent Easter alone for most of my time in college, and it actually became upsetting for me because I would see everyone spending time with their families and I was alone again. When everyone in my community was out at the beach celebrating, I was at home in bed watching Netflix. I have spent the past two Thanksgivings by myself. I made my own little Thanksgiving dinner by myself last year and I actually think it made me more depressed. I haven’t decorated for Christmas which bums me out hard. It’s difficult for me to be happy on these days knowing that so much of my life is missing in that moment.
When you grow up celebrating holidays a certain way, it is a huge shock when that is gone. I never knew that I would miss the craziness of holidays, with 4 people trying to cook in a tiny kitchen, kids running around like chickens with their heads cut off, and talking over all of the noise just to be heard. But I do, a lot. I still have not established myself in any community here and those days I think I realize that more and it is really hard. Watching everyone you know be with family here and knowing your family is together at home is really upsetting. It can make you feel alone. And that’s what I feel every holiday. So appreciate your family that is around you. Because you never know what you will feel when they aren’t there.