I find myself currently struggling to make sense of this world. It’s as if I’m stuck between two planes. I’ve never really won against time, who has? But we keep challenging it to give ourselves the confidence that we are trying hard enough. Christmas is just around the corner and the party pamphlets are being slipped into our mailbox every morning. Everyone’s planning trips, planning parties, planning something.
We’ve never celebrated Christmas with as much pomp and show as people usually do. I grew up knowing Santa wasn’t real from day one. Sometimes school would try, but the Santas who’d come with candies were either too skinny or too young. Other children made do with what they got, I was more eager to go home and watch TV. Santa and the Tooth Fairy were two myths my parents didn’t even try to encourage, mostly because they didn’t want to have to be the ones to deal with the aftermath when we came to them with broken hearts when we figured out they weren’t real.
Christmas brings joy, as it should, but this Christmas for me is fraught with conflicted emotions of excitement and anxiety in equal amounts. In a matter of weeks, I will be flying across the ocean back to my unfinished business, I’m better prepared this time but I’m just as nervous.
It’s not so much the place it’s what I left there. I took a year to face the dark memories, it’s like returning to the lion’s den once more, but this time with a torch so you can see the lion bright and clear. People are asking me how I feel about it. It’s a relevant albeit annoying question. I’m thankful they’re asking me to articulate it because I can’t bring myself to ask myself how I feel about this.
Bear in mind, I’m not frantic, it’s not all bad. My feelings are mixed. It’s hard leaving home, isn’t it? You can be used to it, but it never gets easier. I’ve boarded so many planes, but every time I set off out of the house with my bags and watch my parents waving, it feels like being ripped into two.
I remember boarding my first flight to London, I saw my parents and sister at three in the morning watching as I checked in and walked towards the elevator, I could see their blurred smiles through the glass and I couldn’t stop turning around to look at them. It’s a curse to be someone who looks strong, because you never appear weak even if you’re dying inside. It was bitter-sweet.
I know this time will be different, luckily I still have time left. I like that I’m still in the sunny hemisphere where winter comes with sunlight like a package deal. I am not done just yet with this place. I’ve booked my return ticket too for the break, just to remind myself that I am coming back. As friends tell me they’ll miss me, I ask myself whether I must really go.
It’s an endless cycle, isn’t it? You go, you return, then you go elsewhere. I’m in this loop endlessly walking this path. This continuum we’re in, it’s everything. I’ve been taking polaroids through this year, to carry with me on my journey. They are pieces of this year that I have collected. Lately, it’s been stressful, it’s been weird and uncomfortable.
My mind has been looking for excuses to be displeased. I guess I have to stop treating my mind like a child, giving into all its tantrums, it’ll survive. I know this is a loop, this is going to keep happening but I have to break this pattern of my mind having its way every time. We’re all on the Earth that does the same thing every day, rotating on its axis and revolving around the Sun every year.
We’re all in this loop, unwittingly walking the same paths over and over again. We collide, we help each other and continue on. Counting up or down. Let’s change the tunes to old songs and sing them once more. I don’t mind, patterns are pretty.
You can feel the Christmas spirit, shops have put up sale boards everywhere like decorations. They are charging 50% more and giving us 15% off. It’s a nice time, everything is cheaper but for some reason, our wallets are lighter. It’s good to know capitalism will never change. The plum cakes are out in bakeries, and so are the carols and lights. I sit here in my mother’s old sweater baking in the sun and it’s not so bad.
This loop has its perks, it allows us to trust in the world, we always know the season that’ll follow, we always know the sun will rise tomorrow. This loop allows our dreams some certainty and our nightmares doubts.