The Grinch? Yes, that would be me.
For as long as I can remember, I never really looked forward to my birthday, Christmas, or New Years Day. My family does not understand why, but they sure as hell make those three days the best for their grown up daughter. I owe my dad, mom, and brother for making me the happiest girl alive for those 18 years that have passed. But somehow, there’s something about those three holidays that make me feel uneasy and lonely, even. My friends have known this for quite sometime now and recently named me The Grinch. I, of course, could not have agreed more. So hello to you reading this at the moment, please don’t judge me just yet.
Birthdays have been nothing to me but another passing day. I don’t find delight celebrating one’s being older if it means you’re a year closer to your end. As cynical as that may have sounded, don’t I also make a point when I say this? “Why wait for a year to rejoice for life when you could be living the life every time you wake up?”
I never ceased thinking about my grandfather’s passing nine years ago, how I could have done something to keep him alive. How I wish I was there when he said his last words because all I wanted was a proper goodbye. Typing this in brings tears to my eyes as if those long years were days away. Even though I really am not the type to let things go so easily, I think I owe myself a little healing considering the time that has already passed. It’s hard for me to move forward and it’s always easy to lie to yourself that you will be okay. But if there’s one thing this experience has taught me, this would surely be it. My Wowo’s death taught me to resent my birthdays — because until now, I never really saw the point. We live in a world where people often take each other for granted, and more often than not they realize it before it’s too late.
Speaking of my trait of not being able to let things go, this is where my Yuletide Cheer — or the lack, thereof — comes into the picture. I used to think my reason for disliking this time of year was the fact that although we are cooped up in our own homes with the warmth of our family’s love, there are some people who don’t have one to spend it with in the first place. Some don’t even have a roof above their heads, or food on their table. I am no Good Samaritan but when it comes to this, I think I aptly fall into the category of the Semi-s, at the very least. And although this reason is still one of my justifications why I find the holidays sad, writing this entry it made me realize that I’m more afraid to face a new beginning than I am to leave an embraced past.
Christmas and New Year mark the end of 365 days that we won’t get back, 365 days we won’t get to live again, and 365 days buried in the memory of yesterday. There are people we will be leaving behind, and thoughts we must soon forget. I know I sound irrational, but why can’t life be as it is? Why does life need to be a fleeting moment in space where our mere human existence can do nothing to stop it from running away? I’ll give it to you straight — I’m scared, afraid, and frightened for what is to come. I am, yet again, in that phase of paranoia and uncertainty where I run around with questions of what’s next for Kara Santiago. My Grinch front is something I keep to shield me from the vulnerability that I expose my self to. After all, what I do not know can’t hurt me.
No one knows where life will take us, but what I know is that I’m too much of a wuss to find out where the wind will drop me down. I hope its in a place where I’m not so Grinch-y anymore — a place of healing and celebrated birthdays, a place of courage and festive holidays to come.