So I've been trying to write a blog entry for the past week, but somehow everything I've been writing seems too... dishonest. Too quiet? Perhaps. It feels odd, knowing that this is a public platform and yet the whole idea is to chronicle a life.
The last time I wrote here was some months ago; the end of the first semester, to be precise. A couple of months after, I have new classes, new projects to work on, and everything else seemed better and brighter and happier. I felt more comfortable in my skin, and more confident in my teaching work and my writing work, and it felt good to look forward to the end of the year with some excitement and happiness. (I mean, granted, the lack of a romantic interest is still there, but hey, it's not as bad as I thought it would be.)
Christmas, at least for me, was never really about religion. Sure, spending my formative years in a private Catholic school and growing up nominally Catholic was more than enough to give me a firm grounding of Christmas as a religious tradition. But for me, Christmas was always about family: I come from a very large extended family on my mother's side, and we spend Christmas eve with them. On Christmas morning, we spend lunch with the (much smaller) family on my father's side. On both occasions, I am reminded of where I come from, and of who I owe my existence to, and of where I can go from here.
I know that people have mixed feelings about family: you either love 'em or leave 'em. I am one of those people who seems to have scored excellently on the family side of things. I am extremely lucky to have been born in a family who loves and values the arts, who thinks cultural education is important, and who has no shame in dancing "YMCA" every year for the past couple of decades without really knowing the lyrics to the song. (Also, we always have an inordinate amount of decent alcohol every year during Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.) And this is always underscored every Christmas, simply because it's an opportunity for everyone to let their hair down, dance, eat, and drink like there's no tomorrow.
And I know that this kind of celebration might not be forever, and it might not even be the same a decade from now, but I am extremely thankful that I have great parents, awesome siblings, and cousins that I am friends with. And I know that a lot of people can (or can't) say the same, and so I will just sit here in my little corner and be thankful. Whether you celebrate Christmas or the Winter Solstice or just another shift from one year to another, I always think it's good to know and acknowledge and be thankful where you came from before you head down the direction you've chosen.