I have been born into a large family, it’s really my mother’s though. She is the first of ten, and I am the first granddaughter. That is my place in this family, but I’m really just trying to find the place that I fit in. I can connect with so many people. I am quite social, but there are a lot of “leaders” in our family, so standing out is a little hard to do.
I wanted this year to be special, so I handmade something for our gift exchange. And it didn’t go to who I thought would appreciate it the most. I’m not upset or mad about that, but I am left wondering how they would have reacted. That’s just it about an exchange there is no telling what you may get, homemade or not. For me, there is still enjoyment about getting a gift, despite not wanting to be the center of attention. Even though we are all family, standing up in front of them has my anxiety on the rise.
Yet, the holidays are so much more than presents… It’s those conversations that you have over dinner or the passing comments that you hear. Each of us wanting to know what is going on, and of course, the gossip. Not surprising, but yes, I got pressured by some of them to get married already! Unfortunate for them, that’s my choice and I’m going to wait. It’s hard to know when to share and when to hold information in. I have done some of both while I’ve been with the family flock. The worse is knowing that it will get around and eventually someone will question me about it, that I did NOT directly tell. And by this, it usually turns out to be my mother.
What I mean by that, is my family celebrates Christmas on a rotation of the brothers and sisters, all ten of them. And this year, we have been out in Arizona. It’s not 0ur usual state, and that means their are quite a few of us missing. And, we have our celebration anyway! All the talking, drinking, and games are fun, for a few days, but there is part of me that needs my quiet time.
During such gatherings, I find that we all need the chance to recharge, which is different for each of us. For me, it’s segregating myself, despite what fun things may be going on. I’m definitely NOT a morning person, completely opposite of my boyfriend, who is. And my biggest complaint was the noise of all the other relatives that were staying in our rental house. It was more than I could sleep through, and sleeping is one of my favorite things to do! Despite that, there were people being “shushed” for others that were watch tv or videos, and people yelled at for playing games or doing dishes. But very little respect shown for the late sleepers. I’ll never understand that, they expect us night owls to be quiet when they are already asleep for the night… at 10pm!
It’s enough to make anyone on edge, stressed, and/or down right mad. But, I found some time for me, so I could manage all that. Yet, there was one thing that made me sad… and it’s no surprise, it was over my boyfriend. He didn’t have enough vacation or time off to join us for Christmas. And the fact that it cost everyone one a plane ticket to fly out to AZ, it was more than he could handle at this time of the year. I don’t blame him and there is no anger towards him about us not being together for the holidays. There was only sadness.
It’s a feeling that hit me hard after all the gifts had been opened and songs had been sung. My heart know that I wanted him there, despite the fact that we Skyped on Christmas and New Year’s. Still all the questions about my relationship, had me confirming what I already felt. That was the point that the tables tipped, and fear crept in, wondering “How much of this I would have to miss if I move for my love?” Consistently, it has been one of the most difficult things about making my choices, in order to be with a man that I love and want to spend my life with. There will definitely be more on this, because it’s a decision that my parent’s made for me when we moved out of state from the rest of our family. I know that I’m older, but somehow that isn’t making anything any easier.