Christmas Eve 2007

I hope I can look back on this post in a month, or at most a year, and be thankful that as bad as things were, things change and I can persevere.

These are the darkest days of my life.  Since I started working part time at age 16 and then started my career mostly in office settings after that, I have never gone a week without a paycheck, without an income.  As a single man with no children who rents an apartments, I tried to add up all of the money I have paid in taxes, with no write-offs, over the years.  It became overwhelmingly impossible to calculate.  But I know it is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Due to circumstances this year I lost my job, collected unemployment until that ran out and now have no income.  I had to apply for general assistance from the town to help me with rent, I got food stamps, and because I have no health care, I have now applied for help with that as well.  I never expected a hand out in my whole life, but, well, there it is.  You do what you have to do to survive.  What happened to all the money I paid into the system and why isn’t it available to me now that I really need it.

Surviving.  That is all I am doing right now.  I am not living.  Christmas Eve is here and that usually brings me some sense of inner peace on a spiritual level.  I don’t care about presents.  I don’t give or receive them.  I just don’t believe in that.  Christmas, to me, is a celebration of life, and the birth of a Messiah for the Christians.  To me, if you don’t celebrate that, you have no business celebrating Christmas.  The holiday has lost so much meaning.  And today, I am too empty to accept into my heart, the spirit that Christmas usually brings to me.  I am sad and empty and I don’t feel strong enough to be around people, even the ones whom I know love me, and fake being cheerful.  I wear my heart of my sleeve, that’s just me.  So I don’t want to be around people.  They deserve to enjoy their Christmas spirit with their friends and family without someone like me around to bring them down.  My family does do presents, but luckily they don’t put too much emphasis on it anymore.  That brings me some sense of accomplishment because I have had this conversation from time to time with some of them.  And I hope that I have contributed to them re-thinking Christmas; all the presents, all the excessive amount of presents and the excessive dollars spent on them.  I hope they have started to understand that Christmas is about so much more than that.

So my Christmas wish this year is so simple.  I wish to survive it.  I know that by Wednesday, December 26, 2007, none of it will matter anymore.  Most people won’t remember what they got for gifts, or who gave it to them and in many cases the Christmas tree will be down before the day is out.  Then it’s on to New Years Eve and for me the reminder that I am alone, still, and again.

This is a maudlin, melodramatic post but I need to get my feelings out and writing seems to be the only way I can do that.  I know there are those that will understand how I feel and some will not understand what I have to say.  For those who understand, please know that you are not alone in how you feel and maybe in some way that unites us.  For those who disagree, I am truly happy that you are happy and can enjoy your Christmas times with those that you love.  I hope you feel a sense of peace and love around you.  I, too, hope to feel that way again.


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