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Nothing Feels Special

It's been a long time since I really enjoyed Christmas. At least as long as I've been out of school. (Eight years, for those counting.) Mostly, holidays just depress me in general. Even my favorite holiday, Halloween, turned depressing the last two years. Pretty much, any day that's supposed to feel special depresses me, because it doesn't feel any different, so there must be something wrong (with me). I know I'm far from the only person who feels this way, especially with Christmas. But holidays feel lonely and disconnected. My Mom and Joe usually go to some busy family holiday party, and I gladly stay behind. But even though I know I'm making the right choice for me, I feel left behind. Alone.

This year was somewhat the same as always. And yet, the build up to Christmas felt very different. I was more angry than sad. Christmas has become so materialistic and over-hyped. And I'm tired of it. I'm tired of feeling lonely, because I can't handle family parties. I didn't want to get presents, and I didn't even feel excited to give them. Besides a few presents for kids (which were more fun to buy), I didn't buy much for people this year. I just wanted to skip over the whole end of the year.

Except that this was the 10th anniversary of the dream that inspired Dreaming in Shadow. And I wanted that to feel special. But it didn't, either. I wrote a little bit to celebrate, but I was really tired from the one day of Christmas shopping I did with my Dad. (In fact, I was exhausted basically all week because of that, but it was nice to finally see him.) This was more disappointing to me than Christmas. Holidays are basically a lost cause for me... but I'm finding it hard for something really important to me to pass without any special feeling. The same thing happened with finishing my three first drafts earlier this year. In that case, it was all so bittersweet. But either way, it's hard for me to recognize any sort of personal achievement, because I don't feel like I deserve it. Yes, writing is going really well, and I'm quite proud of my work these days. But I never feel like I've actually reached a point that's worth celebrating. I only see how much work there is left to go.

I just want things to be back to normal. In all honestly, I've balanced myself better this year than ever before. I had a rough Spring, for sure, but it wasn't as bad (or as long) as most rough Summers. But there's a sense that in order to balance my normal better, there has to be less of a positive tip as well. I've never ever had high highs to balance my low lows. But I think my highs are even lower now. It's probably worth it; living in panicked low times is beyond words. But it would be nice for some things to feel special.

I just don't know how to do that.