For most of my life, I eagerly anticipated holidays and spending time with my extended family. It meant laughter and food and fun with cousins and aunts and uncles. The house was filled with the sounds of conversation and feet pounding on the floor as children rushed from room to room. Every light was on and every door was opened and in every space in every room sat a relative or two or three. Pure joy filled my heart on every holiday.
As I grew up, I would hear about how distressing holiday were for some people and that the holidays often ushered in depression and gloom. I didn't understand how one could be surrounded by people and not enjoy the moment.
Holidays have become progressively harder for me. Much of it my own doing, as I have set standards for myself that I have not reached and goals that I have not achieved. And, while those standards and goals are unknown to the rest of the family, I feel like a disappointment and to some degree a failure.
This past Thanksgiving was the first holiday of a really difficult string of holidays. Christmas of 2007 was the best and the worst Christmas I have ever had. And as I rang in the new year, I felt a profound sadness come over me.
Today is Easter, a Christian holiday in which we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. The symbolism surrounding it speaks of new birth, new life, new beginnings... like the beginning of spring. It is a time for renewal. For starting over... It is a joyous time, for most.
This Easter and all it's newness runs frighteningly parallel to my life. I am starting a new job in a week and moving to a new home. And I am moving forward on my own. Getting on with my life, so to speak... Starting over... And it should be a joyous time.
But this holiday is hard, just like all the others. Maybe harder than the others because of the changes I am facing and all the NEW that lies ahead.
And I am sad. Incomprehensibly sad. And the sounds of family have faded from music to a dull, droning hum. And I can't wait for this day to be over.