Dear J —
This year’s Christmas has been the least dramatic, and yet layered with disappointment. I had stopped considering the holidays as a source of creating memories, but instead looked to it as a well of anecdotes to recount to incredulous friends. If my family was to be atomized, not nuclear (a nuance worthy of distinction), I wanted the stories, a way to connect to them intellectually to supplement the lack of familial affect.
But this year, nothing. This year, the sense of disconnect that one experiences when falling out of love, disbanding from previous friends, growing older. It feels comfortable but not enriching, like neural synapses that exist without making connections. The memories are translucent, already fading.
In a few days I’ll be in Montreal, we’ll drink something together, and it won’t be the same but maybe better. When I left the city my best friends left each other, picked up and built new lives for themselves without each other. Now, each gathering is a chore, a miniature reunion one debates internally before begrudgingly dressing up for. If this is adulthood, I don’t want it – when I think about being a grown ass woman, I think about the strength (internal) and support (external), not the strains of trying to bandaid a temporal gap, trying to find the words behind your tongue that are appropriate for small talk and people to whom you owe the familiarity.
But if anything, there is this — we learn to build homes in thought, and thoughts can be erected anywhere.