Winter can be awesome. There are so many positives to it: for example, there’s no need to expose naked flesh meaning you can relax the usual grooming; you get to eat and drink lovely stuff just because it’s cold – and you don’t have to show your newly acquired love handles; nights are longer so you spend more time cuddling up, just to name a few advantages. But at the same time and despite all this loveliness, it can totally get you down in an inexplicable and inexorable way.
For me it is more than the cold and dark. Christmas and New Year’s Day are particularly tough dates, too. There’s the distance from my family (we are all scattered around the globe and I miss them oh so much), and there’s the year balance which this year has been stupidly difficult to do.
We all do this ridiculous stock taking thing around this time of the year, as if it mattered. I mean: it doesn’t. This week is no different from the next, and deciding that the year ends now and not in, say, March (as it used to in the Middle Ages, actually) is just random. So depending on where you cut your year you could be looking at it in a very positive light or not.
I must say that I have had a tough one but it’s also been filled with achievements. And yet, because I am so tired and fed up, it feels like everything has been rubbish. When actually the opposite is more accurate.
I blame it on the winter blues. And I think my balance would be a lot more positive if I was doing it around Easter time when the weather starts looking up and summer is closer. So screw this stock taking shit and let’s just use this time to hibernate, recharge batteries, and feel warm.
So much has been said about 2016, and I feel tempted to look ahead at horoscope predictions for 2017 not without a sense of dread, though. I know it’s preposterous and unscientific but I love the Chinese horoscope predictions. And I find them impossibly accurate – I know they aren’t, or perhaps I know they shouldn’t be…
For 2016 they said it’d be a tough year and that I’d have to work hard to achieve anything – but then isn’t that what has happened every year since forever? I shouldn’t have been surprised. I can’t remember anything ever being easy. And yet, people will think I am incredibly successful and lucky. I am neither.
Success is a very subjective value. Some people think I am quite successful: I have a lovely home, a husband that loves me, a career that is getting me to better places year on year, I am healthy, attractive…I know all that. But the price I’ve had to pay for all of it has been dear. No one needs to know how hard it’s been. And I don’t go around self publicising the sacrifices I’ve made in order to get what I have, but trust me: I have had to give up a lot. And I am not talking about chocolate or chips.
Often I’ve felt that I have sort of sold my soul to the devil. And now I have nothing left to trade with to get anything else. Almost as if I’d sold the family’s jewels to raise cash but I only managed to buy half a ticket to my destination.
I know this all may sound crazy so let me explain myself: I found the love of my life by chance but he happened to live in the other side of the world. I had to give up my life – my family, my friends, my career, most of my possessions – to be with him. And then I had to start my career again. It was tough and a steep learning curb. But I think I grew stronger and became a better professional thanks to it. Anyway, this means that while I should be in a secure position right now, I am not. And I am way behind in terms of earnings. I couldn’t care less about money but having no money has meant I haven’t been able to visit my family back home. And I haven’t seen most of them in six years now. It hurts to think that they believe – I know they do – that I haven’t been back out of lack of interest. It breaks my heart.
I could go on. I have paid a heavy price to be with the man I love. But I love him more than life and I couldn’t live without him. So it was a no brainer and it makes no sense complaining. I am not. I just wanted to explain what I meant. I feel I am a happier person now than I was before – despite everything. I feel home now. But there’s a part of me which will always be elsewhere. Almost as if home will never be 100% home. But maybe 80%.
And therefore winter can get me down. Not because it’s cold or dark but because I feel the missing 20% more than any other time of the year. That absence is heavier than any other time. And I can’t tell my husband that he’s not enough. It would be inaccurate and unfair. And it makes the loneliness heavier still.
But there’s hope: the days are getting longer and the ice is melting. I have decided to wait till springtime to take stock. It’s my birthday then. I will be turning 40!!
Perhaps not such a great idea after all…