I'm alone this Christmas. And I'm okay with that.
On one hand, I'm grateful that growing up in such a small/ragtag family gave me the independence that has made me comfortable at traveling around and existing on my own in this vibrant/fabulous/sometimes-scary world.
But on another hand, these tendencies have always made it difficult for me to mesh in groups for long times. I need to work on the patience and discipline to nurture long-term relationships with people and things - even when they don't always jive with my whimsical and transient events. Especially when it's not convenient.
I don't think I'm alone because other people don't want to be with me. I think I'm alone, because I've opted to remain in my comfortable, perpetually insular cocoon of solitude. I don't need others to let me down - when the things that do let me down are in my full and (in-)capable control.
I don't care that I'm alone, for now. Because the reason I'm alone this year is because I've chosen to be alone. My conventional family has failed me. And I refuse to let that failure trigger a deeper crisis in myself.
There are so many failed families and empty domiciles out there this Christmas eve. I'm lucky to afford privilege for now that compensates for one day of peaceful yet ominous solitude with myself this Christmas day.
When I get older, I will no longer have the privilege of peaceful serenity. I will need others - begrudgingly. Each of you knows somebody like this in your neighborhood - that neighbor who everyone assumes wants to be left alone - the crazy cat lady, or the old man on the porch, et al.
Look, I wouldn't recommend bothering any of these fine people on Christmas with some obligatory phone call or visit. But maybe think about them - and consider a random drop-in at some unbeknownst hour. It'll likely do them as much good for their soul as it will do for yours.