T’is the season to be jolly?

Christmas used to be a huge thing in my life. The tree would go up, decorations were made, gifts were wrapped, and cards were designed. It was a time of big family dinners, the rare time when we could see and play with our nephews and nieces who were closer in age with us than our cousins. It was a time of happiness, of anticipation, of love. As we got older, it seemed to become a chore. The tree began to be put up every odd year now and then, the ornaments began to break or were lost, it was a burden buying gifts. Now, there’s no tree put up, cards aren’t made, and gifts became dollar bills. The time spent on Christmas subconsciously decreased as the years passed by. We don’t even have the reminder of Christmas performances like in elementary and high school. It became a date rather than a holiday.

For me especially, last Christmas was the worst and hopefully will be the worst I will ever experience. It’s…not ruined, but it’s definitely changed my emotions for Christmastime. I’m pretty sure that I’ve blogged about it, but it was the time when I found out that I had failed a midterm. It was the first test that I’ve ever failed, and an important one at that, worth 50% of a 6 credit course. Then, I receive news of my dad’s best friend’s car accident and passing. When things hit you like that, those emotions become ingrained in you. I can’t help but remember it so vividly, like it was yesterday. I guess it sucks having such a good memory. Specially with the amygdala strengthening those memories with strong emotions. I don’t know whether it’s amazing how our body works or if it’s a hindrance. It just makes Christmas more somber, as the memories of the past are there in the background.

But nonetheless, I’ve realized that Christmas is a time of healing, of love. The Christmas spirit can still be found. Shopping for gifts for everyone you care about, thinking about them, their likes and dislikes, it makes you happy inside. Seeing people during Christmas dinners or just a get together, and catching up on the year’s happenings. Even just saying Merry Christmas to people you see, a celebration together with everyone in the world. Despite having experienced previous Christmases that may not have been full of happy memories for me, there’s always Christmases to come to create new memories. So Merry Christmas everyone! And I hope that everyone will be able to find that Christmas spirit. It is indeed a season to be jolly.

Advertisements

Parenthood…reversal?

There’s always that story about how we grow up with our parents doing everything for us as babies. Feeding us, clothing us, helping us read menus, etc. Then, when they are old, we end up doing that for them, as their limbs and fingers aren’t as dexterous, as their eyesight and senses deteriorate. Everyone gets old, it’s a natural process. I’ve only recently realized how true that is. It’s partly due to this drama that I’ve been watching (Mr. Baek) where an old man is changed into a young man and begins to understands his son. I wish it could happen to everyone, but the reality is that it’s impossible to happen. So what if my parents pass away without knowing my true intentions, or grow old without feeling my care and affection, without those happy memories to treasure? I’d regret that even more than anything. Also, I feel like I’m at an age where I realize that I’m now an “official” adult and am able to not only take care of myself, but to take care of others too.

As a teenager, I had begun to realize how time flies. I took more care for my brother, giving him experiences that I would have wanted an older sibling to give me, if I had one. I used my own experiences to help shape his in a more positive way. However, I wasn’t able to and didn’t understand how to do it for my parents. They had more experiences than I did. I’m pretty sure they already went through all that I did, and little did I know about what it was like. I still have a long ways to go, but I feel like I’ve seen enough of the world to understand a little bit. Therefore, I’ve noticed that I’ve been more watchful of my parents. I’ve noticed their tiredness and their worries. I would now take on whatever I can to lessen their load. If my mom is tired after working, I’d drive instead. I hadn’t driven in a while because of my headaches. For some reason, when I’m driving with a purpose, I don’t notice the headaches. I’d also get medicine for my dad when he’s sick and get him to get a thorough physical check up. The thing that pops into my head most often now is that I want my dad to walk me down the aisle when I get married and for my parents to be able to hold their first grandchild. Easy wish eh? They’re not even that old. But life can be short. Having my uncle pass away due to cancer and my dad’s best friend pass away in a car accident, anything can happen. Maybe it’s me who’ll leave them, unable to give them more happy memories to remember me with. I’ve also begun to look after myself more. To be able to care for someone, you need to have the energy and health to do it. To be able to have them hold that grandchild, I’ll need to be healthy enough to have a baby. Honestly, I think that if I didn’t have to go to university, I would have a kid anytime, adopting or my own. I love kids. On the bus, a kid turned around and smiled at me. It felt like the sun came out on that rainy day. Anyways, I digress.

One more side note. There’s a song called Forgotten Happiness by Alien Huang that also resonates with me. I wasn’t able to find a complete translation so below this post, here’s my attempt to translate it. I only did the chorus because it feels like it’s describing my life. I’m trying so hard but I don’t know what I’m trying so hard against. It’s always a wrestling match in my head. How can I get out of this? How can I be happy? What IS it like to be happy? For now, maybe I’m trying my hardest to love people so that I myself feel whole, like I’m doing something that’s worth it. Who knows. But I just know that for my parents and those I care about, I’m willing to put in that extra effort to care and love them because time is indeed short. I’ve already lived 2 decades. How many more decades will I have? How many more decades will they have?

我們都 忘了怎麼快樂 (We have all forgotten how to be happy)
拼了命的拉扯 自己的人生 (Putting it all on the line to wrestle with your own life)
你若太認真 這場比賽就輸了(But if you’re too serious, you’ll lose this competition)
因為生命不過就短短幾十年的旅程 (Because life is just a short journey of a few decades)

我們都 忘了怎麼快樂 (We have all forgotten how to be happy)
用力的去愛人 讓自己完整 (Using all our strength to love people, to let ourselves feel whole)
就別太殘忍 讓自己的心受困 (Just don’t be too cruel and let your heart be burdened)
困在一個寂寞的 比孤單還孤單靈魂 (Trapped in a soul lonelier than the lonely)