Sunday, 27 December 2015

All the Lonely People




Christmas Eve was spent at a Japanese restaurant with a mass of relatives taking up 4 tables.  It was the first time we saw the Ls and at first it felt like an us and them - but soon I was joking around and experiencing one of the reasons I love coming to Malaysia once again.  I ate my heart out and joked about being pregnant, which I feel happens way too often nowadays, and we went up to the rooftop where we stood on a glass floor at least 5 stories up, looked over the skyline, and it was hot and sweaty and we took a very many oily faced photos.

I feel like the Grinch in the sense that I keep getting annoyed at all the Christmas songs on the radio and all those seasonal posts.  But then, I also feel like some kind of deluded elf, sending out Christmas messages to almost everybody and being overly excited for present-opening.  This year I seem to be more excited about watching my present recipients than actually opening my own presents - which can only be a good thing.  

I love how I never stress about Christmas because I know I'll be with my family and they'll be with me.

Something I've noticed about this side of the family, consisting of grandparents, uncles, aunties and cousins who altogether add up to around 15 people, is that it's overly inclusive.  We can't even trek through the rainforest without taking my grandma along.  If one person is missing from one of our many group photos at un-airconditioned Chinese restaurants we have to retake the photo.  It's just so different from any other group I've ever experienced being a part of.  We didn't choose each other but we were born into this group, and because of that we will always be connected no matter what happens.  I will always have someone to spend Christmas with no matter what happens.  They will always love me even if no one else will, and that makes me feel content.

The other day I was joking to my mum about some article I saw in her Women's Weekly magazine titled, "How to Avoid Disappointment on Christmas Day," to which she replied that according to statistics most suicides happen during this holiday period.  It's because the expectation is that you spend Christmas with other people, specifically family, and when you're alone you're reminded of how lonely you are.

In some ways I feel incredibly smug that I have many someones to spend this day with, and I feel reassured that of all the annual celebrations I'm doing this one right.  On the other hand though, I can't imagine how it must feel sitting in a room all alone, reminded that you have absolutely no one.  I can't imagine what it would be like having absolutely no one, period.  And I'm scared that one day I might be on the wrong side of the world and I might have no one where I am, and then I really would be alone.  I don't want Christmas to become like my birthday: a day with a buildup of psyching myself up for disappointment.

I reckon being utterly alone is the most terrible way one could live.

On Christmas morning we followed my aunty and cousin to church, and while my dad is catholic, the rest of us don't really identify as anything - hence why we never take the bread at communion.  I do reckon it's arrogant for us to believe there is no form of higher being though, so I guess in that sense I do believe in God.

The Priest said something about how the point of buying presents isn't about giving a person exactly what they want, seeing as they're able to buy it for themselves if they really want it, but it's more about the idea that it's something from you.  It's the idea that you care enough about them to give them a gift.  I know I feel amazing whenever a friend gets me something - and I love whatever they gave me simply because it's from them.

The Church was filled with the singing and instinctive responses of a huge community of people from the same sector of the same city.  Although I may have found the allegations towards our obligation to completely worship the Lord a bit extreme, what matters is that this religion brings people together so that they are never really alone on Christmas day.  In the same way, believing that this day serves a higher purpose, and that a higher being is always with us, can make people feel less alone.

I actually genuinely reckon you can't be truly alone on Christmas day.  The people of this world are generally inclusive, and even if you don't have a built in family, there are always places you can go.  There will always be some open community to join or some other lonely soul out there.  And anyway, other people's happiness shouldn't remind you of your sadness.  Just rejoice in the fact that most of the world is rejoicing too.

Love,
M

12 comments:

  1. I really liked this, I'm also very glad that you felt happy, surrounded by family and friends. However, I felt extremely alone this Christmas, surrounded by my own family, but what struck me about your post were the lines "There will always be some open community to join or some other lonely soul out there. And anyway, other people's happiness shouldn't remind you of your sadness". I like this, and I think I should try taking this on board more often.

    www.nocatgotmytongue.blogspot.ie

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    1. That sometimes happens - especially when the entire family lives on a different continent and while they're always together you only see them once a year. Always remember though, they're obliged to love you and they most definitely do. Even if you never see them, your blood pretty much ensures that you care about one another and that you're never alone. As for the fact that happiness shouldn't cause sadness; it's a positive mantra that I also strive to remember.

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  2. I like what the priest said. It's quite true, I think. It's very interesting food for thought.
    Your family sounds awesome :) I'm happy you had a good Christmas.

    - Ellie
    http://ontheothersideofrealitynew.blogspot.com

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    1. I never really thought of gifts that way either, but once I heard it I realised it was true. Thank you Ellie. I hope you did too!

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  3. I like how you said the people of this world are generally inclusive. Sometimes I feel otherwise, but now that I think about it you might be right. Maybe I just don't let people include me, and they stop trying? Anyways, I really liked your post. I'm glad your Christmas was good. Spending time with family is always nice.

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    1. If you think about it: if someone came up to you to start a conversation, you wouldn't just scowl at them and send them away. You'd probably be decent and reply and end up having gotten to know someone new in some way or another. Always think about what you would do on the other end, and if generally you're inclusive, then they probably will be too.

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  4. I couldn't imagine how awful it would be to be alone for Christmas, to me Christmas is nothing without family and friends.

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    1. Definitely, which is why the lonely people feel extra lonely on Christmas day. Even the unlonely people start comparing how lonely they are in comparison.

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  5. Such a beautiful song <3

    Chiara

    http://www.culturewithcoco.com

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    1. The lyrics are smart, aren't they

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  6. That happened to me and my sister this Christmas..I had to spend Christmas at a stranger's house where my dad lives, I felt horrible and it didn't feel like Christmas at all. And once I got home to have another Christmas with all my siblings and my mom..I loved it. I now truly understand that Christmas is all about family. I was so happy to be home with everyone..The presents hardly mattered. Being together with my family after this super rough year was just awesome.
    It's like no matter how annoying your family is, You love them and they love you. No matter what. End of story :)

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  7. This post is so beautiful and so true. :)

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