The holiday season is coming up, which means a lot of happiness and posts about “holiday spirit” which is great, but this is about the things we don’t talk about.
We don’t talk about the peoples whose families don’t have enough money for Christmas presents, halloween decorations, or a turkey dinner.
We don’t talk about the kids whose families are split into two or more homes, forced painfully back together for the holidays, nor do we talk about the kids whose families are split and don’t see each other at all.
We don’t talk about the families who yearn for someone who is no longer with them or who yearn for someone who never has been with them.
We don’t talk about a lot of things, especially around the holiday season, because we want to distract ourselves with presents and lights and candy.
Which, don’t get me wrong, is fun, but this is for the people who’s holidays aren’t the most wonderful time of the year. You’re not alone.
This is what the holiday season looks like to me, starting in October.
Halloween: Not very exciting and kind of awkward, as I’m old enough to not go trick-or-treating, but I still could go if I wanted to. It’s sad, because you realize it’s not as exciting as it was when you were a little kid.
Thanksgiving- Me, my mom, and step-dad sit at a fancy restaurant in Las Vegas, eating the turkey dinner on the menu. I wish I was home, with the rest of my family, like how it used to be. When grandma could still cook for us all and we could still all be ok sitting at one table. I’m definitely not as thankful as I should be on this day.
Christmas- Awkward because my dad and step-dad are both at my house and it’s “rude” to pay more attention to one than the other. Normally, I do it anyway. Even more awkward because my two sisters are in the same house and they hate each other. Probably worse because my brother comes. Sucks because I’m the youngest and the people I want to pay attention to me don’t and the people I don’t want to pay attention to me pay too much.
New years Eve/ New Years day- Depressing, unless you’ve been invited to a party. Full of a lot of stupid phrases like “New year, new me” or “On the first page of a 365 page book.” Reality is, nothing ever changes.
Valentine’s Day- Cool if you’re dating someone; super lame if you’re not.
April Fool’s Day- Usually not funny. I probably end up forgetting what day it is and get pranked.
Mother’s Day- Celebrating mamas, trying really hard to make everything special, usually involves waking up earlier than my mom. Probably impossible, because I don’t think my mom ever sleeps. Normally ends up with a fight I feel terribly about.
Father’s Day- Another Mother’s Day, celebrating mom for being my mother and father. Forced to wish my step-dad a “Happy Fathers day! <3.” Normally, I don’t really mean it. I wish my sister’s dad a Happy Father’s day… I mean it.
Independence Day (AKA 4th of July)- Nothing super exciting. Missing the time I used to watch the fireworks on a big hill with my sister’s dad. Probably with my friends watching fireworks, but kinda scary because I don’t like the noise fireworks make.
The point of this blog wasn’t for me to bag on the holidays. There is super fun stuff going on during the holidays and I appreciate and enjoy every single one (for the most part) for a different reason… I’m sure you hear a million things a year about why every holiday is great. This is about the things we DON’T talk about.
The point of this blog is to say: the holidays are coming up and with as much love and gratitude this brings, it can also be a rough time for some.
With that said, take care of yourself; be gentle with other people; be thankful for what you do have; focus less on what you don’t, but don’t ignore it; check up on your friends; and talk to someone if your Christmas was shitty! Some are better than others.
Until this past summer, I have always self-identified as fully white. If someone asked me what my ethnicity was, I would automatically say white. Sometimes, when people would try to pry, further questioning my response, I would almost yell,”I’M WHITE. I’M JUST TAN.”
This past summer I have come to terms with myself in a lot of more ways than one. A huge step for me was that, I have begun self-identifying as half-black and half-white.
I think there were two main reasons I did not associate myself with being African-American.
No, it is not because I’m embarrassed or ANYTHING along those lines.
The first being: the classic dead-beat dad story. Up until very recently, I have given myself the power to not have to identify as the daughter of a black man who does not identify as a father.
The second reason being, well, racism, discrimination, and oppression, are all still alive and well.
On Father’s Day of last year, I posted something similar to this on a small instagram account I have only for close friends. Someone told me that “no one really cares” and “I don’t see why that’s a big deal.”
It’s a huge deal. Once you’re fifteen years into your life and you finally feel comfortable enough to accept and express the half of your identity that’s made you feel empty for years, it’s a huge deal.
Yes, I am half-black; yes, I am identify with the 17.9 other African-Americans in the U.S; yes, my dad is black; yes, that’s my real mom; and, yes, I’m proud.
I’m writing to you because Banned Book Week gives a good opportunity for students, like myself, to share my opinions on Looking For Alaska being the #1 most challenged book of 2015. Looking For Alaska was mainly challenged due to its “sexual content” and for its “inappropriate language.” However, as a high school student, I can attest that the content of Looking For Alaska is a realistic portrayal of many aspects of the teen experience.
One of the two scenes relating to sex in the book is the epitome of how unattractive, undesirable, and empty physical intimacy can be without deep emotional connection. The other potentially “sexual” scene depicts how much more powerful, rewarding, and meaningful something as little as a kiss can feel when a deep emotional connection is present.
The “sexual” concepts in the book are in no way “pornographic” as they have been perceived. If anything, the book teaches essential lessons in a non-direct, non-experimental way. As for the so-called “inappropriate language,” it is nothing but real. The language used in the book is a realistic look into a conversation between teenagers, which Looking For Alaska is meant to reflect. The novel did an excellent job of doing so and I would highly recommend it to others.
In closing, I would like to take a moment to appreciate your writing which reflects the strong, authentic narrative of contemporary teenagers. Your books deserve to be read.
Maybe it was the superficial love I used to be attracted too. In love with the idea of the person, not the person. In love with the idea of being someone’s, anyone’s number one.
Not to say the boys I have been with aren’t special to me, because they are; they always will be. But, I’ve just never felt the way I do now about anyone. I didn’t know I could.
I never understood what people meant when they talked about being in love with someone. When they said they would want to spend all their time with their partner. When their partner would do something so unattractive and they would still be so in love with that person. I always kind of either thought they were faking it or it was something that grows over a lot time.
I understand now.
If I could, I would give everything to this boy.
All we’ve ever been was close friends, but I don’t mind.
I never wanted to lose him. Just being friends was enough for me.
That’s the worst part of it all; we don’t talk as much anymore.
It hurts the most when I know he can see what I said, but doesn’t respond.
It hurts the most when he made me call him when I got home, so he knew I was safe, won’t respond to a stupid message.
I just want to know he still cares about me.
Even when we live hours apart, I want to know he would still see me if he could.
My go-to response to something like this is usually to get angry and cut him off. I say “he isn’t shit” or “screw him” but, I could never be mad at this boy.
“i’d probably still adore you with your hands around my neck”
In middle school, I was in a friend group with all girls and sometimes I think that was the happiest I’ve ever felt and sometimes I think those were the best friends I’ve ever had.
We did everything together: went to Palm Springs, got ready for stupid dances, cried together, more often laughed together, and sang together.
Everything we could do together, we did.
I remember being so sad when they graduated and went off to high school because I was left behind without the people I have grown so close to. I was also sad because I knew that we would never be as close as we used to be. I was right.
After middle school, some of us went to public school, some of us went to the expected high school, some of us started at the expected high school and switched, and one of us didn’t even go to high school in the same town.
Fast forward three years, I am a sophomore and they are juniors. I knew we would be different, but not this different.
Don’t get me wrong, change isn’t always a bad thing. It’s just different, and, more than usual lately, it’s been scaring me.
I don’t want to lose my people, but sometimes i’m afraid I’ve already lost them .
Sometimes I worry about them a lot and sometimes a little less.
Sometimes I get sad when I hear one of them did something big I had no idea about.
Sometimes I make myself so nervous I start shaking.
Sometimes I realize how selfish I am, but, sometimes, most of the time, it all comes down to: I wish that in a room full of people, we would still go to each other first.