Though often viewed as a time of celebration, of family and friends and thanks and togetherness, of forgiveness and new beginnings, can also be seen as a time of over-whelming sadness, when we as humans are forced to examine our lives, facing our loneliness and the true nature of our fellow man, when greed and depression can so easily overtake the joy and spirit and blessings of the season.
I find myself torn between these two facets of my own personal holiday, deciding between two options that end the page of a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. Both choices are choices of extremes, one dark and moody and assuring danger and destruction, the other one of rejoicing and sentiment and cheer. But life isn't as simple as, say, turning to page 84.
I am in a city... a city full of strange places and even stranger faces, a city where the dark is alive with light and my days are spent in search of a future. Here is where I call home, home away from home, away from my family and friends and everything simple and common, lovely and lazy, and missed.
I'm making the most of it while I can. I find the light in the darkest places, and the life I've forgotten or lost or never known... It is here I find my holiday, my Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's Eve. It is here where I learn, after so many years, what it truly means to be thankful for all that I have, and not want for more: a roof over my head and a blanket on my bed, clothes on my back and food in my belly, knowing that however far from my reality I have come, that I am loved beyond measure and can love in return. I love those who need it, those who want it, those who deserve it and those who don't. To wake up in the morning and see the sunlight of a new day, and forgive those who have trespassed against me, and forgive myself for those trespasses I have made... That is what being truly thankful is all about... so far from all that is familiar yet finding myself all the same.
I am thankful, and hopeful and making a joyful noise.
So, as I sit here, typing this and flipping between pages 84 and 129, trying to choose my own adventure, I close the book in my mind. My life is an adventure, one big enough without having to limit my options to simply black or white. I think I'll stay grey for a little while longer. I look good in grey.
Happy holidays, wherever you are, whoever you are, from wherever I am. I love miss, forgive, cherish and thank all of you.