‘Tis the season to be jolly!
I’m sure we’ve all heard this, and I’m sure many of us could attest to it.
After completing my first semester at university, I can honestly say that I have never been happier for the holidays. Getting work done on time was one thing. Trying to actually have a social life was a whole other thing.
You see, my favourite question that I’ve been asked thus far since starting university is, “Have you made any friends yet?” I almost always seem to respond with a yes, which technically isn’t a lie. Yes, I’ve made friends, but not nearly as much as my interrogator would expect. In fact, the amount of time I spend alone far outweighs the amount of time I spend around these “friends” I say I’ve made.
Now that the holidays are here, I can only sigh a sigh of relief. At least now I won’t have to obsess about people noticing my “abnormality,” or how terrible I am at making friends. But now that I have all the time in the world to be alone, I realize just how much I miss all the distraction that university life provided. If it did anything, it provided an escape from having to face the fact that beyond the times I manage to paint a pretty smile on my face, internally, I’m really struggling.
Since the start of the holidays, I have succeeded in one thing. I have rekindled my faith, and once again, I am reminded of just how much time I spend worrying about things that don’t really matter and how much time I could be spending of the things that really do. As much as I love all the distractions that come with university life, I admit that sometimes, it can be so easy to get lost in them.
This Christmas has been quite uneventful to say the least; at least, for people like me who are not exactly the partying kind. The long standing tradition of telling tales of Jesus’ birth through various TV programmes still stands, however. Unfortunately, it seems, not many seem to care as much.
Outside of some family time, I’ve mostly spent my holidays on my own, which is not surprising. It’s what happens every time Christmas comes around. The good thing about this, however, is that I am able to take a step back and really assess myself. What’s my assessment? Lately it seems I’ve been getting lost in the world, and it seems I constantly have to remind myself to “be in the world, but not of it.”
The whole concept of partying has never been too appealing to me, but sometimes, I desperately want to escape the silence. It is silence that brings out the worst in me; that unearths the very things I am too afraid to face, yet, because of my own disconnection with the people and the world around me, much of my life, I’ve been forced to live with it.
These days, it seems I only keep on asking myself, why can’t you just be like everyone else? But after so many years of wondering, I’m beginning to think that maybe I just wasn’t meant to be, and maybe there’s nothing wrong with that. The wonderful thing about it all is that there are others who feel just like me.
Not until I started university would I realize just how much my faith would make me stand out. While I go to a Christian university, at times it feels that my idea of Christianity differs from everyone elses. Even while being in such an environment where almost everyone’s beliefs should seem to align with my own, there are many times I still feel lonely.
But the wonderful thing about it all is that, in being alone, I have found a great companion and a faith that is so complicated, yet so beautiful. There is comfort in knowing that though I may feel lost and lonely at times, I am never truly alone, and that is what I have to remind myself this holiday.
In fact, if there was anything I could change about this holiday, it would not be my loneliness. It would be the fact that I haven’t helped a single person out there who’s feeling lonely, hungry, ill or depressed; people who can’t seem to find the cheer this Christmas. I only ask of you, be kind to your neighbours this holiday season, because kindness is one of the greatest gifts one can receive.
Feel free to let me know how your holidays are going.