I had all sorts of plans today. I was going to go to Boulder. I was going to find a copy of Boulder magazine that I’m quoted in. I had a long list of things to do. But, no. Here I am, sitting in a deli writing.
I forced myself out of the house. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have gotten out of bed. If I hadn’t left my bedroom, my roommate would be concerned. And I really don’t want to have that conversation. I gathered my things and forced myself onto the bike. I trusted that I would feel better once I was on the road. And I was right. I just wish I could stay on the bike all night.
This is the second place I’ve stopped. I had lunch and worked on a project at a place close to the house. I was there for a couple of hours. Once I felt like I had worn out my welcome there, I looked up movie times. But, I was just at the movies last night. And there isn’t really anything that I want to see. But, I rode downtown anyway.
I passed the movie theater, the entire 16th St. Mall area and kept riding east. I thought about finding a Walgreens to find another paper notebook. But, I had already passed the one on the mall. I kept riding through heavy Friday night traffic and made the turn from 14th to East bound Colfax. Maybe, if I went to the bar, I would be ok. I could sit there and work. I slowly rode up passed the door and noticed only a few people inside. But then, before I put my feet down, I remembered there was a Walgreens a couple of blocks up near Pete’s Kitchen.
After picking up a notebook, I wondered what I was going to do next. Although I ate lunch back at about 1pm, I hadn’t done enough to burn it off. I wasn’t very hungry. But, here I am, eating, once again. I’m currently at a Subway deciding what my next move will be.
A little girl, about 4 years old, just walked up to me and took turns staring at me and to my iPad and back. I smiled and said hi. But, she just stood there staring. She wasn’t tall enough to see what was on the iPad. So, when I saw her stand on her toes, I lifted it up so she could get a glimpse of the text on it. She wasn’t impressed. It took about 30 seconds before her mom looked behind her, grabbed her little girl and apologized. I laughed it off. I like kids. I didn’t mind. It was actually the first bright spot of the day.
Why am I down?
“We’re not trying to ambush you.” Those were the words. I was visiting my parent’s house and planned on staying the night in their guest room. My mom and I had eaten earlier, having waited long enough for my step dad to get home. So, when he sat down for dinner, my mom motioned me to the table so, we all could talk while he ate. It sounded innocent enough. But, we weren’t really sitting very far from him. After a few minutes of chatter about his day, I had looked down at my iPad and heard my mom say something about Christmas. I looked up at my step dad, who was giving me that look like we need to talk about this. At this point, it was clear they had planned it. I didn’t need to hear my mom say anything about ambushing to get it.
They started off framing the conversation as Christmas is mostly for the kids. And it goes without saying that I don’t have kids. So….yeah.
In all actuality, I saw this coming. Why would Christmas be any different than Thanksgiving. Except, instead of me coming first and then leaving later in the afternoon, they want me to not be there on Christmas day at all. The plan they laid out was what I was thinking it would play out anyway. I would come up Christmas Eve. It’s some variation of what we’ve been doing for years anyway. When my sister and I were kids, our dad would typically pick us up on Christmas morning. So, the family would have Christmas on the evening of the 24th. As we got older and all moved out of the house and eventually had kids, we would still get together on the 24th and exchange gifts among the adults. There have been a few times when we would do it on Christmas Day itself. But, it’s kind of rare.
When they presented this plan, I was completely understanding. They thought I would be mad. They both mentioned that my sister is not handling this well at all. And I’ve moved beyond my frustration with her. I was sad in April when she sent me the email. And all summer, I didn’t let it get to me. I continued working on my life and work. I made incredible strides in conquering my anxiety and meeting new friends. But, once October came around, I started to get upset. I tried not to take it personal. But, how could I not. Here was a very close relative telling me she didn’t want me in her life because of who I am. It hurt. A lot.
So, everything is good, right? We’ll do Christmas Eve and then she and everyone else will be there on the 25th. I wish it was that easy. Last month, I agreed to close the store on Christmas Eve so the store manager could have Christmas with her grandchildren. Her grandchildren, it turns out, are going with their dad on Christmas Day. Sounds familiar. So, without even thinking about how it would impact me, I agreed to do it. Even though we are closing early on Christmas Eve, I won’t get out of there until 10pm. That’s too late to get together with my family. My step dad asked if I was available Friday, the 23rd. I am. But, will that open to many questions for my grandparents? I might be able to change shifts on Christmas Eve with the other shift runner. So, all is not lost.
But, I can’t help feel like my family is casting me aside. They tell me to my face that I’m not doing anything wrong. They tell me that my sister needs time. But, I’m the one who has to suffer.
They have asked me not to write about my sister. Except for when I posted the email she sent me in April, I have tried to not write with a cruel tone. And contrary to what she thinks, I don’t “trash her on Facebook”. When I started this blog, I found that writing helped my mood. It felt good to write. I don’t write to trash my family. I write for myself. So, I will continue to write. I will not talk about private family matters. I won’t write about things I shouldn’t. But, I will write about things that impact my life. And how those things make me feel. I don’t ever want to go back to being the person I was before I started to write in this blog. I can’t.