Holiday Angst

There is something about the Christmas season that makes you think about life in sad ways.

I had a friend visiting not too long ago who had just heard that a friend of hers had decided to have a baby despite the fact that she didn’t have a husband. She kept repeating how sorry she felt for her, not to have had a husband and father, and all I could think was that she did have her child, who was healthy, and she had a good job to be a single parent – she’s a teacher – and that life comes with a lot of goddamn compromises.

I think about my lovely set of friends from high school and so many have had unfortunate surprises in their lives: babies born with serious medical conditions, boyfriends in near-fatal accidents, people who wanted children & didn’t have them (yet), people who didn’t and who did. There are so many ways things can go a little awry, or a lot awry, but I found myself feeling a little angry at the pity my friend was expressing, maybe because I’ve felt that kind of pity directed at me, although not from her, because I married someone trans.

So I’ve been thinking this winter about how to make room in my life for other people’s decisions in a way that really is fair to them. I’m tired of feeling like everyone’s a control freak, as if we all know better than others about what they need or should have. I’m not sure what the answer is but as we all get ready to see old friends and family I thought it might be something to think about.

Life is not easy, but it’s definitely that much harder when you can feel someone’s judgement on the back of your head.

2 Replies to “Holiday Angst”

  1. It isn’t easy to not form opinions of others’ decisions. Maybe the best way to deal with this is to rationalize first that this is their decision and while it may not work for you, your decisions might not work for them. One of the perks of being individuals.

  2. We are spiritual cousins; very different life experiences marbled with emotions I can always immediately identify with. Holidays always bring up “count your blessings” which always triggers a cascading Pachinko machine of guilt/resentment/anger/frustration/gratitude/more guilt/more anger….etc, ad infinitum.
    It’s only since I’ve been here that I realize that by being partnered with a transperson, our partners are “queer by default” whether they accept it or not, and that comes with its own load of sadness, pressures and resentments.
    I have a lot to be grateful for, and a long way to go; that may be the human condition in a nutshell.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

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