Tag Archives: Christmas

Reading the Christmas Barometer

Conversation

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I have become bitter, old, and cynical, but it is still my favorite holiday. It’s my favorite holiday when it’s good. Otherwise, it’s one of the most depressing days of the year. If it’s bad, it becomes a barometer of how messed up your life has been. What the hell have you been up to that you can’t even get a Christmas that is joyful?

The thing with Christmas is that it always brings me to a time when my family and I were still living together. My mother was still around, everyone got presents, and we even shared the evening with our cousins and extended family. There were tons of food and something Christmas-related was on the television to further amp up the mood. It was close as I could ever be to experiencing a Norman Rockwell painting. And yes, I do realize that nothing could ever replicate the holidays of my childhood, especially with rose-tinted glasses, but every year, I just want a decent meal and an evening that doesn’t end with me sleeping depressed.

Joyful is the last word I would use to describe Christmas this year.

There was one Christmas when my family, after having celebrated and opened all of our presents, was subjected to the sounds spousal abuse happening over at our neighbor’s house. It was pretty bad. To this day, I could still remember the sound of that poor woman being choked, as well as the knocking of her husband’s mother saying, “that’s enough… please stop it.” I don’t remember how the whole thing ended, but I do remember that no police officers were called to the scene.

There was another Christmas when I spent the holidays all by myself. I was in midst of the lowest depression. Nothing was working out in my life and I found myself wandering the city all by myself while people around me laughed, cackled, held hands with their loved ones, and made me all the more depressed. I remember one of the good things about that year was that it was actually snowing. It reminded me of being back home. See, when everything is bad, it’s the smallest things that count. What surprised me that year was that I got messages from two people I long discounted from my life. One from an old student and another from a friend whom I like to think I once helped out through her depression. It was good to be remembered. And at that time, I like to think I did something good to be remembered during the holidays. My life was messed up, but at least I did a bit of good for some people. I wonder what they’re up to now?

I’ve never been seriously bullied in my childhood, but I do remember being ostracized or being called names at one point or another. It was nothing serious, and I used to brush them off, but I do remember its sting and the cold lump it built on my throat, slowly making breathing a little bit harder. I’m sure everyone knows this feeling. I never thought about those feelings much before, but on Christmas, that’s the exact sensation that I felt. I’m a grown man, but I felt insecure, ugly, inept, unloved, not normal, and in a word “weird.” It was one of those few instances when I truly felt I didn’t belong… that something was truly wrong with me. That cold lump on my throat was making it harder for me to breath, and as I type these words, the sensation is still so fresh that I can still feel its sting. It’s like I am that neighbor lady being metaphorically choked.

I actually sometimes wonder if that actual benign lump in my thyroid is a manifestation of insecurities, Christian guilt, actual guilt, depression, and anxiety, and that it will someday grow and choke the life out of me.

Ugh… what am I writing? It’s December 26! It’s a low bar. I had a shitty Christmas. I hope everyone had a better Christmas than me.

 

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Christmas was an asshole this year.

christmas-2016

This year is the worst. I’m not just saying that because of politics and celebrities dying, but personally, the years have been getting worse and worse. Outside of my mother dying in 2008, this year has me most beat.

I feel like Paul Robeson on Showboat, “tired of living and scared of dying.” 

 

 

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Good Riddance

Horsey

This is the last post for 2014. Good bye 2014. You were never good to me. The only high point would be travelling and my sister giving birth to my nephew, but other than that, 2014 was a disaster for me. It started with major health issues; then my personal finances took a huge hit, then a couple of my clients quit on me because they’ve been hit hard as well. I lost a couple of friends, was disillusioned with people at work, and it’s been a struggle making art. I’ve lost touch with my best friend recently and I noticed that I started to become more and more of a hermit. And what’s depressing is, I don’t mind.

I remember writing about an impromptu palm reading I had this year, that I would have a healthy but short life. If I get murdered or die in an accident in the next couple days, don’t bother with investigations or autopsies. It was 2014.

 

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Sick, depressed, bloated

Bloated

Back in Seoul… back to working. Though I’m no longer jet-lagged (I recover quite quickly), I am still terribly homesick. I told my best friend that I would probably be terribly depressed for a couple weeks or so after coming back, and that prediction rings through. A part of me is still trying to figure out how to finally move back to Canada… find a job, invest on a home, etc. But it all amounts to money right now. MONEY. I don’t mind working any job once I move back home. Any job will do just to be home. But I have to really save up before I decide to finally move. Just thinking about all the expenses right now, finding a place, living off my savings for a few months, etc. It’s all pretty intimidating. But I do miss Canada. I miss Winnipeg. And I’d gladly cut off several toes just to be back home.

Of course, that’s just me talking right now. A part of me worries that once I finally decide to move back home I’d feel stuck, etc. After all, I did decide to move out of the country before. Maybe I’ll feel stuck regardless of where I go.

It was great to be home, however. I wish I could’ve spent more time there, but we did make the best of it. It’s rare that my family and I get together, especially with us living in different places, so we celebrated Halloween and Christmas while I was there. My sister’s wedding was a highlight, and I’m so happy for her and her husband. Art-wise, I got to hang out with my artist best friend, Jordan Miller (http://www.jordanlmiller.com/), and we got to do some artsy things including attending a puppet show in her gallery. Comic Con was also held while we were there, so it was quite an eventful couple of weeks.

Again, I miss Canada… I miss Winnipeg. I miss “Friendly Manitoba.” It’s making me terribly ill not being home right now.

There’s several things I could write about right now, like my troubles with Travelocity, the experience at Comic Con, the art scene in Winnipeg, the beauty of having a wide selection of beer, etc. but maybe some other time. Right now I’ll just focus on being depressed and longing to be back home.

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