December 25, 2017

Feeling Grateful

I’m writing this early on a quiet Christmas Eve morning. My room is illuminated in fairy lights. My dog is snoozing in his bed. Like a kid, I’m too excited to go back to sleep, and I’ve been awake since 5am.

This year brings a lot of firsts, for me, and for my family. It’s the first year I’m celebrating Christmas with my girlfriend, Ruth. In fact, our 6 month anniversary was on the winter solstice. Luckily, I’ll be able to visit her and her family tonight so I can share in their Christmas Eve traditions a little bit. I look forward to giving Ruth her gifts, eating her mom’s homemade cannolis, and most importantly, just being with her and feeling accepted, like a part of her family.

It’s the first year of my brother and his girlfriend living together, so their apartment is decked out in cool lumberjack plaid Christmas decor. They have the cutest fat tree, and loads of presents beneath it. Although they have many places to visit this Christmas, I hope they find some time just for themselves.

It’s the first year of my dad living with his girlfriend, as well. He moved into her house back in the summer and together they’ve only been flourishing. With his abundant handyman skills, he’s been able to work on the house, and together they have made it theirs. Believe it or not, I’m excited to see their new front door when I go visit today.

It’s the first year of my mom’s sobriety, and I couldn’t be more proud. Though she’s struggled in the past with it, I know for a fact that she is serious about taking back control of her life. She’s been spending her nights cross-stitching instead of drinking. We’ve been crafting together, Christmas shopping together, and we’ve even talked about opening a small business together. She is my best friend, and I admire and look up to her strength, beauty, and creativity.

It’s the first year, in a long time, that I feel so happy and so grateful for all that I have in my life. No, I’m not entirely content with every aspect of my life. I have many flaws and mental illness that tries its hardest to hold me back. But this year has been a year of growth for me. It’s my first Christmas being out as non-binary to (nearly all of) my family, and it’s the first year with my new name. I’m genuinely happy, even when depression and anxiety push their way in. I’m discovering the tools I need to deal with different situations, and because of that I’m able to start making a life that I can be proud of.

I am so grateful for all the wonderful people that I have in my life. I’m grateful for the growth I continue to go through. I’m grateful for everything that’s led me to this moment, typing this out as I consider catching a few more hours of sleep before two days full of Christmas celebrations.

Remember to acknowledge the things you are grateful for. Tell the people you love that you love them. Stay humble and present in each moment. If you celebrate Christmas, have a wonderful one. If you celebrate another holiday, I hope it’s filled with love and happiness for you. If you don’t celebrate any holidays, quietly celebrate all the great things in your life, even if they are few. Be kind to yourself and to others.

Merry Christmas


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