Can You Please Pass the Drama?

Holidays have always given me anxiety. Yes, even the Hallmark ones. 

I suppose it's the result of being raised in a house that had to look pretty on the outside. Holidays were times where the inside had to match the outside, and it was exhausting. Not to mention it was often only a matter of how long everyone could hold their breath before real life crept in, and who knows what might happen actually did. Maybe this is why I'm not a big "holiday person," and why the day before any big family event, I feel like I want to set myself on fire.

There's like this underlying pressure to not only do all the things, but get that shit done yesterday, that starts right after Halloween. The stores turn over, in what appears to be a mad, overnight dash, and suddenly it's ON. Like chipmunks, we begin to hoard and hunker down for whatever the hell might be coming down the pike, and we prepare ourselves for "family time." 

Maybe it's just me, but I find all of this extremely anxiety provoking.

Up until this year, I have somewhat dreaded these glorious occasions. Probably because in my family "preparation" often means self-preservation. Getting myself emotionally prepped and ready to head into the lion's den has had a less than stellar effect on my overall cheery disposition and/or willingness to sing along while blasting, "It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year."

This year is different. 

I have officially released my grip from almost every broken relationship in my life that no longer serves me. In some cases, hindsight has allowed me the focus to realize some of them never actually did. Letting go has been a process, as a few of these relationships have been family. This process has resulted in more than a few uncomfortable conversations with people I love, fighting the desire to explain my decisions so they can feel more comfortable with them. 

Here's the deal: I deserve healthy relationships in my life. PERIOD. Guess what? So do you. We do not have explain the hows and/or whys of this simple fact to anyone that might disrupt. We are not responsible for other people's feelings about our feelings. 
"We are not responsible for other people's feelings about our feelings." 
This has taken me a loooooong-ass-muthafuckin' time to get good and fuzzy with, because I am a bonafide people pleaser. I don't like thinking that something I have done or not done, said or not said, might have hurt you. I have always had this incredible desire to fix other people, and I've lost full-on years of my life trying to balance my needs with yours to find the delicate balance between my right to feel things and your right to hate my guts. 

It's been hella exhausting, and every year I get closer and closer to the truth. I deserve to be happy, even if other people disagree or choose to be miserable. I have done a lot of work on myself, and I don't have to share those benefits with everyone who asks me to. I don't have to dedicate my life to making sure other people are comfortable with my decisions, and I don't owe anyone anything. 

I've come to the amazing conclusion that all the holiday noise is completely optional, and that I am under absolutely no obligation to sacrifice anything to appease the masses. 

I do not live for anyone else's approval today. That has not always been the case, but now that it's true, I'm owning it. 

That said, this year I'm making the decision to spend the holidays with people who feed my soul and make my life better. I'm not going out of my way to pretend I'm anything I'm not, and I'm not subscribing to the idea that I have to do or be anywhere I'm not comfortable. 

I'm taking a polite pass on all possible emotional hostage situations this holiday season. 

Feel free to join me. 









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