Tomorrow’s another holiday.
Unlike Father’s Day, I’ve actually got a Mother to celebrate, but she’s 7500 miles away.
Watching people post photos of themselves with their mothers, reading about their lunches with their mothers, hearing about families and holidays and dinners at home, reminds me that, for me, solitude feels like home.
One of my friends asked me why I hang onto people long after their expiration dates, why I’m so reluctant to let exes slip away. It’s because I don’t like letting go. I don’t like losing more people from my life. I’ve lost too many people already. At times like these, I feel fragmented and adrift, a floating dandelion in the breeze, and so when I can find anything that will tether me, that will connect me, I hang on for dear life.
I left home for college at 18. My mother moved to Israel after my first year of college. I moved from college to New York. A few years into New York was when my father stopped speaking to me. Since then, I’ve lived in Berlin and Los Angeles, and I learned to live alone. I’ve learned to live with a family half a world away — and with the fact that the family close to me doesn’t want to speak to me.
I know I need to claim at least partial responsibility. I chose not to follow my mother to Israel. I chose to live 7500 miles away. I chose to follow my career around the world, pursuing my own personal dreams, while others moved back to their hometowns, privileging family and geography. And now they’ve got families for their holidays and holidays for their families.
I know I’ve got no one to blame for myself. But that doesn’t make it any easier to be alone. Damn, Hallmark, you can be such a bitch, with your capitalistic programming and your Norman Rockwell expectations.
There are too many holidays where we are expected to fit the status quo, where divergence is discouraged and ignored. Where there is something wrong if you don’t have someplace to send a card.
It doesn’t feel right to be alone on Mother’s Day, much like it doesn’t feel right to be alone on Father’s Day or New Year’s or Thanksgiving or Christmas, but I have to remind myself that this is my status quo.
That solitude feels like home.
Maybe one day Hallmark will make a card for that?