For The Lonely-Hearted This Holiday Season
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For The Lonely-Hearted This Holiday Season

Still, have yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

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For The Lonely-Hearted This Holiday Season
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My friends, this has been quite the year. A year of heartbreak. A year of loss. A year of learning to adapt.

Still, we continue to go on. This year, probably more than any other in recent years, we have so much to be thankful for. There is a lyric from a musical that I adore - "There are glasses to raise / in the praise of surviving the day" (first person to guess the musical will win my eternal affection). We survived so much this year, and there is still so much to survive moving forward.

But, I hope you feel the same amount of hope that I do as I write this. Vaccines are on their way, a new administration is taking office with the promise of change, and empathy is returning.

We have to hold ourselves and others accountable in a way that makes sense and doesn't cause us to lose our humanity. Too often this year, we've taken to social media to tear each other down and call each other out when we perceived them to not be doing "enough". In case no one has told you today, if you are doing the best you can, then you are doing "enough".

A great professor at Penn State said this year - "We must extend each other grace". I've adopted that as a mantra that I use almost daily. I use it at my work. I use it in my studies. I use it here at home where I don't necessarily always see eye to eye with my parents.

No longer will you negate your own experiences or allow anyone else to. Yes, everyone is going through something. But that "everyone" includes you.

You are allowed to feel heartbreak.

You are allowed to feel loss.

You are allowed to struggle adapting to change.

You are allowed to throw your hands up and close your screen.

It's okay.

You are allowed to give yourself permission to do all of these things.

This holiday season, we are all celebrating a bit differently. Friends and family are being asked to stay apart so that we can hopefully one day soon, come together again.

Something that I am missing desperately is just the feeling of holding someone in my arms. Human touch. When you're left alone to your own thoughts, those thoughts are exasperated. I've never experienced true heartbreak before this year, and so, when my first real relationship ended earlier this fall, that crushing blow was all the heavier to handle.

I've searched for meaning to help me deal with it. I've written, I've talked about it to friends who have listened, I've gone for walks to be by myself in nature. I thought, for a period of time, that I was "over" it. But then, the holidays rolled around and that dark feeling of loneliness returned.

If you're experiencing something similar, I hear you. And you are not alone. Your situation is unique to you and I will not invalidate your struggles.

Don't give up. Keep going. I'll see you real soon.

And have yourself a Merry Christmas, because you deserve it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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