For Once, I'm Looking Forward To The Holidays

I've Been Skeptical About The Holidays For A Couple Years, But I'm Ready For Them This Year

Finally decided to stop calling the Grinch my animal spirit.

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The holidays have finally reached us, and I think I speak for many of us when I say that we are excited to be able to breathe from school and spend time with our loved ones -- and to eat food, tons of it.

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But for some others, the holidays are a time that reminisces bad moment in their lives. They become a time of sadness and dark pasts. Loved ones have different faces, and homes, where good wishes are shared, have different walls painted a different color.

About four years ago, I left my country and moved to the US -- new traditions and adventures. The holidays weren't easy for my first year. I achingly missed my parents and family from Honduras. The holidays here didn't seem as exciting without all the people I had spent them countless times before.

In Honduras, on Christmas Eve we would always go visit my grandmother from my dad's side for lunch. In the afternoon, I would have dinner with my parents and brother, and then we'd go to church. After that, we would always go to my mom's family to receive midnight and have a sort of party. That was something that I always looked forward to.

The holidays here weren't as adventurous as they were over there. I would stay all day home and wait till food was served and just spend it with my family until we all decided it was time to go to sleep. They seemed pretty dull for the first two years. But now, my boring, asocial ass is fascinated with the simpleness of the holidays.

Sure, here people take the holidays more seriously than we did in Honduras, but I never assimilated. I began seeing the holidays as another day, except that deliciously exquisite food was going to be served that day. It was not like my mom's food nor like my grandmother's. Everything was different, and this difference weighed heavily on me.

Fast-forward to the present day, and I'm still kind of skeptical about the holidays. I don't get the spirit anymore, and till today, it still hasn't hit me. The only thing that I can think of is that the year is soon going to be over.

The one thing I am excited for is being able to celebrate the holidays with the new family I've been slowly building. My partner is accepted and loved by my relatives, and they invited him over to spend Christmas with us. One of my new best friends was also invited. Being able to spend this time with them kinda shines a glimmer on the idea that I have of the holidays.

This new fresh addition to my life have given me many blissful pleasures this 2018, and I know that with them, I'll probably begin to cherish the holidays a little bit more.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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You Don't Have To See Your Friends Every Day

We all have lives that we're trying to balance.

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For as long as I can remember, whenever I would have no plans and go on Snapchat to see all my friends having fun without me, I would get FOMO. I'd get really sad and think that they didn't care about me because they didn't invite me. It would get me in such a bad mood that it would ruin any chance of going out with someone else who wanted to hang out.

I don't know if it was just my anxiety of people hating me or if it was a fear of missing out (FOMO). Even recently, it has gotten me down. However, over the past month or so, I finally realized something: you don't have to hang out every day to still consider each other friends.

Everyone has a life that they're trying to balance, especially after high school. People work (maybe even more than one job) and go to school. Some have to take care of family members or do things for their family. Some people are focusing on themselves. Some have relationships to maintain. Whatever it is, we all have lives that we're trying to balance.

We all want to have fun, but school, work, and our families are the priorities.

Even if they're out hanging with other people, it doesn't mean that they don't want to hang out with you. Free time is served on a "first come, first serve" basis. It's hard to balance hanging out with multiple people.

I also learned that it doesn't matter the number of friends you have. What truly matters is the quality. Ask yourself, "Who's there for me when I really need someone?" The people who are there for you when you really need someone to talk to are your TRUE friends.

It's not easy to be there for someone and make them feel better. If they offer to listen or give advice, they care!

I know that it may feel like you have no friends sometimes, but that's not true. Life after high school is hard at times. You're an adult. You have to do adult things and take care of yourself first.

You have to realize that everyone has a busy schedule and not all your friends' schedules will align with yours, but that's okay! You don't need to hang out with friends every day to consider them your friends. What truly matters is if they are there for you when you need them.

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