Sunday, December 26, 2010
Stuck: Another perspective
I've been thinking a lot, big surprise, about this special time of the year. As I read the journals of my LJ buddies, I can see that many of them, like me, seem to attach bad memories to Christmas. I suppose, to paraphrase Good Will Hunting, this is only slightly less random than attaching them to, say, Arbor Day, or August the 11th, for that matter. But perhaps the real question is why attach them at all.
I recently bought a photograph from an artist LJ buddy (me, see picture at the top of the post). Actually, it took us months to complete the transaction, but the minute I saw the photo, it spoke to me. It's a shot of a little boy with his head stuck in an elaborate stone balustrade. It occurred to me that most of us can relate to that little boy, stuck somewhere but not quite sure how to get "unstuck"; a little comical when observed from the outside, but no less challenging for the little boy.
As Christmas approaches, I have a tendency to feel like that little boy; stuck in all the negative associations I attach to the season. This year seemed like the Perfect Storm to support that unhealthy response; my nephew's suicide, the death of my cousin, the loss of my car and a particularly trying semester as a grad student, all seemed tailor-made for an encore of all the worst memories I could dredge up for the season.
I am successful in my profession and my studies. I feel equally lucky for all the things with which I have been gifted as for those for which I have struggled, and I remain optimistic that, in so many ways, the best is yet to come. And if I have been relegated to my bed with flu for the past few days, so what? This too shall pass.
I may have been that little boy with his head stuck in the past, and I will undoubtedly be him again from time to time in the future. But I do have choices, and I choose to see the best in things, including myself.