Christmas Solitude

Today I'm alone on Christmas for the first time in a decade. My mom's moved west, so I have no family left in New York, and my girlfriend's off on a cruise with her family. "Here I go again on my own" blares from my computer speakers as I try to psyche myself into being productive, casting off the feeling of loneliness by reveling in it.

That's all well and melodramatic, but the truth is that I'm not alone at all. I spent the 24th and 25th with friends - chosen family, as one of them says in his sermon. I'm lucky to have good friends that welcome me to their family events. I'm also lucky to have people whose absence I actively miss. I'd rather have family that I miss than family that feels like an unfortunate obligation. It's sort of the better to have loved and lost thing.

I've always felt comfortable by myself. That could be an artifact of my one-parent, only-child upbringing. Even when I still had two parents, I could spend hours alone, engrossed in activity. I can't say that I really get bored. There's always something to be doing, and a lot of things are better done alone. So today I'll value my friends and family, but also my solitude. I'm lucky to have both.

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