A few days ago, I decided to do what everyone does at Christmas-time and actually book accommodation on the coast somewhere. It’s not something I’ve done since I was a kid with my family but with year the way it has been, it’s likely to be the only kind of holiday I’ll get.
As I started trawling the interwebs, a tight knot began to form in my chest. The more I looked, the tighter it became until I felt agitated and physically distressed. At first, I thought it was because I had a meeting with my uni supervisor in a few hours that I should have been preparing for instead
but it niggled me long after my meeting was over.
This afternoon, I jumped back online for round two, certain that the pending announcement about Sydney’s fireworks cancellation will send people looking elsewhere to holiday. I wanted to get in before anything affordable was gone.
And the knot returned. My leg began to shake under my desk, a restlessness, a slight catch in my breathing. The idea of booking accommodation was giving me anxiety. The last time I felt something akin to this was when I had to furnish my house – on my own.
It’s a weird thing. You’d think being able to decorate your home in any way you choose, in your own style, to your own taste and make no compromises would be the dream but I found it challenging. There’s something quite overwhelming about making choices about long-term purchases without the assistance of a partner, even if you would probably ignore their opinions. Strangely, I had no problem buying the house itself on a whim – the process from first viewing to signing the contract was less than 48 hours. But on furniture, I floundered. It took lots of self-talk for me to comprehend that no one was going to make these decisions for me.
That’s the feeling I have today about booking accommodation. I don’t think it’s the accommodation aspect – I’ve done that plenty of times – but the idea that I am locking myself in to a Christmas holiday … on my own.
When I realised this, the knot of anxiety rose to my throat and threatened to come out through my eyeballs. Crying over not having anyone for Christmas, it’s like a tragic Mariah Carey song, and certainly not something that has bothered me in the past. Admittedly, I had a partner last Christmas, and technically the Christmas before that. But 2017, I was definitely on my own … wasn’t I?
Fuck. I really haven’t had a Christmas alone since I was, wait for it, 13 years old. That was the last time I was single at Christmas. It’s no wonder my relationship homing device is having a panic attack on my insides. It feels lost.
So, it’s actually even more important that I do this, because even though Christmas is months away and anything can happen, I shouldn’t be living my life based on a “what if” or a “maybe” or a “possibility”. I really need to harden the fuck up.