Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Alone

I didn't really tell any of my friends or family, but I am spending this Thanksgiving Day alone.  I didn't tell many people, because I didn't want to explain why or deal with the looks of sympathy.  The same looks people give for being single come when someone hears that you plan to spend a major family holiday alone.  But, just like being single, this was my choice.  So, I spent Turkey Day 2010 drinking espresso, researching Nikolai Khardzhiev and the Russian Avant-garde and working out.  It's been lovely.

At some point today, my brain decided to embark on a little project.  It filed through the years and replayed some stories of Thanksgivings past.  I suppose the result of the memory lane trip was something that my subconscious has know all along.  The realization in my waking life was an interesting tap on the shoulder.  It wasn't exactly startling enough to be a slap in the face, but subtle enough to be a reminder that I probably needed.

Thanksgiving 2006 - Thanksgiving 2009.  I was 16 when I got into my first relationship.  We spent Thanksgiving and all other holidays splitting our time between two households.  I became a part of his family and he a part of mine.  This was the first in a long line of mergers I would embark upon.  This was the beginning brick in my wall of dual citizenship.  I would spend the next ten (+) years attempting to figure out who I was while trying to simultaneously play a role of the other half of something.

After I broke up with my first boyfriend, I got into a relationship with my second boyfriend.  I took all of two months before I made this transition.  I was with him for a bit over a year.  During that year, we spent Thanksgiving just as I had with my first, pretending to be equal parts of one unit.  He came to Thanksgiving at my parents' place and we acted like he was part of the family.

After I split with that one, I was single for a year.  Somewhere in this year, I decided I would split my romantic life and my family life and I created distance between my loved ones and my current "one."  After about a year, I met Oscar.  Oscar might be the only boy I have ever been in love with.  We didn't spend our only Thanksgiving together.  But, I spent my entire day wondering when he would call and tell me that I could leave my parents' place and pick him up from his mother's house.  So, while he wasn't physically there, my mind was preoccupied by him, all day.  This is how I spent most of my days during the Oscar era.  I really lost myself in this one.  I had no hobbies, no interests.  I was 22 and I was nothing to look back on with pride.

After Oscar and I broke up, I took some time and began to start developing into an interesting person.  I went back to school and created relationships and friendships as a single unit, where before, I had always been part of a unit.  Then, true to my form, I got into another relationship.  This one would be long and I would slowly lose myself again.  I spent every holiday for 6 years with his family.  I stopped even going to my own family gatherings.  There were other factors behind this, but the end result was me stepping out of my single role, out of my role as half of a unit and into my role as best supporting actress as "Blank's Girlfriend."  The older women and men in his family didn't remember my name, so that's even what they called me ... "Where is Blank's Girlfriend?"  "This pie is really good.  Did 'Blank's Girlfriend' make this?"  Luckily, his family was dope, so I got to stay interesting and I grew with them, as well.  Two (official) years out of that relationship, I still visit on holidays and I still talk to everyone in the family.  I will always love them.

2008, I was 28.  This was my first Thanksgiving away from my family or the family of my mate.  I spent it with the family of one of classmates in Jersey.  I had broken away from Houston and all of my exes and I was on my own, sort of.  I would spend this Thanksgiving flirting with my classmate's cousin.  For three nights, we stayed up late, drank whiskey and watched old episodes of That 70's Show.  It was a nice change of pace, but it wasn't quite solo enough.

Last year, I changed it up even more.  I spent most of the day in my room listening to music.  I was overly hyped up.  I found it hard to sit still.  I felt kind of pathetic for being all alone on a family holiday. The latter half of the day was spent with one of my good friends.  We caught a movie and hit up a local bar for their free turkey dinner and some beer.  Other than the bartender and some random loner at the bar, there were no men involved in this day.  It was an interesting moment.  I was far enough out of my relationships, far enough removed, that I didn't miss them.  I missed my own family a bit, but I was happy.

This year takes the fuckin' cake.  I have spent the entire day alone.  I haven't talked to or seen another living soul.  It's been fabulous.  I have spent the entire day doing exactly what I wanted.  So, I decided to take this trip down memory lane, because I had time to do it.   I woke at noon and laid in a still silence.  I put music on and read.  I returned a few "Happy Thanksgiving" texts, then I turned my phone off.  I have been inside my head all day and it's been great.

Sometimes I am lonely.  Today is not one of those days.  Luckily, I had the Ghost of Thanksgivings Past to step in a remind me why making the choice to be alone, while difficult, has been the right choice.

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About Me

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I am the product-child of the Women's Lib movement. I have a grade A education, a promising career and no immediate goal for children or a spouse. I will be 30 this year and I have spent many years in monogamous relationships. In and out of 1 to 2 year relationships, I always dated with the goal of meeting someone special. Most of the time I didn't date. Most of the time I found myself falling into relationship after relationship. These relationships were doomed to fail. They were all built on expectations that were, for me, unattainable. I love meeting new people. I find sex enjoyable and empowering and I am not happy when I am monogamous. So, after my last break-up, after taking some time to grieve, I decided to cut my societal puppet strings and get back in the game. I set out on a mission to spend the Summer of 2010 dating as many men as possible. My only initial criteria was attraction. My only limitation was - no love and no structured relationships. This is my date by date tale of what life can be like outside of the goals of relationships and love.
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