Heiligabend

snowflowerIt’s interesting how fast the three decades of my life have passed. I remember how two decades ago I would look forward to Christmas Eve, that’s when people in Northern Germany (and in other countries) celebrate Christmas. One gets to open the presents already, too. I used to love it. My parents’ friends and their kids would come around our place and hang out. My dad would cook a big Chinese dinner for about 15 people. Thinking about these days I can only picture everyone laughing and having a good time. Every year I would be looking forward to Christmas, because New Year’s Eve was right next-door. In Germany it’s common to have fireworks all night from midnight. My dad used to buy 3 meter long firecrackers that would start from the ground and go all the way up the tree. Before midnight my sister and I would have a nap, usually from 7 or 8pm until 10pm, because that was when dinner would be ready. My cousins would be there, too and before the nap we would play games. We would make a schedule for games and divide them into video games, board games and imaginary games. After Nintendo or video games in general I loved playing imaginary games. We pretended that we were orphans, chose our own names and gender and would imagine my room or my sister’s room to be a cave or the home of an abusive family, or the woods or school, anything. I had a lot of fun back then, knowing that I was free and could truly be me, unlike in real life school. Family has always been the most important to me. I also admit that I felt closer to other Asian kids as they didn’t make me feel ostracized and I was more open to them, too. Back in real life school where I was surrounded by white kids I had a lot of trouble adapting, despite their effort to make friends with me. I mean they tried, but I didn’t, not hard enough. Moreover, I didn’t let them in, something just didn’t feel right. I always thought it was the color of my skin, my small eyes, although it had nothing to do with my race and outward appearance in the end. It was just all in my head and nowhere else. And in my head it all remained. So the lack of self-esteem evolved into anxiety and the anxiety developed a depression and panic. On another note, I couldn’t accept being different, character-wise, personality-wise.

The only channel of release that I found was on blank paper, which I still call the white sea. All the wishful thinking, self-pity and other emotions would go there. No one understood the relief that it brought upon me. Other than relief there was a sense of accomplishment that inspired me to become a writer. From that moment onward I’d always known what I wanted to be, even now. It has been the only thing keeping me from losing control over my emotions. Since then I’ve always known what I wanted, too, even now, it’s just ridiculous to share with others, no matter how close they are to me. The only problem is me not working hard enough to get what I want. Self-esteem may be a part of it, but also knowing how much I need to rip my arse off like I used to back at university. Now that I am no longer in university it’s almost three times as hard. My brain wanders off, my heart is empty with no fiction…

I’ve been called a melancholic for staring at the ground and for dwelling in the past. I never had a problem with that until now, because now the melancholy brings along no inspiration and no form of release. My mind is overfed with apathy making it feel like I was back on antidepressants, which I am not. Sometimes I wish I was and then I overdose on Bach’s rescue drops, because fitness is not enough. Peace of mind needs time and epiphanic moments Gods will make you wait. Or maybe not and it all depends on you and how long it takes for you to overcome stupidity.

Christmas and New Years make me reflect a lot. I try to pin down the moments when I was still happy and unaware of life’s obstacles and then I try to mark the sharp corners where I derailed and crashed.

I hardly have anything to share by mouth and I wish people would leave me alone. Though I can’t tell this to anyone. I’ve been trying to veil underneath a second skin, which is killing me and I admit I am not talented at hiding. Then you wonder what else you can do apart from keeping your mouth shut and live out the introvert that you are. That’s when I fall headlong into a dilemma. I think about John the Savage from Brave New World whom I admire and on other days I would kill for something like soma.

My mother did ruin Christmas for me when I was around 15 or 16. I still had the Christmas spirit going, but my parents didn’t. It was during the period where my mum’s OCD was at its peak and she couldn’t stop cleaning every day. I remember asking her not to clean on Christmas Eve, but of course she did, she hoovered. I slammed my bedroom door shut and started writing a short story – one that brought me to tears. That’s how pathetic I was. What matters is it helped me regulate my emotions. I was no longer mad at my mum. Though, ever since then Christmas began to lose meaning  year after year.

Almost one decade ago I remember spending Christmas all by myself in High Wycombe. All my room mates have gone home and I had the house to myself. I loved it. I read about three books during that Christmas. Couldn’t self-educate myself in any better way.

But as I said Christmas became ordinary and the only sweet thing about it was  caramelized almonds at German Christmas Markets. I do look for things that keep me happy during the season. And this year it’s my boy and apple pie. Although I know that things will always change and have some sort of effect on me, I am ok. I can make caramelized almonds myself.

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