This year makes the second year I have spent Christmas with one of the most important people in my life. Whether you call him my boyfriend, my partner, my lover, or whatever else, I refer to him as my equal and my partner in crime. He is the one person I enjoy having by my side to experience my life going forward. Daily he challenges my line of thinking and the way I look at things, whether good or bad. In these two years I have realized I would rather not be anywhere else than beside him with the tree twinkling as we sit on the couch and just be.
Over this year I have gone over some of the how’s and why’s I have an aversion to Christmas. From burying lovers that had such a love for the holiday, to burying my mother in 2011, one of my last familial holdouts to the love that should surround Christmas. I built up walls to protect myself from feeling the loss that had seemed to become so standard for this time of year. I thought I was doing it to protect myself from having to live through what happened and what may happen when I meet new people. All I really accomplished was isolating myself from feeling, period.
Life rarely happens the way that we want to design it. We say we want a relationship but it has to bend to our will and quickly we realize that we are often confronted with the very type of relationship we need, which is the polar opposite of what we say we want. Karl came into my life not really wanting a relationship. I myself was still unsure but knew that I wanted to be with him. He never pushed me to change and in fact was adamant about not changing for him. Funny how life can work. The truth is, we both ended up shaping one another.
I shied away from this holiday, in what I thought was protecting myself from the hurt that had been leveled upon me. The reality is that I preferred to hide away from the joy that this holiday is meant to inspire. Karl and I have went through dark times in our lives, but it doesn’t change the feelings this time of year gives him. In the almost two short years we have been together, I am slowly starting to see how this time of year affects him and why it’s important.
The one thing that has been a lesson for me is that the small things can have the biggest impact on a person. He tells me how I seem to capture the perfect essence in the gifts I choose and that the cards I fill out for him touch on his emotions, almost perfectly. For someone who only sees the commercial side of the holiday, it is hard for me to see that. I always feel as if I have not shown him enough love and thought in what I choose. But with childlike wonder, he is always pleased with what is given.
I am, admittedly, a selfish person. In the past, paying attention to what a person liked was always hard for me. Finding moments and treasures that seemed to show emotions for events shared or gifts wanted was a monumentous undertaking. It has always been easier to just ask someone what they want and buy it instead of thinking what they like and finding something special. I cannot get away with that with him and it is a challenge.
Whether he intended it or not, Karl has single handedly altered my life.We argue like every other person but each one has me looking at how I approached and handled it to find better ways of dealing. He has shown me that resolution will happen when both parties want to listen to one another and not just react. He has opened my eyes to realizing the ice wall around my heart is doing far more damage than it ever way in protecting me. He has removed the veil from my eyes that has started to let me see some of the joy and magic I used to feel at this time of year.
I am not Scrooge, I am not waking up on Christmas morning and touting of being a new person. That spiritual vestiges have shown me a path of enlightenment and turned me completely around. Not that in the slightest. What I am saying is that the love of a man who is important to me has shown me that I can become more than I am, I need to let go of the crutch I carry and trust that I can walk on my own. That even if i fall along the way, he is there to elevate me and to remind me that second chances happen and I am deserving of it.
Wherever our path leads, in the future, he has shown that he is one of the greatest gifts I have been given in this life. Merry Christmas, Karl and thank you.