A Moment of Reflection: New Year, New Everything

2018 did not have a smooth ending for me.

      It’s early in the morning, a few days after New Year’s while I’m writing this. I'm sitting in the guest bedroom at my best friend’s house. A large majority of my clothes are surrounding me and the rest of my belongings are locked up in a 300-year-old farmhouse about 10 minutes down the road, where they were left when I learned I wasn't going to be going back to my mom’s house for the holidays. There is a brand new set of suitcases by the window which, a few days from now, will be packed to the brim with my clothing and a few mementos from home. My headphones are in my ears; I’m listening to a mix of classics, like Bob Dylan, the Band, and the Beach Boys, with a little bit of early 2010's pop mixed in as well.

    I feel strange because I didn't go home for the holidays, nor did I spend any time at all with my biological family. I was blindsided when I heard the news that I wasn't to be going home to my mom’s, but not overly upset. I feel more at home and welcome with my best friend’s family. Despite this sense of closeness, it is strange to be back in my hometown at a time of year that is meant to be spent at home. The absence of my mother over the Christmas holidays, though much better for me, comes as a shock, and makes me a little bit angry. I will not get into as of why she was not involved in my celebration of the holidays, but I will say that her lack of attendance in the celebration of the Christmas season resulted in a new rift in our relationship that makes me unsure of what to expect the next time I return to my hometown.

    Despite the unexpected developments of the end of 2018, I am looking forward to what the new year holds for me. In a few days, I’ll be saying goodbye to Canada for an entire six-month period to go on exchange in the UK, something I’ve been counting down the days until since the middle of October. I think a change of scenery will be beneficial for me, and allow me to focus a lot more on myself, rather than being occupied with external stressors.