The holidays are hard for us. They’re hard for a lot of people but the hurt is still fresh here. The loss still tangible as if it was just a few years ago – because it was. Spending the past few years in nothing but survival mode, doing nothing but everything at the same time, carrying the weight of the world and the expectations of two kids and my entire childhood on my shoulders was enough to break me or make me run away but instead I did neither. I got through it. I got so far through it that I seem to have gotten myself stuck in survival mode and am right back into that now that it’s the holidays again.

I keep saying I’ve just gotta get through it. I’ve just gotta get through this week. This weekend. This one big thing. This next big thing. Then something else breaks. Something else is broken. And suddenly I’m realizing the really broken thing is me.

I feel like I could cry at the drop of a hat (or the burning out of a Christmas tree bulb) and I have been and I hate it. I despise crying. It makes me feel physically ill and then I get myself all twisted up inside and overthink and retreat back into my head and want to run away only this time I don’t want to run away, I don’t want to leave at all because I’ve finally found home and people I feel like I actually belong with. Family. Something that’s been so broken and fragmented for so many of us that perhaps that’s why we fit together the way we do. And even when we’re not broken, we all have our jagged little edges. It’s how we fit together that makes all the difference. And we all fit together, that much I know.

I need to get through this weekend. So far through but not so far that I push everyone away. I’ve never had someone there for me – let alone multiple people – when I’ve gone through some of what I am looking ahead at this weekend. I am afraid for that, but less afraid than I think I was of being alone again. I know I’ll get through this. So far through. Right through to Deadwood, and Wyoming, with people I love, coming back to people I love, in a place I call home.

I am so far through these past few years, that I have to believe the next one will be even better. This year was hard, but this fall has been incredible, and, despite the weight of the holidays and the shifting of work and timing and balancing of everything else, I know that January continues the upward momentum, and that will keep carrying on through ahead. I’ve been saying for years that those of us who put in the work, got through these hard times, and didn’t give up or shit out, or look for excuses or scapegoats, but honestly truly focused on how to keep going, keep growing, and keep looking up were destined for better things ahead. Those things are here, and more are coming, I believe that. So far, through everything, I can see where things are going and I am smiling even through the tears.