This week at work I learned that the Worleys love Christmas. For those who haven’t learned yet, I work for the Worleys at their home office. So, my day to day duties are done from a house, for a family atmosphere. With this aspect of my work, the working in a family part, there is a much more defined sense of personal support. Some of that involves decorating the house for Christmas.
Good workers never get bored on the job–my co-worker, Maggie, is certainly one of those people who hates to be bored. So naturally we pulled out about five huge boxes full of Christmas decorations for inside, outside, upstairs and down stairs from the garage this week. I came to the quick conclusion that Bridget’s favorite holiday season is Christmas. While I unpacked an entire elf, Santa, snowman colony from one of the boxes I got to thinking about my childhood Christmases.
My mom always had this Christmas village she put above the kitchen cabinets. We always had a tree lit, and the bannister going up stairs always had garland and lights. My sister and I were left to the task of hanging all of our home made ornaments and memories on the tree. The tree always looked far beyond a hallmark Christmas and closer to a… well a tree decorated by an eight and twelve year old. But the lack of Christmas grandeur didn’t make our house any less magical.
Bridget’s tree, and my tree in my home with Alex are… severely lacking popsicle sticks, and covered in holiday baubles and lights and glittering holly sprigs. They are both color coordinating and look so perfect. I think about the homes of all of my best friends in high school and remember the pre-k craft covered trees and hand-print reindeer. This holiday season makes me miss my old friends and the total lack of complication in my relationships even just eight years ago.
Eight years? Eight years since I started freshman year at Platte Country high. I’m almost one year out of college and adulthood, even while being married, is lonely around the holiday season. I used to think that the holidays were only lonely for single people. But they aren’t.
Finding friends post-college is hard. I never used to think being a millennial was a bad thing. I just figured the older generation is doing what the older generations always do–judging the youngin’s. But maybe… maybe millennials are too fickle when it comes to friends and relationships. I think we expect relationships to come easily and when they aren’t simple and smooth sailing, we toss people off and look for new people.
I hate that. Where’s the loyalty in friendship? Why do things have to be complicated? Why do relationships crumble at the first inkling of difficulty? How does anyone in my generation keep themselves from being lonely if they just chuck out their friends every few months like worn out leggings? Netflix and the humane society can only help you so much but it can’t completely replace human interaction. Bob’s Burgers can’t substitute for interpersonal, real-life comedy. A new hamster and a bad smell can’t replace love and compassion–no matter how much you feed it yogurt covered treats.
(Every person in the 21st century.)
I read somewhere that a friendship will last you a life time if you have remained friends with a person for at least seven years. I have about four of those people and none of us live in the same state anymore. The people I have met here in Colorado… I hope our friendships last that long but having a friend who you can talk to every day with no complications, no chucking out after a month… feel few to non-existent. I feel like as a millennial I don’t even know how to make friends like I could before the advent of texting. I am so attached to my phone and laptop. Or maybe the people I have attempted to make friends with just have no longevity. Maybe I’m just a cranky sod with no concept of “I need a break from you but I still love you and we’ll hang next week.”
Sometimes I just want to shake the people of my generation and say, “Not everything in life is going to be simple. Not everything is going to be without complication. Quit trying to solve unhappiness with a Starbucks half-caf. Relationships are one of those things that take work. Avoiding people and labeling yourself as some antisocial, anti-interaction zombie isn’t going to fix everything just because our society enables you to be that way. Don’t let your work get in the way of your life, don’t let life get in the way of your work.”
I want to open myself up to making friends in places other than bars or mobile apps. I want friends who aren’t just going to cut me out with a click on Facebook. I want friends who give a damn about me and aren’t afraid of hard times, because they are inevitable. I want friends who live in the same zip code. I want steadfast.