All I Want for Christmas is…


You. Jk, jk…

Last Christmas, I wrote about what I wanted that year. Not a Bluetooth speaker or a Gryffindor scarf (although I would not be opposed to the latter), but what I referred to as a “normal”:

(From December 2015) “What I really want for Christmas (and the New Year too) is a sense of normalcy. It can’t be normal to find “happiness” from being minimally satisfied with simply surviving each day in a quiet existence because I’ve managed to disappoint only a few (instead of a lot of) people.

I thought as I would get older, my Christmas wish-lists would get less complicated. They’ve certainly become less materialistic, but the bike or whatever I thought was so great as a kid was far easier to obtain than the feeling of being safe, or “at home” I’d rather have now.”

I think I achieved this “normal” in the sense that I’ve gotten into a pretty good work and social life flow throughout this year and-a-half of postgrad-ness, which at first, felt akin to tinikling (bamboo jumping game).


As far as feeling “at home”…I’m not sure I’ll ever quite feel a permanent sense of at home-ness (aside, of course, from being at my actual childhood home I still live at). I think part of it has to do with the general feeling I’ve always felt of being an observer but not so much in the action (as is the case with my day job). Or maybe it’s because I’m always searching for somewhere else that I can’t be completely at ease where I am.

But as I’ve come to terms with my new normal, I realized I’ve lost something else in the process. It didn’t quite hit me until I was at a work party this week.

I was chatting with a receptionist from our other office (we have two) about how long I’ve been working and how I would eventually like to pursue a master’s degree. Though a master’s in what I wasn’t sure, I told her.

“Well, you like writing, so what’s your secondary passion?” she asked me.

I laughed—not because the question was funny, but because I wanted to buy some time to think of a good answer. I couldn’t.

In fact, I held back the fact that for the last several months, my primary passion—writing—has been wavering a bit, like a flickering flame. How could I pursue a second major passion when I was struggling to keep my first afloat? And why was that?

Maybe it’s because I’m always writing, always trying to beat the clock that I’ve grown somewhat detached from my pen. I feel it not only when I have to write about tragedies (which are fortunately very few and far between) but I also sometimes feel detached from ordinary events.

Even in my “for fun” writing, I get so frustrated and convinced that I can’t improve in my craft—or what I thought was my craft. Somehow, after I make headway on a chapter or two of the start of a story, I feel a little empty inside. Like my pride and joy is either going to be complete crap, or my eyes will be the only ones that see it. As though trying is somehow pointless.

As a young teen, the thought of weaving stories in my head was what gave me energy. A reason to get up in the morning and stay awake. Then fear crept in.

I wouldn’t say I’ve lost my passion exactly, but sometimes it slips away, quarter-inch by quarter-inch.

What I want for Christmas is to get it back—scratch that, I want it for longer than just the holidays.

But don’t misunderstand me—I am grateful for many things this Christmas, despite my subdued passion described above. But I’ll spare my pen until New Year’s Eve to write about those things.


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