For many people the holiday season stretches out after the big holidays, with travel or conferences happening in January. A lot of people at my company went to the Consumer Electronics show, and several other people I’m close to had other vacation plans in January. I’m extending my holiday season by visiting family — a full week of playing cards and eating leisurely meals, I’m already enjoying it.
Traveling by plane for the first time since moving to California meant the first time that I had to go through baggage screening and give up all of my liquids. My bag still got pulled aside for extra inspection! The relative I’m staying with had wanted sand from the Pacific ocean, so I was bringing a water bottle full of sand through the security check. I guess they didn’t like that, so they had to disassemble my crammed suitcase so that they could drip a couple drops of something against some of the sand. Ah, well. They let me keep it, that was the important thing.
Traipsing through the Walmart to pick up some groceries for the week and get me contact solution, I thought about people. We’re all so dependent on one another, and still so completely alone. I guess there’s nothing surprising in that, but it’s something I’m having to come to terms with lately. I lived alone for a couple years before moving in with my current partner, and living with someone and living alone are two very different things.
The pull between dependence and independence is everywhere. If you’re shopping with someone, it can be offensive to offer to pay. If you’re staying with someone, you bring gifts to thank them for putting you up. That was something I first encountered when studying Chinese in high school. We did an exchange, and the students that we hosted brought beautiful gifts for my parents. I thought it a wonderful idea, and one that I’ve seen repeated throughout my adult life now.
I have a lot of healing left to do, I think.