I’ve been struggling lately with this overwhelming feeling of anxiety, worry and fear. I fear change the most, I fear the unknown. Then I realized what the root of the issue was. With the holidays coming up these wonderful memories of tradition come flooding in. For me that’s all holidays were about. In my mind everything had to be the same exact way or else the holiday wasn’t the holiday. For Christmas my grandma would put up 20 something stockings all over her wall above her fireplace. One stocking labeledwith everyone in our immediate families names on it. My mom makes sugar cookies, we look at Christmas lights, go to church, hang out at our family’s Christmas Eve party and we ALWAYS have Christmas at my grandparents house in Marina, Ca.
The thought of ever changing that tradition was not an option for me. Growing up every Christmas was truly magical. Being an only child and waking up on Christmas morning with all my family was the best thing in the world. Getting to have those memories with the people I loved the most was so meaningful and of course all the presents were a huge plus Lol. And just like anything once I got older, things started to change. Everyone couldn’t always be together, and our traditions seemed to be fading away. I remember the year I started working retail I worked Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas but because of my need to keep the tradition alive, we drove to Marina on Christmas morning and back home that evening. I was so scared of loosing that connection I had with my family and the holiday that I was willing to go the extra mile. I’m not good with change in general but something that once seemed so magical and perfect in my eyes was changing slowly but surely and it was a hard pill to swallow.
In the past two years my life has changed drastically. I had my daughter, and I’m now co- parenting. Her first Christmas was beautiful we tried to follow all my traditions and did everything on the list I mentioned earlier. And it was great. But this year things have to change. Her dad and I have to share time and that includes holidays. The hard fact is I won’t have her every thanksgiving or every Christmas anymore. These traditions I cherished so much, my daughter won’t have or might not even know. But my daughter will have her own magical experiences from both sides of her family on holidays that she will remember forever!
My life changed again when my Papa passed away this August. And as far as traditions go well he was at the head of basically all family activites. We went to his house for Christmas, and New Years every single year of my life. He was there cooking, making jokes, sitting back happy because all his family was together.And now that he is gone the holidays will never be the same. But I’m so thankful for the 27 years of memories I have with him in those moments and for him giving me those traditions to cherish. And the year of memeories he got to share with Sarai!
It’s crazy how in two years my life completely changed in so many ways. But I’m so thankful for it. We get stuck in this idea that life has to be perfect. Life has to go a certain way or these traditions we had would be ruined. The traditions aren’t what make the whole experience special. It’s about where you are in life and who you are with. We have people in our lives for a specific reason. I believe that every moment is planned out and every twist and turn you take in life molds you into who you are and who you were meant to be. You can’t have the same exact experience every year because then where is the growth in your life?
My papa won’t be here in person but he lives in each one of us and he will forever be there when all of our family is together. He is a part of each and every one of us in such a different and special way that he is who we are. My daughter won’t have the same experiences that I had but hers will be filled with double the love and she will create new memories and traditions. Every day she helps me see the world in a whole new way, so I can’t wait to see what new things we will experience together. She blazes a trail for me to follow and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Traditions come and go, embrace who you are, and embrace your journey. Life is what you make out of it and it’s such a beautiful place to be. Change is hard and often heart breaking but we can’t experience the joy without feeling the hurt. Making new traditions
(Holiday Photos by Diana Elena Photography @dianaelenaphotos on IG )