It's the most wonderful time of the year.
But it doesn't feel wonderful to me.
It feels heavy.
The expectations of distant family, where there's so much unspoken history and awkwardness.
We don't have words to fill the silence.
It hangs thick in the year.
The bank account balance is the lowest it is.
The gift vouchers, the presents, the food, the alcohol to get through the events.
To what end and for what reason do we spend this?
Do you feel more loved when I give you a gift, or is it just meaningless treasures and consumerism to no end?
There are people everywhere.
But I am alone.
I am alone carrying the burdens of a year of removing rose coloured glasses.
I am alone aware that next year brings much uncertainty.
I am alone in my fear.
I try to block it out with the lights, the cheer, the presents, the busyness, the festivities.
Somehow it finds me through it.
Reality finds me: she does not leave me.
So I sit weighted down with these thoughts, and I try to be merry and bright, but I feel heavy and dark.
Somehow I hold grief and joy together.
It is not as I had hoped it would be.
And it hurts far more than I want it to.
But there is still good here, somehow.
I desperately try to cling to this good.
Maybe she will cling to me.
I need her too.
I think she knows that.
She will not let me go.
Emily is a renowned community connector, advocate for women, Asset Based Community Development advocate and leader in her local community, recognised for her work as the Local Woman of the Year in New South Wales in 2016. She has delivered training and workshops all around Australia, empowering communities to address gender based violence and discover the inherent dignity and worth in everyone.
See all previous articles and poems by Emily Messieh