That time of year is upon us once again, the holiday season. While I enjoy the chilly weather and the beautiful decorations around Houston, this time of year has always been a stressful one for me. A variety of things contribute to my stress this time of year; increase in traffic, stores always packed, selecting a “thoughtful” gift, and my most dreaded holiday related activity….family gatherings. Now I know what you are thinking “Adrian….stressed over social gatherings…never, he is such a social butterfly”, well believe it. Yes, this socially awkward individual is even more stressed and awkward with family gatherings.
This may just be me, but I tend to believe I’m the black sheep of the family. Why have I crowned myself with this title? Maybe it’s because I’m the only gay individual in family, I tend to not have any similar interest to discuss with family members, or just because I’m normally an awkward social butterfly and being with family that sometimes feel like strangers just magnifies my awkwardness. I tend to arrive to family gatherings late (yes, i’m one of those always late for the party people) and also end up leaving early on in the night. Just the idea of spending long hours with my family starts stressing me out.
I am not sure if it’s just me growing older, or being more confident in myself as a person but I finally reached the point where I realized the only problem here is myself. My family has never been rude or anything other than welcoming, yet I tend to act as if I could catch some disease from them. I had somehow crowned myself as a black sheep because I was uncomfortable in my own skin, not because my family awarded me that title. Who knows, I may be the black sheep to some individuals in my family but that shouldn’t make me uncomfortable or stressed out.
Everyone is different, and in one aspect or another we may all feel like a little bit of a black sheep, but that’s what makes a family work…diversity. We should all feel confident in ourselves and just be who we are. Real family will love you unconditionally, and those who don’t are missing out on getting to know an amazing person. Who knows maybe you being yourself will make some of those individuals with preconceived notions on certain things more understanding. GIve yourself the gift of being you, that’s the only way you can fully enjoy the company of others.
I hope you all experience a positive and enlightening holiday season. Remember to take a break within the madness and take in how lucky you are to be you.