I’m sat writing this in a new set of fox pyjamas from New Look. They’re a size 14 and the satin shorts are too tight on my thighs and I’m like WHAT EVEN IS LIFE. So that’s happening. Dobby has just died on ITV, I have a vanilla candle flickering on my desk, have just read a handful of super mean blog comments (it’s the first time I’ve looked since clocking out on the 19th) and am listening to 1989 for probably the 1989th time.
And that’s that.
I’ve been back home in Suffolk for about 36 hours and am already itching to move past Christmas, to get back to work, to get on with an exciting new year, to shed the worst parts of myself and focus on the better parts because Christmas was different this year and it feels like everything is changing and that scares me.
I love Christmas, I’m a full-on Christmas mentalist. My presents are elaborately wrapped weeks in advance, I listen to Christmas Radio daily, I own every Christmas film, own too many pairs of festive pyjamas and socks, I adore this season and yet, somehow, in the weirdest way, Christmas this year just didn’t live up to my expectations. It just didn’t sit right.
That makes me sound selfish and ungrateful and horrible, I’m well aware. I saw pretty much every member of my family, every friend, I’ve spent a week non-stop with Chris, I’ve been spoilt with presents, I’ve drunk mulled wine, champagne and Snowballs, eaten so many Pigs In Blankets and I’ve smiled a lot, but it just didn’t hit that high spot.
Our festive fun started last week with a little soiree at our house, which was fun, except I didn’t like the photos of myself I saw the next day, and how big I looked. How tiny my head looked next to my continually growing bulbous body. The next evening I had drinks with uni friends and I hated the fact I had to leave early to catch a train back to Ipswich, it was the first time I’ve ever resented the fact I don’t live in London and it irritated me. Then we drove down to Sussex and Rudey got so upset by the two and a half hour car journey that she was sick and maybe sort of did a poo in her box. Naturally I nearly cried. That poor little girl. Seeing her that stressed out and poorly absolutely broke my heart and got my five days at home off to a sad start.
My memories of coming home for Christmas from either London or from uni are of non-stop fun. Girly sleepovers, wild nights out, board games, hungover McDonalds, cinema and shopping trips, all my favourite things. The difference this year is that, well, I don’t really have friends the way I used to. I’m not as close to people as I used to be, and most of us have grown up and have boyfriends and so we’re not this tight-knit inseparable group of girls anymore, we’re couples who’ve grown apart.
Being away from the home that me and Chris have made also made me realise how much I appreciate and need my own space now too. Having a small room and living out of a suitcase is something I’ve done a lot over my lifetime, but this was the first time it annoyed me, made me want to be back at my home, our home, with all our things and clutter-free rooms. I felt agitated and on edge but also incredibly lucky that I have this, that I have a home that feels exactly like a home that I never want to be away from.
I know I’m coming across horribly in this post, but what I want to say, what I want to get across is that this is the first year where Christmas wasn’t easy, Christmas wasn’t being a child and drowning in happiness, this year was the first Christmas I felt like an adult and really felt all the less-cheery side-effects of the holiday season.
It made me feel as though I had out-grown a lot of the things I normally do that have become traditions, like going to the village pub on Christmas Eve and coming back to Sussex for long stints to catch-up with people. I’m ready to re-define Christmas, re-write my traditions, to maybe mix things up next year.
Another huge thing for me this Christmas was that I didn’t go to Polish Christmas on the 24th, something I’ve done every year since I was born. It was something me and my brothers and Mum used to do with my grandparents, but as my Dziadziu passed away last year and my Babcia’s dementia is too bad for her to come out of her nursing home, and so I just didn’t want to go. I pulled out last minute, and I know it hurt my brothers and my Mum, but I had to do it for me. I’ll go into more details on my vlog maybe in the New Year, but yeah, it was huge and weird and that.
So yes, Christmas was a ball and I am so thankful I was able to spend it with my favourite people, but to me it was kind of overshadowed by how obvious it was that I’d outgrown typical Hannah Gale Christmas. In some ways I’m ridiculously sad that some of the things that I looked forward to most no longer bring me any pleasure, but I’m also excited to see what the future as a fully-fledged grown-up brings.
Change is scary and sometimes it’s hard to let go of things that you feel attached to, but you’ve got to shed the bad, the things and the people that no longer make you happy, otherwise you’ll never make room in your life for fresher, brighter and more exciting things to come.
Ending this blog post on the fact the house is currently making me sneeze so badly I’ve had two nose bleeds in the past hour and have loo roll stuffed up my right nostril. Sexy.