When I’m waiting at the bus stop at 7:00 AM to get to school in the piercing cold I am reminded that winter is beyond me. I am reminded when the sun stops caressing my skin at 2:00 PM and when at 2:43 AM I lie in bed with the frigid air as my only companion.
Winter is the season in which I feel the most vulnerable. As I get older, the meaning of the holidays and the feelings that come with them change. The gratifying feeling of having all your family surround you when you're young seems to slowly disappear as one gets older. Age shows you the the bigger issues that were nonexistent when you were young; the horrors that are happening all around the world. Closer to home, you will see the struggle of different social classes that always comes to light at this time of the year. In the winter, you are woke and exposed to the realities of the world.
Everything and everyone is fragile. But no one wants to feel fragile. There's a point in winter where I am reminded of the mental and physical isolation that other seasons don't bring upon me. The isolation you feel when you are walking down a sidewalk and have to move to your left even though you were walking in the middle. Why? Because there's a beautifully happy couple who can simply not let go of each other’s hands. The aching isolation you feel when you are reminded of the relationship that didn't last through the previous winter. Or the isolation you feel when all your family doesn't get together on Christmas anymore because everyone is busy with their own lives and too far away.
Don't get me wrong though, the feelings that winter brings out in me are not totally undesirable. There's nothing better than cuddling with yourself on a cold winter day while watching your favorite Christmas movies (Elf!) and drinking some hot chocolate, or listening to “Under The Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber and totally JAMMING OUT, even after Christmas has passed and when these activities are no longer seasonally relevant. Trust me when I say there is something comforting about staying in and listening to those ballad playlists that perfectly complete your mood.
Winter is the best and worst time of the year, every time.
Everyone around me becomes less lively and more delicate. The devoir for attention becomes evident in most of us, especially those who have no significant others and are reminded of their single-ness by Christmas, New Year's and Valentine’s Day. You know what I’m talking about: commercials reminding you to get your significant other the perfect gift, the clock striking 12 to ring in the New Year and telling you to kiss that special someone. But while both Christmas and New Year's Eve have both passed, we can't forget the 14th of February, when someone in your class brings their beloved a teddy bear, balloons that say "I love you”, and a box of chocolates. Am I the only one who feels awkward about that? Ah, yes: it must be the saltiness of solitude.
But why does winter evoke so much sensitivity in us? These increasing feelings of dependency are not unusual. It's normal to want to feel love. It's normal to feel needy and to want to be around family. It's normal to want to be caressed and kissed, and to want to experience the butterflies. It can be a defeating sensation to feel vulnerability, but it is nothing to be embarrassed about. It's time to let ourselves be pampered with the love we deserve; regardless of whether it comes from another person or ourselves. If you love yourself for the remainder of this winter, with all the sensitivity and tenderness and everything you have, the rest of the season is bound to be great.