It seems fitting that this December, my number one song is a Frightened Rabbit one. It’s a dark but lightly hopeful song which, I guess, sums up a lot of their lyrics, really. I spent a weekend this month with American friends who’d travelled over to do Sleep in the Park and come to terms with Scott’s death in his homeland. It was so validating and comforting to see people who felt the same gut-punching sadness and slight guilt for even feeling that when there was never a relationship there. The magic of music and the magic of Scott override any sense or logic. We all felt the loss.
We huddled in a mulled cider bar and a couple of days later, in my favourite tea shop. We talked about Scott, about hope, frustration and fear. We spoke warmly and sincerely to one another. If I could bottle up my moments with my friends, I would but for now, I’ll just listen to the music that brought us together in the first place and count down the days until our next meeting.
Like all of his fans, I loved Scott’s view of the world. It was realistic, it was grim but there was always a glimmer of hope. An affection for the world. It’s something that resonated hard with my own approach to life. It’s still hard to swallow that he stopped seeing the silver linings.
This year, like most years recently, has been pretty tough. I don’t know if I just take myself and life too seriously but it’s been a while since I’ve seen a new year coming in and felt sad to see the year leave. I stay hopeful for the new year but grateful to be seeing the last one out. I hope 2019 is my year, I hope it’s our year. I’m tired of competition, I’m tired of subtweets, I’m tired of animosity. I’m tired of resentment and at this point, in this climate, I just hope we all make it.
In the spirit of It’s Christmas So We’ll Stop, I’m taking a break, I’m giving myself space to just… stop worrying and stressing for five minutes. I love Christmas. I can’t wait to see my family. I can’t wait to have quiet drinks with my friends. I can’t wait for the games, the food, the atmosphere. I have always loved Christmas so much and this year, despite my somewhat miserly state, I’m going to focus on enjoying this.
The song isn’t as sweet as I’m making it out to be. The sentiment is disparaging towards how inauthentic we are at Christmas and while I don’t disagree, I’m comfortable with taking a little time out to not be my authentic self. My authentic self is tired, is desperate to sleep for a few days, is on edge and is feeling so completely overwhelmed. I don’t want to be her for a while.
It’s Christmas so I’ll stop.
Some sleep, some rest, some books. The future is there, and it’s waiting for me – I can feel it. I can taste it. First, though, rest. Comfort.