There is something about the holiday season that brings out the seasonal depression. I guess it was because, for most of my childhood (and maybe up until I was 20), my mom always made such a big deal over Christmas. She loved it. She would start planning her decorations early, and when she learned of Pinterest, she’d DIY everything to whatever theme or concept she was going for that year. She didn’t necessarily gift us expensive things, but always thoughtful gifts. On the year I discovered The Babysitters Club (I think it might be Book 20), mom spent months going to all the bookstores and thrift shops to scour for the series – she managed to get me Books 1-15. You need to understand that we live in a third-world country and sourcing things is hard over here, especially during the 90s. But the year I got so obsessed with playing Pokemon (I even had a notebook where I tracked all the pokemons, levels and evolutions included, I’ve caught in my saved game), mom went to different malls to try to find me Pokemon Gold and Silver for my Gameboy Color (in translucent purple!) because dad could only get me Pokemon Blue. She never really understood my fascination with a lot of things and she’d comment how I have a tendency to hyper-fixate on one thing until I get good enough at it before I drop it, but she would always find a way to be supportive of me nonetheless. And her holiday gifts always reflected that.
Mom died so close to Christmas that the lights along the boulevard (that they set up this time of the year) near where we lived would never fail to remind me of drives between our house and the funeral home. Every year, it feels like there’s an impending sense of gloom that creeps in slowly inside our house, and it eventually fades away once all the festivities die down.
We started doing the podcast this year under the sad girl scents umbrella (I don’t know how this brand has expanded over so many things), and I think one of the things I’ve loved about it was that it kind of just started on a whim of me just rambling on. So I had to pull my siblings to join in so that I’d actually have a conversation and it’s not just me.. and it’s kind of ended up with the three of us having actual conversations about our feelings. It’s really just unmanaged family therapy of sorts at this point haha. And I think we barely have conversations about how we all handed our grief separately, and it’s a bit healing to be doing it together now.
It also didn’t help that MY PHONE BROKE right after my trip. I had to purchase a replacement phone online (cheaper than buying from the mall) and also had to make a decision on which phone to buy. I’m a use it until it breaks kind of person when it comes to gadgets, so it had been very upsetting for me to have to let go of my 2019 iPhone 11. It’s only been 3 years! I feel like I didn’t get to maximize its value, but oh well. Because I was waiting for my new phone to be delivered, I had to last about a week without access to a working mobile phone. It took some time to get used to, but I like how much time I spent without checking my phone when I finally did. My sister and I bought those diamond paintings (like paint by numbers but bejewelling, cue Bejewelled by Taylor Swift lol) because it was marketed as art therapy HAHA, and we had been hanging out while watching cheesy holiday movies (how nice was the latest Lindsay Lohan film???) and other movies from the 90s/early 2000s. At one point, my sister turned to me and said “I miss being excited about the holidays” because we all are truly deep in our seasonal depression lol.
Over at sad girl scents – we finally released our new product line (eau de toilette) with some good reception, and some of the merch we’ve been planning to release. The brand is now available on multiple e-commerce sites and I’m hoping we clear out our inventory by end of the year (because I just wanna clean by end of the year HAHA). I’m not sure what the future holds for this growing brand, but I do feel good about it at the moment. 🙂
Other notable things that happened this month were all the social events I went to. I had dinner and some wine with Mao and planning for our Europe trip has now commenced. Mao is my favorite travel buddy so far because we’re on a similar wavelength and have similar travel styles. I think we might be traveling with one of his friends, so that might be fun. I’m looking forward to it.
I’m finalizing the dates for my trip to Melbourne (and my first trip to Australia) with Alex. She’s flying to see her boyfriend/fiance/I honestly don’t know what their relationship will be like when I finally get there, while I’m really heading there to see what the fuss is about with Australia. Two of my closest friends, Alex and Kara, have a weird thing about wanting to live in Australia that it’s made me curious. When I think of Australia, I always think of kangaroos, maybe lots of nature (the typical stereotype), and Chris Hemsworth (so hot guys in general). But I also did work for an Australian firm and they were all nice people, so I have a positive experience associated with the country even though I just never really put it on the list of places I want to visit. But having friends that consistently fly back and forth has made me want to go, so I wanna see what the deal is.
Kara and I (along with Miyuki, her shiba inu) went to La Union to work from here. We’re currently benched (unassigned to any project) at work, so we thought hanging out in third-wave coffee shops by the beach with our work laptops and playing with her dog would be a good way to spend our time. I’m actually writing this from a Japanese-inspired little home because we’ll be here for a few more days.
Overall, November has been such a mixed bag of emotions and experiences. And I think I’ve gotten better at embracing that life is always going to be this way. It’s what you make of it. I think it’s time to be more proactive in my own life and take steps into living the kind of life I want to live (generally uneventful in nature, but spent meaningfully with people I care about). Let’s see if I still feel this way by the end of 2022.