01 Jan Wrapping Paper
Yesterday when I got home from traveling up north in Japan, there was a package waiting at my door. It felt so strange and so surreal, returning home to my life in Osaka. Coming into my apartment and feeling that sense of comfort of having my things — returning.
I waited until the morning to open the package sent by my stepmom Eileen. I woke up and ripped open the package to find a red and white Christmas stocking.
I poured its contents on my bed: my family’s Christmas card, chocolates, Christmas lights and a shell ornament, a small American flag and some Japanese stickers, and a few small objects in wrapping paper.
I picked up the first one, feeling the touch of the layered edges folded over each other and awkwardly taped and the joy of ripping it open, not knowing what it contains.
Nostalgia overwhelmed me, and I literally felt like I was in my living room at home with my family again with the paper in my hands, the fireplace on, the smell of coffee and breakfast beginning. The present was a figure of Santa driving down the highway passing a sign noting all the classic Malibu surf spots of my hometown.
I started to cry. Then I started to laugh. And it became a laughing cry I couldn’t contain.
I have my best friend here, visit me in Japan. We’re traveling the world together. I chose this, and I’m so damn grateful for the life I’m pursuing; I’m so damn grateful to have my brother here, sharing this experience of facing the unknown and having so much fuc*ing fun.
But we both talked on Christmas after FaceTiming our families about how we miss them, how it’s wild that this is both of our first Christmas away.
There are payoffs, highs and lows of the choices we make in life — -things are seldom as easy, straightforward, or amazing as they seem.
Feeling the wrapping paper in my hands overwhelmed me in a wonderful way, and the emotion started to flow, and it felt good to cry and feel it, and be here.
I hadn’t yet touched wrapping paper this Christmas. Perhaps that’s what was missing.
Perhaps that’s what I needed to let the tears fall, so that I may continue on.