We fly across the London sky
Like Peter Pan and Wendy too,
Peering into brightest windows
Where the strangers celebrate.
And as we look, we realise
That we are different to the rest,
Not better and no worse than them,
But worlds away from lives we see
On other sides of frosted glass,
With palms pressed to the coldest panes
And minds set free from rusty chains.
I sometimes saw films that showed the different ways that people celebrated Christmas and I couldn’t believe that it could be like that. Whenever I saw people dancing and singing in their living rooms, I thought that it was all fiction; nobody could be that vocal in their celebrations because my family were not like that at all.
During my twenties I drank and so I was the centre of the universe. If you didn’t see things the way I did, or do things the way I did, you were wrong. It was only when I got sober that I saw that all those ‘fictional’ Christmases could actually be real.
My realisation came when I was having weekly therapy. I had been going for eighteen months and I had been adamant that my childhood was happy and great in every way. I then disclosed something that I thought was normal and as soon as I looked at my therapist’s face I knew that something was wrong.
I became aware that actually, ‘my way’ was quite skewed. Perhaps the people who were singing and dancing in their living rooms were right and I was wrong, sitting in my quiet home.
Now, I’m simplifying everything here to make my point, but I mean to say that we are all so different and one person’s normal could be another’s personal hell. And it makes me think of this quote I found some time ago.
If we were given the chance to look inside homes then I think that a lot of people would be shocked. Now that I am into my teacher training, I realise that my normal is very different to the normal that a lot of my students experience. If we had the opportunity to look inside their lives we would be battering down the door to try and get them out.
This quote always reminds me to think of others and what they are going through, and not just at Christmas. Everyone is going through something so treat them with respect and make a point of loving your neighbour during Christmas 2020.