Heartbreaking holidays.
Saturday, 02.12.2017 - 11:58 am.

I'm happy it's December, I love December. I'm not even concerned about how time flies, and that the year has practically ended, and all that. We've put up our Christmas tree and I'm looking forward to a few get-togethers with friends. We got snow on Thursday night, too. Early Friday morning, I walked to the bus stop on the snow-covered street while admiring the sunrise. It was a beautiful sight. 

I'm trying to make as much progress as possible in my PhD before the holidays start. I will be working a bit those days anyway. My biggest headache is data collection, as I'm doing it for two studies at the same time, but I'm already accepting that it will take me a while to reach the end of it, so I might as well start writing up everything else in my thesis. 

On a related note, I keep wishing I could stay here in England forever, but this week I realized that my only option to do so is finding a postdoc. I'm tired of putting my life, our life with Andrew, on hold, so if that's the way to go, I'd have to pass. I just want to live somewhere nice, I guess (don't we all?). 

This week, I learned Brother #2's marriage is in shambles too, for the same reason Brother #1's is. B2 wrote to us, his siblings, shamefully confessing what he had done and asking whether he should tell my parents. My sister and I thought of the same reply I did, but she wrote it more gracefully: He can let me know things aren't going well but he doesn't owe anybody explanations of what happened; he needs to do some serious exploration of himself  to understand why he did what he did; and we support whatever choice he and his wife make (to remain together or get divorced) as long as it's for their own happiness. The latter will reflect on their children way better on the long run than any "sacrifice" that makes him and/or his wife unhappy.  

Maybe I should feel disappointed upon learning that two of my brothers, especially the one who's presented (by others, not him) like the gold standard of a human being, are prone to cheating. I am not disappointed. My only reaction is "huh!". I am angry, yes, that they did that to their wives, who have taken much of the burden of carrying the homes they've built. That's disrespectful, it's sheer ungratefulness, it's devastating, and whatever their wives decide to do about their marriage or what's left of it, I support them.  

I'm still happy to have the siblings I have. I suppose it's, like my sister said, that they don't owe me an explanation about the lives they lead. Maybe I'm not disappointed because I didn't take them as role models when it came to romantic partnerships. Actually, it broke my heart when I got older and it dawned on me that both Brother #1 and #2 got married because it was "the right thing to do" after getting their partner pregnant. For sure their partners faced an even bigger pressure in that regard, especially coming from very conservative families. I think that may explain some things, but it's never an excuse, and certainly that is the only part of the story that I know. 

It seems Christmas will be grim for more of my family members than I anticipated. I know my parents will be immensely sad and lonely because I won't be with them, and we won't be together with the rest of the siblings. It makes me really sad that I cancelled my holiday trip to see my parents, but I'm at peace knowing that I'll be with Andrew during what is the most difficult time of the year for him. I can only hope that everyone in my family who will be brokenhearted will also find comfort and tranquility nonetheless.  

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