The thing about trauma is, it can connect to so many things. For a lot of people, and for me, holidays are tough. Really tough. Even minor holidays like my town’s Summerfest. For me, it was a mix of association and anxiety at the thought of bumping into certain people. But the thing I’ve learned about holidays and other difficult occasions/places/things: they can be reframed. You can go to that place and make a new memory there; you can make new traditions; you can sort things out with a friend or therapist or coach; you can take the broken pieces and make something magical.
The night of Summerfest I passed on an opportunity to watch fireworks with friends and decided instead to go on a run, timed perfectly with the fireworks. I ran down the main street and watched the fireworks go off in the distance, breeze blowing through my hair, warm sweat on my skin, and it just felt so good to be alive—and alone, though I was surrounded by families watching the fireworks on the grass along the sidewalk. And just like that—magical.