Reflection: Marking a milestone

Rasharra Smith PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Rasharra Smith PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

With the holiday season approaching, I wanted to write about family and traditions. I wanted to share stories about holiday meals and how to shop for the perfect gifts.

I mean, let’s be real: Do you know them well enough to get them a gift that they actually would like? Does the gift have personal meaning? Did you put thought into it, or did you buy it last minute after you secretly found out they were getting you something, and you had no idea you’d be exchanging gifts this early in your relationship?

If you aren’t sure about what to get, or if you aren’t sure about exchanging gifts at all, you can just ask them.

Communication in any relationship — romantic, platonic or familial — is very important. It’s one reason I love writing so much. Words have power, and great communication is healthy and leads to success.

This November column marks the 12th I’ve written for Her magazine. It’s my one-year anniversary of being successful in my writing career. This experience has been a great learning opportunity, as well as a networking opportunity.

I am proud of the columns I’ve published this past year. I’ve shared two pieces of my poetry with those who’ve chosen to follow my work.

Last November, my first article was about how hard the holidays are for me and for everyone else who’s grieving the absence of a loved one. I shared information about seasonal depression and how to navigate these difficult emotions.

This holiday season, I am missing my parents deeply. I’ve reached a milestone in my writing career, and I wish that I could share this with them. My mother also was a writer. I’ve written pieces for her that she’ll never get to hear.

This holiday season, all I want for Christmas is my parents, and I know that’s a gift no one can give me. I am struggling during this time to stay positive.

One thing I try to remember when I am missing my parents is that I know how proud they would be of me. I know how supportive they were and how supportive they would be if they were still here.

The holidays aren’t always about giving or receiving. This time also is a time to show gratitude.

With Thanksgiving approaching, I remember to remain thankful for everything I have going good in my life. At the time I’m writing this, my sister has come home to visit from the army. I’ve started a new job. I’ve reached my one-year anniversary doing something I absolutely love. School is fantastic, and I’m on track to graduate in April 2024.

I am fighting off seasonal depression, but I also have a lot to be happy about. I just hope this holiday season, in the mist of chaos, we all find something that makes us smile.

Rasharra Smith is a graduate student at the University of Dubuque.

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