I’m a semi-lapsed Episcopalian, self-identified as a henotheist – at least to the extent that I believe that each religion is a different facet of the Divine, revealed to those people as will best suit them in their lives.
I celebrate Christmas. I celebrated Yule with a few very close friends. So to me, the “Christmas season” is merely a time to remember those I love, and the blessings that I have been given by whichever divine spirit watches out for me.
And this year, I have a lot of them.
Last year at this time, I was still in a very dark space and didn’t realize it was going to get a hell of a lot darker before the end. I was in the process of having a large chunk of my social foundation ripped out from under me, and the rest was crumbling. I was fighting with anxiety and depression – as I often do – and was unhappy where I was in life. I didn’t know where to turn or what to do…where to go. In the next three months, I would have three steps forward and six steps back. It was difficult and painful, and I didn’t know how I was going to manage it.
By April, I had a new job in a new town. I had friends who were willing to let me live with them. I had hope. I moved away from the pain, and tried to remake myself in my own image. I met new friends. I found new drama there as well, but new strength and courage.
I met a young man who convinced me to believe in myself. Someone who believed enough in me as a person to let me into his life, and share what I treasure as an amazing friendship. My life would be very much a dimmer place without him.
I met a young man and woman who would turn my world on its head and never make me question it. Two people who brought me into their lives with open arms and will not hear me doubt myself. For each of them, in who they are, they are two of the most amazing people I know and I love them both dearly. I do not envision my life without them, come hell or high water. For all they have given me just by being themselves, I could never repay them – and I know they would insist that I had no need to repay that which was given in that fashion. I enjoy my time with them, and that is all they ask. And I do, every moment I have.
I continue to have two amazing housemates who have given over and again more than I ever could have expected or believed that I deserved. I owe them more from the bottom of my heart than I can ever express. I find myself at a loss for words because of their generosity to a person they truly knew very little of when they made the agreement. And they are two friends I hope that I never lose.
And now, I can sit here on Christmas with the surprise of a lifetime before me. Money is tight at home, and Santa’s haul was going to be sparse. I decided that I wasn’t allowing that. For 26 years, my parents have ensured that their only child got a Christmas.
Now it was my turn.
So I bought them everything they’d asked for. I pulled off my own ending to It’s a Wonderful Life and I pooled money to get my father a gift he’d wanted for years. I did everything in my power to make this the best Christmas they could ask for – and the look on their faces when they opened their presents was better than anything else I could ask for.
I have two loving parents who work tirelessly for themselves, and for me. I have a group of friends who lift me up day after day and provide me with the sturdy base I have lacked for so long. I have a love that keeps my heart pounding even from miles away, and in the darkest of moments, reaches out and catches my hand, believing in me when I don’t have the strength to believe anymore.
What more could I possibly want for Christmas?
I hope that everyone, no matter what your walk of life, can take a moment today to reflect on your life, and find a way to take the next week to formulate a plan to make the next year your best year.
That is my wish, for 2014. That you all have your best year, this year.