Sometimes the holiday season seems to come and pass like a distant old friend. I wave courteously, offer a forced smile that shrouds my disappointment, and look on when it drives away into the night.
Maybe you know this old friend. Maybe he’s visited you many times, maybe just a few. But at some point, you’ve most likely realized that even with all of the love, hope, and happiness during this time of year, it can still mar your vision, make your head pound, entangle you with grief and frustration.
But this year, when I see that old friend, I have a feeling things will be different.
Because in this moment, I am not afraid. I can take the next step, into something greater and far better. In this moment, right here, right now, I believe in the infinite, the impossible. In this moment, I am here, and so are you. I’d like to believe it’s always been this way, and always will be so, and we could stand still here, together.
As humans, we are the accumulation of every conversation we’ve ever been a part of, every experience we’ve had, and every person we’ve met. Community is all around us. Love is present in every little piece of our lives.
Yet, for so many years, I felt like these things were hard to find, even when it was supposed to be most present: during the holidays. Pinning them down was like being blindfolded, twirled in circles, and asked to find a penny on the ground. It was no one’s fault, really; I struggled with depression and anxiety. I let these episodes define me. I looked inside of myself for answers. Unfortunately, what’s inside of me is only a small piece of the solution.
This past Thanksgiving, I sat down with someone I truly care about and listened to her—really listened to her—give thanks. For her life. For her family. For her opportunities. For me.
In that moment, love hit me like a wave, but instead of sinking, I stood strong. I stood tall.
When you realize your life is the sum of every other thing in your life, and you can have an impact on someone else every day, you can then start to look outside of yourself for answers. You can look at the big picture and see the small moments.
Then, you can get reacquainted with that old friend. You can be free of the shackles of expectation, desire, and frustration. You can see the world and the people in it like a small child does: limitless.
This winter, I promise to make my holiday season about the small moments. The quiet moments. The ones when I find myself smiling, beaming for no reason. Even if I do struggle inside, there is beauty raging like a hope-filled fire around me. And I will look to that fire—the one that I helped light just by being present in the lives and experiences of others.
In this moment, I am my greatest self because I can see outside of myself. And I hope you see the beauty within yourself reflected in every light, ornament, delicacy, smile, hug. Every person around you is touched by your life, your fight, your hope, and every second is an opportunity to love and to build strength.
In this moment, have faith in people; they need that faith to have hope. And have hope for yourself, for I have faith in you.