On this Christmas Eve, I reflect on where I have been and where I am today. I’m also thinking of friends and family who are troubled today, either by choice or circumstance, and may feel they’ve fallen off (or have been pushed off) the path they believe they belong on.
You see, 5 years ago I was living in an old Victorian house, in a small town where I knew many people who didn’t really know me. I moved to this small town with my then-husband and small son, and transferred my membership of the Mom’s Club in another town to that one. I remember the day I called the president of the local chapter in my new town – and we spent over an hour on the phone. Her voice was familiar to me – she sounded like a combination of my two friends Kathy and Michelle. I knew immediately that I’d found my new “home.”
I’d soon find a good handful of friends there, who became my cheerleaders as my life shifted and I made some very scary changes. It was then that I realized who was real, and just how not alone I was.
The week before Christmas, December of 2010, I went with my then-family to a local park for a live Celtic music performance featuring a long-time friend of the restaurant. I sat there, next to my children, and listened to the most beautiful music I had ever heard. It was like listening to the music of my soul. I thought of my Nana. I spoke to her inside my head and told her how I missed her, and how I wished she was here to guide me forward in the midst of the enormous changes I was facing. As the music swelled, so did the tears in my eyes.
That night, all I could think of was being happy again, no more fighting, no more anxiety, no more worries. I thought of the friends I had reconnected with on Facebook, who seemed like their lives had come full circle and they were “living the dream” I’d always dreamed of. I thought of all I wanted for myself, and my children, and how no matter how hard I fought, or how badly I wanted it, it wasn’t going to happen where I was.
I wanted to share that night with Todd. It’s already known that I always loved him. He is a part of me that I could never forget. We were already friends again, but nothing more. But I knew at that time and place that a year from that day I would be sitting beside him. The details are irrelevant now. But what matters to me today, is that I had an epiphany that I couldn’t ignore.
Sometimes what we think we want, what we think we need, are not part of the path. Sometimes it’s the other person in our lives who doesn’t see it that way. I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t close doors that haven’t yet opened. Don’t lose faith that you are not on the right path. Don’t lose faith, period. I was in a place of despair for so very long, that it took me away from myself, and I almost lost faith that happiness and peace was within my reach. If that is you tonight, know that we all have a destiny – a lesson to learn – a path to follow. Sometimes it takes a moment or ten of silence to recognize it.
Even if it takes longer, you have to believe that your time will come. That couple I met in Ava’s preschool, they made me want it - more than I’ve ever wanted anything. I didn’t believe it, until I stood face-to-face with the man I would die for today. Fulfillment doesn’t have to be true love, it can be anything you want it to be. You just have to believe. Believe you are worthy, believe that there’s a plan for you, believe that it’s coming – no matter what.
Christmas Eve 5 years ago, I was up late wrapping Christmas gifts by myself, watching Love Actually and drinking wine. All I could think of was how badly I wanted better for myself, and for my children. Turned out it was the last Christmas Eve I would spend longing for what the life I wanted and deserved.
My wish for everyone this Holiday season is that you find happiness and joy and peace within. You are all worthy. You are special. And you deserve all of the above and so much more. Be patient. Be watchful. Be-lieve.
Peace and love,