I remember the year Santa left me a Lion King toy. It was 1994, I was six years old, and my brother and I were spending Christmas Eve at our dad’s. Before we went to bed, my brother gestured toward the window and said, “Did you see that? The red dot flying over? Had to be Rudolph’s nose.”
My brother—eight years my senior—knew who Santa was. But that year, he let me believe. He made sure I went to bed with an eager heart so that, when I woke, raced to the living room, and saw a three-foot-long stuffed Mufusa, I’d think magic was possible.
Now that I’m older, I have items like dish rags and socks on my wish list. I still think magic exists, however. I am of the opinion that it is what makes wi-fi work. I also think it’s in the sparkle of winter frost, and in my 14-month-old nephew’s laughter. And I’m pretty sure it’s behind those moments when you can’t stop smiling, hugging, and thanking the heavens.
When it comes to 2016, there are a few moments I would label “magical.” Like when Ty and I traveled to Colorado, for instance. Standing atop the mountains, breathing in the crisp air? Enchanting. This also was the year I ran my first 10K, as well as two half-marathons. Running in the pouring rain—and knowing Ty was at the finish line—was exhilarating. The most heartfelt moment of 2016? Having my nephew tell me, clear as day, “Goodnight.”
That said, this year has had its challenges. We all know the election has been … the election. And, as you probably know, I’ve been fighting depression and anxiety for the last couple of years. However, I did find a therapist whom I trust, respect, and adore. She’s been helping me understand myself, accept myself, love myself. Not an easy journey. But when I’m feeling low, I’ll generally go for a walk. (And by “go for a walk,” I mean, “end up sitting cross-legged in the middle of the sidewalk, a stray cat in my lap.”)
What’s gotten me through my darkest days are the little things—a goofy animal photo from a friend, a compliment from a stranger. Lately, though, I’ve been gazing at my Christmas tree, filled with childlike content. Because even though 2016 has beaten me down at times, life is … good. Weird, but good. This is the year I performed my first stand-up routine, started eating pistachios, and stopped wearing bras.
Undergarments aside, I’m looking forward to spending time with family, friends, and Ty, who has been my better three-quarters for more than three years. And while I don’t expect Santa to make an appearance at this year’s celebrations, I fully believe there still will be laughter, surprises, and, yes, magic. And I hope, sincerely, that your Christmas is filled with it, too.