Dear Santa,

dearsanta

I never stopped believing in you, even though I think I’ve always known you weren’t real. I was a smart kid, who picked up on things a lot more than I let on. I remember sneaking out of bed at night, putting the pieces together, recognizing all the little signs. I still am that observant kid in a lot of ways, never letting on just how much I observe. But I also was (and still am) an emotional dreamer, who even when I was young understood the importance of believing in Santa Claus. I never told my sisters or any other younger children what I knew, and I never once stopped believing.

I believed in the idea of you, and I always will. Ideas are more powerful than reality anyway, and so I was always comfortable with that way of thinking. Ideas are what we create our reality with, and I like the idea of creating a reality where children were always rewarded for being good and for believing in hope and wonder. It’s a little impossible, of course, but that’s what is so powerful about Santa Claus and Christmas- it’s all about the impossible becoming reality. Whether it’s the idea of one man flying around the world in a single night using only reindeer and a sleigh, or something a little more Christian dealing with a god becoming a human, it’s all hoping for impossibilities to become realities.

This time of year, we’re allowed to hope for impossible things. We’re allowed to make a list and wish for peace on earth and goodwill towards men and toys and candy all in the same line. I like hoping for the impossibility of you, Santa, that I’ll wake up and find all of my hopes and dreams neatly wrapped under a tree in the morning. I love that Christmas allows us all to think that way. It’s a little simplistic and childish, but that’s why I love it.

I believe in Santa Claus. I will never stop believing. It’s snowing, it’s beautiful, there are lights on the tree and family at home, and I believe.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year!

Love always,

A Believer

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Dear Moana,

dearmoana

You might have just saved my life, a little… a lot. I’ve been lost lately, for a whole lot of different reasons. My life has never been what I expected, because of my physical and mental health, and recent events have really called that into focus lately. My youngest sister moved far away, got engaged, and just bought her wedding dress. My middle sister is going back to school, my younger relatives are talking about going off to school. It’s the holidays, and catching up with everyone means realizing how quickly everyone else’s lives are moving forward. And in contrast, how my own life is a stagnant pool, swirling in repetitive circles that simply trap in filth and keep me from advancing and growing. I couldn’t ever picture myself changing that. I thought this was just going to be the rest of my life. But that wasn’t the worst part.

The worst part was that even if I could move forward, I wouldn’t even know how to go about it to make myself any less miserable than I was standing still.hat I realized that I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted. And that I haven’t known these things in a long, long time.

So I’ve seen your movie twice now. And listened to the soundtrack countless times. And addition to being stunning and beautiful and perfect, it was painful. I couldn’t figure out why, but it made me hate myself and my life. Because there is something incredibly painful about feeling something call to you, not knowing what or why, and feeling like you were completely unable to answer that unknown call.

I’ve been trying to figure out what it was I wanted to do, what I was passionate about. What this calling I was feeling was coming from. But I couldn’t because even though I knew the kind of things I liked and the kind of things I was good at, I didn’t know who I was anymore. There are a lot of things I’m good at. Things I enjoy, like art, animals, gardening, reading, writing, cooking… But the thing that makes me feel most alive is traveling. Exploring. Seeing new places and meeting new people. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing if I can do that.

Like you said, the call isn’t out there at all- it’s inside me. I am a girl who loves my family and my home, and I am a girl who loves freedom and travel. Those two aren’t mutually exclusive. We go out across the horizon, but home is always waiting for us. We can see worlds unknown. And we’re lucky to have family that we can always come back to.

That’s who I am. I lost sight of that, and you helped me find that again. Maybe you’re a wayfinder in more than just one way. You helped Maui and Te Fiti remember who they were too. You don’t just lead people across oceans- you lead them back to themselves.

I know who I am again. Or at least, I finally know how to get going in the right direction. Thank you.

 

Love always,

A Friend

 

 

 

Moana is from the film of the same name by Disney