I am fascinated with the idea of impacting people.

I am in love with the incredible concept that I have this small spot on Earth. There is a little place for me. I fit into it just right. Everyone has one. But sometimes, I can reach outside of my sphere and brush someone’s mind. They feel me and by that I mean the innermost part of me, the compassionate part or the hurting part or the intellectual part.

I feel like there are limitless opportunities to touch others’ lives. I am overwhelmed by how many of these opportunities exist. I see these ways to talk to people, to see them, and to just be a human, but I hesitate. I sometimes balk at the idea of being. It’s something I try to stretch my brain around, resulting in an ache in my chest.

I think Christmas makes all these feelings more concentrated. People are in a season of celebrating, but all this cheeriness highlights sadness. It’s the holiday paradox.

I see myself, working and remembering. I remember happiness and I dance to Christmas songs. But some music brings this melancholy nostalgia. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” make me so, so sad and I don’t know why. It bothers me, but I play the songs over and over again.

The limbo before and after Christmas is almost haunted. It’s filled with happiness, sweets, and bright lights. People wear bright red and cheeks are flushed. But there’s this expectation for the holiday that we can’t always achieve. It’s empty and cold outside. The nights seem darker on the edges of all the lights on houses. Inside the houses, we love each other despite inevitable gaps between us as humans. Families are stuck together, and that hurts sometimes.

Everyone is tired from the nearly-completed years. We endured hard things, sad things. People all around the world triumphed, but so many couldn’t. Everyone is at the end of the year. We think about the weight we didn’t lose, the people we didn’t talk to that much or help and the money we didn’t make.

And a deficit is created. I love celebrating the new year. But I hate that come February, most of my resolutions are incomplete and I already feel like I failed. I want to be more grateful for the year I just finished. I think 2014 was good. But if yours was bad, that’s okay. You made it through. You completed another year, and that’s good to celebrate. Don’t beat yourself up over all you didn’t do, but instead glorify what you did.

 That’s my plan. I’m ready for Christmas. I can’t wait to see the gifts I got for my friends and family unwrapped and the way their faces catch the light and sparkle. I can’t wait to sing tomorrow at my church. I love the silence right before the instruments begin to sound and the way my heart swells. For those minutes, I feel completely whole. The weight of beginnings and salvation settles so comfortably in me.

I think about laughing with my friends and filling journals and sweating and getting my hair cut and staying up late to edit essays and reading a novel that made me sit and think about it for a while and quoting funny TV shows or referencing moments in beautiful dramatic TV shows with fellow watchers and listening rapt at a concert and driving around the city.

I think about it all, but I also remember all the times I hurt and messed up and said the wrong thing.

But that was last year. This is Christmastime, a special moment in time that is sacred and untainted. And next year is coming. So I’m grateful and humble. I will completely unironically say I was blessed because I was and I want to acknowledge that fully. I’m working on impacting people more.

Merry Christmas, everyone. And Happy New Year.

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