So I wrote an article the other day for “The Big Smoke” about Christmas.

They asked for a light-hearted piece.

I did my best to fondly recall memories from my youth about what I enjoyed about Christmas time.

Christmas is a funny time, and it wasn’t one that was easy for me to write about this year.

It can be a joyous time, and it can also be a difficult time.

There is something in the air during this period. I think it heightens all of your emotions.

It can amplify your feelings to an intense level.

I have this little crystal angel decoration with gold wings for the Christmas tree that I would always place on one of the top branches last.

From the age of 24, until I was 30, I would always say the same thing in my mind as I placed her on the tree.

“Maybe next Christmas.”

Maybe next Christmas I’ll have a child.

We all have hopes for ourselves. Yet our hopes and desires change with the winds of time.

This was my wish for that period of my life.

I recall my hardest Christmas was a few years back now when I went and saw some friends on Boxing Day. They had a 2 month old baby.

My friend was about to feed her baby and she asked me if I’d like to hold her.

I was such a bad friend, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t hold her beautiful little baby in my arms and feed her. I couldn’t do it because I knew I would have broken down. She would have seen how weak and pathetic I was. It was an impossibility at the time. Such an overwhelming feeling of injustice I was consumed by. So selfish of me.

Why can’t I have a baby? I tried so hard. This isn’t fair. Why me?

We all have reasons behind why we do what we do. However they’re not always up for discussion. And a good friend will accept your reasons even if they remain unspoken. I guess that’s where the term “hidden hurts” comes from.
I recall leaving her house, and the moment I drove away and was safely out of view, I did break down. The lump in my throat that I had been fighting to swallow away, and the tears that kept pricking the back of my eyes for hours finally overwhelmed me. And I didn’t just cry. I wept. Inconsolably.

Looking back, I don’t know how I managed to make it through the other side of those 6 years. I thought it would never end.

But it did. Life is like that. When you’re in a situation, you feel as though it will never end.

Yet nothing lasts forever.

I look at my day yesterday. I went to the beach with a friend and my 6 year old buddy.

We swam in the ocean while he held my hand. I helped him shower and dress afterwards. We had a great day. I really enjoyed his company. I am so grateful that I finally have the opportunity to enjoy my friends children.

Such a stark contrast to years ago when I was in the midst of a seemingly never ending rut of feeling hopeless.

So why such a somber article today?
Christmas is upon is, and I think for everyone, it’s a time for reflection. To look back on the years that have passed to see how far we’ve come. How much we’ve grown.

Or to see how much has changed in every sense of the word. Life, friends, relationships, feelings, circumstances.

Whilst this is a relatively long article today, I will say that in my 34 years, I have come to understand that life never goes according to plan. Not for anyone. Well, maybe for a lucky few.

I look back 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, and I would have never anticipated to be where I am today.

Not in my wildest dreams.

Nobody knows what the future may hold, and none of us are playing with marked cards, so all we can really have is hope.

So in no way is this a “light-hearted” piece today. In fact, I go into Christmas this year with a somewhat heavy heart for reasons that will remain private, and carefully guarded behind those walls I have strategically erected around me.

But I haven’t lost hope.

So I say to the angel this year “maybe next Christmas”. Yet my hopes and wishes have changed for what I’d like for this time next year.

I hope for peace. And happiness.

Maybe next Christmas I will find it. After all, this is what I am chasing (hence the name of my blog).

I guess that’s why all the Christmas cards say “hope and peace to all”.

So Merry Christmas, and hope and peace to all.

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