I used to be haunted by nightmares. They were rare but brutal; sometimes, I would dream of horrible things unraveling in my life, propelling me to situations I couldn’t come back from. Then I would wake up, breathing heavily, only to realize I was safe. It didn’t happen; things were all right. That place of anguish that comes with things that cannot be taken back would vanish, until the next nightmare. I can recall a handful of them. They were rare. But brutal.
2016 was a truckload of crap. I encountered myself in a reverse situation: the reality was the nightmare, dreams were my safety. Dozing off into dreamland would temporarily suspend the brutality of what was happening to me when I was awake. I tried to be resilient. I tried to keep my heart intact. I tried to recover from the year of my discontent.
My mother, who knows everything, has told me multiple times that some hurdles in life are meant to be survived. You have to live through them; no one can take them away until you’ve lived through them. There’s a lesson or a blessing, they say. What if there’s nothing to be taken away from suffering? What if it happens to you because well, fuck you, that’s why?
I’ve often gone back and forward in my religious beliefs. I still don’t really know what I truly believe in. I have, however, felt a great need to reignite my Faith of late. To believe in something greater, something just, to imprint some meaning into the otherwise completely random chain of negative events that have plagued my life this year. I find myself asking for a sign, asking for Light. I find myself wanting, so bad, to believe. There is a comfort in Faith that I wish I could achieve.
I could ask for a Christmas miracle, but I feel like so many others deserve it more than I do. I’m alive, I’m well, I have a roof and food on my plate, my heart is intact. These roadblocks in my way might change the course of my life, but they won’t change who I am and what I have.
And that is, simply put, love. Love is what I’m here for. In the end, we won’t remember the days spent working like dogs nor the nights potatoing away in a lonely couch. I will remember the hour-long conversations with my mom over Skype, and the lovely iMessages from my sister. I will remember the arms that hugged me when I was broken, and the smiles I got when I showed up for a dinner party. I’ll remember the post-it note with a hearty message left by my roommate, and the joy a scarf brought to my beautiful friend. I’ll remember the songs sang to me in the purest of moments. I’ll remember being there, in those moments, knowing there is no future. There is only eternal present.