With the holidays come and gone, I’m feeling rather nostalgic. Especially since this was the first December that I’ve been separated from my family and the bitter cold, yet oddly comforting, MN winter. Although I came home for a brief week leading up to Christmas, it wasn’t nearly long enough. Having to fly back on Christmas didn’t help. Nonetheless, you don’t really realize how much your loved ones mean to you until they’re unavailable during a time of need.
As sung by the great Christmas musicians like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and of course Mariah Carey, the epitome of the holiday season is love. No love, makes for a sad Dan Fogelberg (though melancholy, Same Old Lang Syne remains one of my favorite Christmas songs to date). As my first addition to The Infinity List, I had to make it a grand one, and it all revolves around a seemingly simple idea: I have loved and been loved, unconditionally, relentlessly, and compassionately. Yet never regrettably. I’ve fallen in love so hard that whenever I dreamed about losing that person, I woke up in tears, exasperated. I’ve loved my family so much that when I left them to move to Miami, I cried from the moment I left and periodically for months afterwards. I’ve loved so deep that I was willing to remain committed to that person, despite constantly being separated by miles upon miles of land and water. I’ve loved so honestly that I can look into the eyes of that friend and tell them the brutal truth, whether they want to hear it or not. I’ve been loved in such a manner that I’m willing to take their advice and trust that these changes I can make towards my life will be beneficial, and to act upon them. I’ve been loved so compassionately that the mere thought of him springs a smile on my face and makes my heart stumble.
Though painful at times, without love I would have nothing. I literally mean, nothing. Love has opened doors for me that I once thought were nonexistent. It’s strung me up and kept me from breaking into small pieces and falling through the cracks. When I’ve been at my lowest of lows, it was ultimately love that beckoned me back into the light. Love is the reason that I am where I am today, and I could not be happier. Yesterday (Christmas Day), when we arrived back to our gray apartment and empty fridge, I instantly felt homesick to the point of tears. I couldn’t help thinking that the aura of home is missing from this place, it was all very unfamiliar. Until I had an epiphany: love is what has brought me here. It wasn’t until this fleeting moment when I felt entirely alone with my feelings that I had realized this. Love will take you numerous places, as long as you allow it to. Never take advantage of it, and 1. Linger every once in a while on the fact that you are loved. You’ll be amazed at what that thought will do for your attitude, and your life.