When I was a kid I began to suspect that Santa wasn't exactly who he said he was. I'd heard rumors of course, but I figured they were just rumors.
But one year I decided to test him.
I told my parents and Santa's helpers at the malls what I wanted but I omitted one gift that I really wanted. A My Buddy (or Kid Sister) Doll.
I wrote a letter to Santa and stuck it in a mailbox one Saturday when no one was looking.
On Christmas morning I opened all of my gifts and there was no doll.
And I knew.
I knew the truth.
On another note I was terrified (and still am) of thunderstorms. They seem very end times ominous and it just seems that bad things are more likely to happen when the skies are raging. As a kid my parents would try to soothe me and reassure me so I wasn't so scared.
They told me that thunderstorms were God having a bowling party in Heaven. That the thunder was when someone got a strike and lighting was everyone taking pictures at the party.
What a fun God right?
I was even more upset and freaked out.
Because I was TERRIFIED and God was having a PARTY!?!?! What was that about?!
Now I was going to die and probably go to hell because God was BOWLING?
These are mostly funny anecdotes that I tell people because they are the funny ramblings of a weird kid. But I was telling the Santa story the other night and it occurred to me that these were sneak peeks at how I view relationships (and in a lot of ways how I have viewed humanity as a whole).
Can't really count on them.
Will let you down.
Will forget you.
You don't matter.
It made me really sad.
It made me sad to realize that beneath the silliness of these stories there seemed to be this little girl that was pretty convinced she'd be forgotten or overlooked in some way. There was a little girl that didn't trust she could believe in people and she had to sneak around and "trick" people into revealing the truth about themselves (or the lack of themselves as it were).
It made me sad too to realize that underneath all of my funny stories and anecdotes on life today that there's still a little girl trying to figure out if she'll be forgotten, overlooked and left yet again. That little girl still struggles with the idea that she has to "trick" people into showing who they really are because she suspects they aren't real.
I'm struggling between two very different realities in my head lately. The truth I know in my head and what I believe to be true in my heart.
I know the world isn't black and white.
I know that people aren't either good or bad.
I know that there are nuances to relationships that always make it work to remain close.
But I believe that the world is black and white. That there is a clear right and wrong. I believe that people are either good or bad that that relationships are either on or off.
I'm trying to stitch my heart back together and get it in line with my head. But some days I wake up and I've run out of thread and my needle has dulled.
Storms rolled through earlier this week and I was reminded once again of my fear of being forgotten and my fear of the bad and scary. Tossing and turning through the night I dreamt of people long dead and those I wished would just die already (as if that would really solve anything, but I'm an adolescent child and terrible person sometimes, sorry to break the news to you).
I woke hungover from the fears and paranoia surging through my heart. I looked out the window and I saw blue skies and was reminded.
I remembered that I am no longer a little girl that must submit herself to others authority just because they are bigger than me.
I remembered that even though Santa didn't come through for me I had parents that heard me telling the funny story and came through for me in the silliest and smallest way more than a decade later.
I remembered that God is a big God and he doesn't really throw bowling parties and forget about scared little girls.
I remembered that I have help with all the stitching back together that is being done in my life right now and that I'm the one that gets to let people in or usher them out of my life and that just because people say something with authority doesn't mean it's true.
I remembered that right before a thunderstorm there is high tension in the air. It prickles your skin and you feel the electricity surging through the air. The tension increases to a point that it's almost unbearable until the skies open and rain falls down, thunder claps and lighting flashes. I remembered that the atmosphere purges itself of all of this and after there are skies of brilliant blue filled with cool breezes and new life.
I'm in the middle of an overwhelming thunderstorm right now. Far enough in that it's too late to stop, but still so far from the end you wonder if you'll ever see blue skies again.
But I know there will be blue skies again, I know there will be new life and cool breezes and some days I can even believe it.