This is the first year my 2 year and 8 month old son is really starting to grasp Christmas. With that, has come (to my delight) endless opportunity for bribery (Santa really wants to bring you a bike if you eat all of your dinner), Jewish guilt (Santa is going to be very sad if you interrupt our conversation...), and empty threats (I don't know if Santa will remember where we live if you don't brush your teeth). Despite my naughty-list-worthy mom-antics, watching Beckham get excited about a holiday that- let's face it, as an adult, becomes more about crowded malls and less about holiday magic- has reignited a kind of magic in my household.
I've watched my son this season start to believe that anything is possible, while at the same time, being very simple in his wishes. He wishes for more books read to him at night. He wishes for a bike like the one he has at school. He wishes for chocolate milk when we go to a restaurant, and for permission to bring ALL his stuffed (and plastic) animals to bed. And it's gotten me thinking... Are our grown up wishes really all that different? When it comes down to it, don't we all just want to feel like we have freedom to make our own choices, things that make like fun, time to do the things we love, and endless opportunity to be surrounded by the people (or things) that give us comfort?
I have a confession: Somewhere this fall, my fire died down to embers. I don't know why or how. If I didn't feed it enough, or if I fed it too much. I've felt, for a few months now, that I simultaneously need to be hustling harder, but also need to be chilling out more. It's an odd dichotomy to be in the middle of, mentally and emotionally.
My family has been in town and my mom and I started evaluating this predicament. I've done so pretty cool things during this lull of mine, but it's as if I have the firewood, the matches, and the gasoline to pour onto everything, but I just am standing there- all of those tools in hand, not entirely sure what to put where, or how to get anything going. And I guess, for me, it comes down to this: I have let myself start believing that magic isn't real. Not for me. That you can work really hard, and if you're lucky someone will notice, but if you're not, you're screwed. I've let myself start to live like I promised I never would; as if possibilities are limited. As if life is hard . The irony being, that my life has never had the conditions like it does now to be completely and utterly fulfilling, passion-filled and straight-up-easy.
So now, for the hard part: Lighting the match. I know how. I've done it before. But understanding that matches don't always light the first time. Sometimes it takes several before one catches fire...and even then, a lit match in a pile of wood doesn't always burst into flame. Sometimes, it takes taking step one a thousand times to even get to step two, to see you have to go back to step one yet again to get step 2, 3, 4, 10 to even TAKE.
My Christmas wish, and New Year's resolutions are one in the same: To find the magic...and more importantly, to believe in it even when it's hard to see. Believe that I am who and where and what I am for a reason much bigger than I understand and to not honor that by living up to my potential is a giant "eff you" to the gifts and opportunities, mentors and support I've been given. Hard work is what we all have to wake up and do anyway. And it's easy to wake up and work your butt off when you're triumphant. But when you're not, the belief that it's not all in vain is what insists that you continue to move forward. The belief that someday someone is going to look at who you are and what you stand for and say "I get it. I'm a fan.". I need that. I need that magic so the days when I'm standing with a match (or a blow torch) in my hands, I know that I just need to keep using the tools and the knowledge I already have.
I read a quote the other day that I may need to print out and plaster around my house, car, and everywhere else. It said, "Work until you don't have to introduce yourself anymore". I'm Isabeau Miller. I'm a songwriter and a performer, and I also like to blog/write/speak about stuff I can't ignore. And I hope someday I don't need to have an elevator pitch. That when someone says "Isabeau", people just know. But until then...More than something magical plopping dreams-come-true in my lap, I want to be infused with the belief and faith in the power of hard work, the inevitable-ness of opportunities, and MOST importantly, the infinite conviction of my belief in not just magic...but myself.
The happiest of holidays to all of you. May your magic shine today, and through 2015.