Do you remember how you felt when you first found out that Santa wasn’t real? Cause I sure do, and trust me when I say I was devastated. I was 8. “Santa” had gotten me the brand new Mariah Carey CD and I was in love. I played that thing on my walkman ( remember those ?!) more times than I could count. It was the best present anyone could have ever gotten me and knowing it came from Santa made me all the more jolly. But then , reality sunk in and the world as I knew it became flipped upside down.
Being the snoopy little shit I was back in the day ( and still am ) , I was going through my mom’s purse and to my surprise, I found a receipt from Walmart and low and behold, the “Emancipation of Mimi” was printed on it in what felt like 72 HELLvetica font. I couldn’t believe it. It took me a while to process what I was seeing. At first I thought, “Wow, I had no idea Santa was so poor he had to shop at Walmart. I thought Walmart was a place only for the likes of my parents”. But then , what I saw next confirmed every bad thing about humanity I never even knew existed. Listed near the total price , lied the words “COUPON $5 SAVINGS “. I knew then that my life would never be the same. Sure, Santa could be shopping at Walmart, but no fucking way was he about to show up on the next episode of Extreme Couponing, that was the only thing my parents had Santa beat at. And so , my little peanut brain put 10 minus 5 together , and there you had it- Santa wasn’t real and Mommy and Daddy were cheap as fuck.
Besides that , I also learned something else that day – what utter disappointment felt like. Now multiply that feeling by 100, and that’s exactly how 2016 has gone for me. If I thought realizing Santa wasn’t real was disappointing , how was I going to take it when I realized that someone I have looked up to my entire life had did something that would change the way I look at them forever?
What I learned about some of the people closest to me this year, I could have never been prepared for. You spend your entire life looking up to certain people , naively thinking they could do no wrong. And then they do. And it’s like you’re stuck in a limbo between believing in the person they’ve been all along , and this much more darker side of them you had no idea existed. To make it worse, it’s always the people we love the most , who hurt us the most.
So, unfortunately , this year I learned one of the hardest things I will ever know: People can , and will, disappoint you. People are people. We aren’t perfect. We make mistakes. Some mistakes are bigger than others. Some can easily be forgiven, while some we can never seem to forget. Yet, while I learned that disappointment, unlike Santa, sure as hell exists- I learned an even bigger lesson in 2016.
LESSON #4: FORGIVENESS WILL ALWAYS SET YOU FREE.
Forgiving someone who has hurt you is probably one of the most difficult things you’ll ever have to do in life. 11 times out of 10, the person who has done you wrong doesn’t deserve an ounce of fucking sympathy out of you. But, what I realized is that forgiveness is less about the person who created the problem, and more about the one who has to deal with it- YOU!
So forgive. Not because others are deserving. But because you are. You deserve to be freed of the pain and suffering they have caused you. You deserve to live a life that is not plagued by bitterness and hatred. There is a life outside of Santa Claus, just as there is a life outside of this disappointment.