A Christmas miracle

December made it around the corner and it is the time of the year where family homes start to smell like hot chocolate and biscuits. It is the time of the year you see couples walking hand in hand under the Christmas decorations in the streets, cuddling a bit closer to that special person, sharing that look with each other and you can see that their world is simply joyous and perfect in that one moment. It is when you see children running around already excited for the big day, hoping that their Christmas wish is going to come true. It is a magical time!

As I was walking alone through covent garden with my music in my ears, which seemed to give the whole situation a nostalgic touch, I watched a father putting back the hat on his daughter’s head so she stays warm. He tucked her in her big purple oversized scarf and gave her a kiss and the smile of the little girl lit up the streets brighter than all the Christmas decorations. Suddenly I realised that a single tear was rolling down my face, I couldn’t help but miss my father terribly. The music picked up and like the soundtrack in a film that helps us understand it is a happy scene, I felt the love between the two so strong that it made my smile. I thought back of all the magical times I had with my dad and how lucky I am to have had a father like him.

Christmas is supposed to be the time when you are with your loved ones, the time when you celebrate and supposed to be happy, but what about those of us who don’t have this luxury? What about those of us who are alone? What about those of us who have lost someone, or someone we love dearly is very ill and it might be the last Christmas for them, or those who simply don’t have that perfect family? No other time during the year it seems as heavy on your hearts as during Christmas and all you wish for is that someone would come along and say: “Lets get out of here!“ Grab your hand and take you somewhere else.

I decided to make my self feel better and bought my self some good dark Swiss chocolate and a dozen yellow roses. At home I put my roses in front of the window lit a candle with a warm sent, broke open the chocolate and poured my self a glass of good pinot noir. I took a deep breath, looked at the yellow roses that I love, because next to daisies they are the one flowers that I think always make you smile, and while the chocolate combined with the wine dissolved beautifully in my mouth I started to think about time.

As you get older it seems time passes twice as fast than when you were younger.
So often we are running after something – the next best thing and we want it now not tomorrow. Consumerism has taken control over our society. The race after success, the perfect partner and absolute happiness has become unachievable. We believe it is absolutely normal to be able to have everything today – tomorrow is already to late!

As the weeks past and the work for the Newspeak Theatre Company increased, I found myself longing for one thing only – Sleep!! It was the one thing I seemed not to be able to get anymore. My thoughts kept running through my brain once my head finally hit the pillow. I constantly would get up again and kept writing on the next thing we had to do. Nevertheless I never felt like I was so much in charge of my creative outlet. After years of dreaming about it, I finally did it!

I believed with all of my heart in this company, my founding member and our project, but it was scary at the same time. There was so much to do, so much to learn and it seemed like time just ran like sand through your hands and you wish the day had 48 hours instead of 24.

The funny thing was the more I was worried about time the more it seemed to slip away. And it started to have its effect on everything in my life. In all sort of different matters I started to feel like I didn’t have enough time.

I didn’t have enough time to work, to sleep, to spend time with friends, to eat, to write, to think, to love…

As someone who is already rather emotional I suddenly felt all sorts of emotions that I couldn’t even control anymore. The missing sleep took over my brain and the ability to express my self properly seemed to have left the building. I tried to force my self to stop feeling and just focus on work, since I came to the conclusion that it is robbing my ability of being productive. Of course I realised pretty quickly how sad that thought was and what a fool I was to actually believe that one could do that! At least I couldn’t!

But why is it that we so often try to do exactly that? In order to find that balance in our lives why do we so often try to cut out the feelings?

They say that you never know where you are going if you don’t know where you have been.

And I started to wonder: Do we ever allow our selves to fully come to terms with where we were? Or are we far more running away from it. Hiding in the shadow of the past that inhibits us to get to the next level. Fooling our selves about how much we have learned. If we did learn so much then why are we keep doing the same mistakes? And if we came to terms with where we were then why is it so hard to open up again and move on?

When I was traveling I was able to look back to all those things and I kept moving forward. Freeing my self from old ravages I felt like I finally can move on. Back in London confronted with situations that triggered the deepest wounds and insecurities I couldn’t believe that they put me right back in front of my old fears. But something did change on the journey. I connected far more with my self than I was aware of, that I couldn’t manage to hide again behind that cold wall. Trying to control it with all the power I had, because this is what I knew how to do to survive in the past – I failed. And even though I was scared and didn’t know how to manage nor handle this new state of being, I couldn’t do much more than to just go with it.

My father always used to say: “Sarah life is about the journey and not the destination.”

Still thinking I haven’t done enough work and I should be doing this and that, I left for a stroll along the river. My arm was tucked in under his arm and as we were walking in the cold, talking about all sorts of things, I finally gave in and ended up being in the moment. Right there and not somewhere else. I stopped thinking about what I should be doing and working on. The cold air kissed my face and a shiver went over my body so I went a bit closer. It felt liberating and so relaxed to have the luxury to just be. I couldn’t remember when I felt like this the last time or if I ever did, but right there it seemed like even though I was nervous, I could be myself with all my difficulties and imperfections.

While it felt like a milestone for me to show this side of myself, the one where you take of the mask and you show yourself with all your vulnerability, I couldn’t help but realise that is combined with feeling even more close to someone. A risk I usually don’t take. If you have someone you fully trust and you feel like you can share anything with, it is in my eyes one of the biggest gifts. We are so often scared to really connect with someone, to really trust someone, because we know very well how much we have to lose, that we often stop right before that and stay in the secure zone.

I took a huge risk by founding this company and I don’t regret it one second no matter how scary it can be at times. Where on the other hand taking that risk with my heart is so much harder.

But it is like Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote in the little prince: ”I am beginning to understand,” said the little prince. “There is a flower… I think that she has tamed me…”

Once you have let your self been “tamed” by someone it is hard to ignore the connection. And may be there is no need for that. Even when everything seems like it is moving too fast or not right in that moment or not fast enough, the fact that deep down you know you have been “tamed”, allows you to trust and believe that this is exactly how it is supposed to be in this moment. And may be by really knowing where you have been in your past you tamed the “old you” and are able to connect with the “present you” and that way, you can trust in the journey knowing where you are going!

I decided to give it a rest and trust in the moment. It was out my control to know where I was going to end up and how everything will turn out. I do believe that you have to be willing to take a risk to make it to the next level. You can talk about your fears and past as much as you like, trying to find the answer to the “why”, you can even put your self in that safe cocoon to make your self believe you wont get hurt again, but you will never really change anything unless you are willing to take that risk of falling on your nose again. I had to remind my self about that. And I started to see that there is no need to be worrying about the company, it all needs its time and I didn’t have to accomplish everything today!
As for my heart, all I could do is trust my instinct and learn to stop running away. And may be one of these days I will be able to take in that one foot I always stay out of the door with ready to leave.

I looked at our pink Christmas-Hannukkah tree and thought to myself,there is no correct or right Christmas. There is no right moment where you freed yourself from all the ravages to be ready for everything new. There is just life and it is up to you if you want to live it fully with all that comes with it or if you want to hide to prevent yourself from failure and pain. The question only is, will you be happy? I for one had enough pain in my past and decided this is my Christmas miracle – I am willing to take the risk – and be happy!


About sarahschaefer

Pancakes and Panthers is a blog about the philosophical aspects of self discovery of a young actress from London. Life is too short to wait! View all posts by sarahschaefer

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