First of all, please accept my apology for my lack of correspondence the past 20 years. When a frenemy at a sleepover unceremoniously exposed you as a fraud way back then, I took her at face value. However, now that I’m a part of the Anglican tradition, I believe in the communion of all saints, and in asking the dead to pray for me. When my priest referred to you as a “visiting Turkish Bishop”, I did some research, and found out that you are indeed real. This week heralded the Feast Day of St. Nicholas, so I’m finally ending my two decades of silence not to give you a list of demands, but to ask you for your prayers as I try to re-envision my life.
Santa, I think it’s pretty well established that I need a bit of a break. It’s been a rough couple of months, and I could really use a nice end-of-the-year ritual. I have been learning, painfully, that one’s happiness is directly correlated to their expectations. Therefore, rather than expecting certain things to occur, I am trying to have a vision for what I want for my life. But there is a lot that is holding me back. For far too long, I have been under the belief that I needed to have the most challenging life I could possibly imagine. For some reason, every time I’ve looked for a job, I felt compelled to work with the hardest population, in the most dangerous neighborhood, for the lowest pay I could find. What was I trying to prove here? Don’t answer that, Santa. I think part of the reason you receive so many letters each year is that you never write back. You just show up with gifts. Maybe that should be my calling card, too. Never respond to any correspondence, just break in to people’s houses and give them stuff. Really awesome stuff.
I remember my parents would always say that the very best presents were from you. They’d sign their name on the little ones, but the truly great gifts, like the Game Boy when I was ten, were always from St. Nick. Thanks for that, dude. I’m counting on that kind of goodwill now, when I need it most.
Without further ado, here’s the stuff I really need this year:
1. Empowering, creative, interesting work that pays me enough to provide my family with a roof over our heads and food on our table, consistently and without constant fear of a missed paycheck. I want a job that includes my whole person, my body-mind-spirit, but also pays me a living wage for a mother. I don’t think that is too much to ask, as I am not even being specific about the sector I want to work in. For the first time ever, I’m expanding my horizons to work in the for-profit world, confident that I could bring my own brand of creativity and life to an advertising firm as much as I could to a public school. Surprise me, Santa, with the opportunities you send my way. I promise not to turn them down just because the Old Me wouldn’t have done them. I’m ready to let go of who I am to make way for who I am becoming.
2. Affordable housing that allows my daughter to have her own room. Olive is getting big, and she needs her own space. However, housing in our fair city is insane. Seriously, if any of you reading this do not currently live in SF or NYC, you will be appalled to hear what a 2-bedroom apartment goes for here. I am frequently embarrassed when talking to friends from Philly by what I pay for a tiny 1-bedroom, or I would just come out and tell you here. I have been incredibly grateful for our little nest thus far — it is close to public transit, my dance studio, and lots of awesome things to do. So, ideally, Santa, I would stay in my neighborhood, despite the fact that the only park nearby is wildly dirty and in an unsavory part of the district. Once again, your work here is made easier by the fact that I am now willing to branch out. Joel and I have even been talking about *gasp* moving to the East Bay. I’m scared of the fashion implications and the potential loss of community, but I am trying to trust. Don’t let me down.
Yup, there’s only 2 things on the list, because I really, really want them. You know what, Santa? I’m going to throw you a bone. If you can’t swing a rad, moderately well-paying job and affordable, slightly-more-spacious housing, I won’t judge you. Just buy me some sparkly things, and we’ll call it a wash. I can be the shiniest work-at-home-mom on the block.