By Sophie Grégoire
Ladies, this is to all our Christmas girls.
To all our former reflections, all the black and white icons of ourselves.
From the little girls we used to be—dolls that were shy and walking-on-egg shells—when starting our roads to life. Amazed at every new sky, ready for any battle, but always asking why. To the adults we became, through thick and thin, the blended patchwork of sunny afternoons and of scary thunderstorms.
Especially, to the strength of those ones that had no other choice but to become warriors.
To all our Christmas Girls, to all the lady dancers we once were. From the here and now to the opening of our first winter ballet performances. To the dressed-to-kill ones that we sometimes decided to be, to hide the truth behind masks of finery. Also, to the blooming girls of our most festal years, those smiling tutu dancers carried by pulses of harmony.
To our faded insouciance, to our lost hopes, to the magic that was stolen from our hearts, but was always and forever renewed.
To the failed Merry Christmas.
To all the efforts we made as Christmas kids, performing in vain to preserve a peace that couldn’t be. To our faces hiding, timidly, behind shattered shining bulbs, to the last attempts to catch light in between the spines of Christmas trees.
To our families’ inconsistencies. To the yelling words that had no reason to be. To the irrationality of shouting plates, to the sumptuous but lying receptions, to the violent letters that have forever scrambled the waves of our favorite but therefore forgotten Christmas songs.
To all our shimmering gifts, abundant and red and green and happy, to the profusion of things that has never replaced the love we needed. To the smiles we tried that much to get, but we never received. To the touches of tender we expected and will always miss, to the interrogative Christmas girls waiting among torn gift-wrappings.
To the loss of magic.
But also, to those magic wands which we have designed by ourselves to keep beauty. To all our magic tricks, to the ways we survived under the sound of dissonant Christmas melodies. To the wonderful dreams that were buried, almost killed while still nascent, but that fought and lived.
To all the creations we have been since then.
To our Christmas of renewed hopes, to the countless December’s that were the first breath of a hatching project. To our winter attempts and limitless energy to get always closer to our dreams, to our endless break-ups with old parts of an old self.
We have been up and down and have had rousing U-turns, unforgettable joys and freezing dead ends.
To our first love and the other love-goodbyes, to the Christmas of sorrows when we understood that “us” is not always made to last, as well as travelers don’t follow their roads hand in hand till the end of all destinations.
To all the dear ones, the black and white smiles around us. To those that will, once again, make us laugh this year, but also to the ones that have left, sometimes even before we reached adulthood, before we got the chance to speak. To the radiance of their memories.
Today, I remember all our Christmas times. All our former reflections.
I wish I could run to you all, dear Christmas girls. Sometimes just to hug you, to simply take care of those pretended sophisticated dolls we should have been, but that only wanted to play the game of insouciance and read the fairy tales of being a Christmas kid.
But also, sadly, I wish I could take you away, drag you out from the Christmas hells we have been through; to take your colds hands and run—run to the end of the known world, and never come back.
Or to tell you, Christmas Ladies, to warn you all, before it’s too late. Before other options get erased by new seasons, before life happens. So that you always make the better choice, so that you never find yourselves stuck in abyss, so that you could rely on clues and magical stones and easy-to-read-tips.
For you to avoid all the fakeries, all the unhappy Christmas scripts. For you all to be certain of which way to choose, of when to yell a “No” at the entire world, when to keep a “Yes” silent, and whose chest to lie upon and share mysteries.
So that you all—iconic ladies—had the answers to the mystery of being alive. To these tricky games that we progressively end up solving, Christmas after Christmas, year after year, easily or sometimes at war.
Eventually, snowy girls, I would prefer not to give you the clues of our deepest mysteries, but let you live. Not to spoil your own scripts, but let you write them.
At last, I would tell you that all these, our own patchworks of experiences, have been the way to grow stronger. That in life, one never aches for no reason. That every step—happy or unhappy—has its own reason to be. Also, that people come and go. That not everything we once love remains. That life is a flow, a river or a maybe a road, and that life lives.
That settling seems easy but isn’t.
That moving on is moving forward, that moving forward is letting go. That letting go is most of the time learning to stand alone, that embracing pain, truth and cold emotions is a part of being.
That leaving is sometimes required. That often, the key to happiness is to stop breathing the old, to risk the skin of our hearts and start blowing the new. That we may go through a thousand resurrecting deaths to find our truth. But, that truth isn’t found but created, handmade and polished, never settled, never confirmed.
That right or wrong decisions don’t exist, but only intuitions, and the calling for getting closer to our own anthems. That so-called failures are most of the time lessons or discoveries, that some “mistakes” in the end turn into awakening steps, forever remembered, always reclaimed.
Christmas Ladies, we have not tamed life—we have been through it. See, we have recovered from the winter crazy of our young ballet years. Rising from ashes.
All along the way to today, we have been breathing. Look, we have finally reached peace.
Today, for this brand-new example of Christmas times, as always and forever, we will make it.
You see, Christmas girls, you have no age. We have no age. We have been from the beginning, all part of the same story.
A story of the happiness-makers, of the resilience-heroes, of the highway-travelers. Of those that have gotten stronger from storms, that have fought alone, quietly, embarrassed participants of battles entered unknowingly.
To all the Christmas Ladies of today. You are enough—you have been more than enough.
As you have been—come hell or high water, are and will be—your own Christmas magic.
Sophie Gregoire is a thinker. You may often find her with a new idea or a new concept to explain, holding a notebook and pencil. Also found reading and writing, she is more than anything, an independent soul. She enjoys traveling and getting lost in new places, namely in Asia. She says it helps understanding our worlds, its people and the humankind. She loves writing to transform her endless thoughts into some kind of reality, and to keep the little piece of sanity she still has! She savors coffee, encounters, Yoga and meditation, and cats… while her own cat is her greatest muse!
Editor: Dana Gornall