Hey loves, this is a little more serious than my usual.
2017 has been a hard year for me, since it feels like I just keep losing people. My oldest friend, V passed away over the summer and I was devastated. We hadn't talked in years, but she was the kind of friend I could picture telling embarrassing childhood stories about me at my wedding. The last time I saw her was right after we graduated from high school at our last vocal recital. She sang the song "Someone Like You," from the musical Jekyll and Hyde, and the song still makes me cry. I guess I never realized I needed to worry about her, since she was always just lurking in a corner of my heart and mind, like the sun. You don't have to worry about whether or not the sun is going to come up in the morning because it has to. I guess I didn't think about the fact that the night has to come sometime too.
In the last month, I also lost someone else. This person wasn't as close to me, but M was a bright light. His scathing tweets provided commentary about anything and everything, and he saw the world in a way that always fascinated me. This was a Muslim boy who came out as gay, got kicked out of his home, and still managed to graduate with a 4.0 from high school. He was finally free, finally getting to show the world what he was capable of, all the things that he could be, and then he fell out of a boat and drowned. Nothing is more heartbreaking than the death of a young person, of someone younger than me.
These losses have made me think carefully about what it means to be alive. I know that every morning I wake up is a blessing, but still I struggle with the fact that horrible things happen to amazing, wonderful people. The world will never get to see their greatness, they will never live up to their full potential, so this is me taking up a torch for them. Remember to remind those around you how much they mean to you. Take the time each day to write a list of things that made you smile. Find an excuse to say I love you, say thank you, blow a bubble, pet a dog. Listen to the birds and bask in the sunlight. Remember that today is a gift and that though tomorrow is never promised, we lose nothing from living with love.
I have always loved fairy tales. My mom and I probably worked our way through almost every variation of Cinderella in the library system when I was a kid. (Maybe that means I can blame her for my unhealthy love of footwear). My favorite version of the story, however, is a movie. The 1997 Rodgers and Hammerstein version with Brandy and Whitney Houston, to be exact. The costumes are bright and colorful, the cast is multiracial and diverse, and Bernadette Peters and Whoopi Goldberg are both in it. What more could anyone possibly need? Oh! And the whole thing is a musical. I kept watching our illegal VHS of it until my dog, Piano chewed on it a few years ago.
Over the weekend, my roommate Juneau admitted that she had never seen the film all the way through, so we illegally streamed it. Our illegal actions nonwithstanding, the movie was as magical as I remembered. It made me think about the ease of childhood, how I never wondered how a black queen and white king could possibly have produced a Filipino child. All I saw was magic. It tickles me that this still holds true.
Cinderella is a tale quite nearly as old as time. And, we could all use a little more magic, right?
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