Christmas felt very different this year. This realization swept through my mind whilst feeling very adult and mellow throughout all the typical Christmas experiences and rituals—the Christmas-tree needles on the floor, Mum’s birthday celebration, finding my stocking, listening nonstop to Sufjan Stevens, and the excitement and magic of Christmas Eve (which actually didn’t make much of an appearance). I went through the motions, trying to let it all wash over me. But of course it feels different, because I feel different.

I have been limping through life like an injured animal. I am nursing myself in the best way I know how—by putting the brakes on everything and staying indoors a lot—but that doesn’t make me happy, just safe. I feel withdrawn right now, like my orbit is getting smaller, moving inward, farther and farther away from everybody else’s.

I’ve survived by leafing through Sister Wendy Beckett books. Listening to her speak about my favourite painters has really made me think more about the concept of “art,” and about getting something much deeper from it than just being aesthetically pleased. I’ve become slightly enamored of Van Gogh, and on Sunday, I knew I needed to see the only original Van Gogh near me. It’s a tiny little thing, but I always put my face close to it and see the texture of the brush strokes, noticing something new every time. I don’t know, I like little things like this. It makes my soul feel fulfilled. ♦