Today, while at work, I was feeling particularly down and out about life. The night before I was watching Harry Potter and Dumbledore uttered his famous quote: “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

All day long, I kept saying to myself: “Turn on the light, turn on the light!” In the bathroom, walking up the stairs, down the elevator, in the dining room.

Turn on the light. Turn on the light. The light, the light. For God’s sake’s turn on the light, Katie.

And then one of my best friends from middle school walked in to pick up some food. And although it had been years since we saw one another, the rush of being 12 swung right back towards me. Memories of all shapes and sizes about hitting puberty, about school, about boys, about clothes, about haircuts, and sparkly eyeshadow. About the magic of moving forward in life and the hope that the grown up version of myself was elegant and put together. Realizing while talking to this beautiful, grown up version of my friend from childhood that life doesn’t leave any of us without scars or heartache. That we look, at 30, the way we always have and also better and a little worse for wear no matter what we’ve gone through. It was a light for sure, to give her a hug and exchange numbers. And go about my day realizing that versions of myself still live within me slumbering and ready to be awoken by the happy call of a friend or the promise of a hot chocolate, or the memory of knowing that darkness is temporary but the light is always, always ready to be turned on. You just have to do it. You just have to let it be done. You just have to be present and notice. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.

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