I don’t really like writing letters to Santa so I’m going to try writing to you this holiday season. I know here at TBK, letters to Santa are the tradition but I also know the boss is a fan of The Office so maybe this will work. Besides, I’ve always felt a deeper connection to you, Belsnickel.
I have a lot of amazing people in my life. I have two sons. Zeke will be sixteen next summer. He was recently brought on as TBK Magazine/Random Evolved Media’s intern. He is a sophomore and is an outstanding student. He describes his college credit concurrent advanced placement classes so easy that they are boring. He is killing it in geometry which makes me jealous because I got a C in there one quarter- the only C I’ve had in my entire life. However, he has truly dedicated himself to playing the flute with his high school band. Along with a generally amazing marching season this year, he participated in the band’s fourth consecutive state championship win! Besides that, Zeke is a unique soul. Very well liked among his peers but completely comfortable on his own. A quietly clever person with a quick wit. He secrets away his humor and deep understanding. Seeing Zeke laugh and talk in the wild is a rare sight.
Eli will be in junior high next year! He’s my tv watching buddy. Loves to read but refuses to consider my book suggestions even though we enjoy the same genres. Eli participates in our schools’s advanced learning program and travels to compete in regional chess tournaments. Eli is an extrovert living in a family of introvert. He is a loud, bossy, natural born leader. He does research into random topics such as the black plaque, how hard it is to create a new religion, and can twelve-year olds officiate weddings. He is a proud Pastafarian, which he learned about during prior mentioned independent research.
My friends tell me frequently that I’m lucky to have such awesome kids. Kids that my friends enjoy spending time with. Genuinely, I believe. That doesn’t happen often. My friends are right; I am blessed with the two most amazing young men.
Jesse and I met in the third grade. We were in the same class, had a close mutual friend, and sometimes played together on the playground. When we were twelve, he asked me to be his girlfriend on the bus ride home from school. Then my mother pulled me out of public school to home school me for three years. After I returned, we started formally dating two weeks after Jesse’s seventeenth birthday. He proposed to me three months later with a Valentine’s Day conversation heart. He didn’t buy me a ring for another seven months and his mother is the only person who know for most of that time. However, that’s our love story. Last month was the seventeenth-year mark since we started officially dating. I have now reached a point where we have been together as long as the time that was pre-Jesse. It is inconceivable to imagine my life without my life without him. You truly are my favorite person in this world (even more than Katie).
Katie is my second soulmate. My PLL. My platonic love lady. When I first met Katie, she did not like me at all but that’s ok. Sometimes people need tough love to get things done. It’s been a rough year and we are stronger for it. She’s the Leslie Knope to my Ann Perkins. She’s always there to pick me up when I have a bad day. She is the first person to notice when I’m struggling with anxiety even when it’s the tiniest thing (even though I tell you I’m fine). I love you and I like you, Katie!
Beks and Ashlee. They are constants in my life. You have no idea how comforting it is knowing that they are living only a few streets from me and that I have a place there if I ever need it. They are the calm within my storm. They have both brought me so much joy and love. I am grateful every day for the events that brought us together. They are my family. I love you both beyond words.
Dearest Kristen…I would not even be on my current path without her. If she had not invited me to come with her to Dallas Fan Expo over three years ago, I would not be a part of TBK Magazine. I would still be listening to the podcasts on my way to work. I would be an outsider to the world that I have come to love so much. Thank you for bringing me along. For keeping me company on that trip and going with me to buy a toothbrush and deodorant in pajamas. I am so glad that I am back to working with you, Kristen.
Tiffany! She is the most amazing Wonder Wo that I have ever met. Thank you for keeping us company during major conventions and helping with cosplay ideas. Her son is pretty cool too. I love both of you. Our lives are so much better with both of you in them.
The last couple years have brought a lot of changes too.
To the mother of cats, where the hell did you go? A goodbye text would have been nice. You left us in a lurch. Besides, some of us miss you.
To the wrestling fan, it really sucks that our friendship had to end but it did. I wanted to give you an annual shoutout and wish you well. I truly hope you find happiness and say no hard feelings.
To my person, my zucchini. It has taken me a long time to accept that you have moved on without me. Despite every attempt on my part to reach out to you, you remain absent. You broke my heart. As much as I have struggled with this over the last year, I KNOW that I deserved better than how you treated me. I will miss you. I am letting you go.
Kindra and Edd, you are actually not gone but you’re not here physically with us and I miss y’all. I haven’t seen y’all in person this year and I hate that. I love y’all so much! I hope that 2020 will give us the opportunity to see you.
And to finally, to N, a person that has returned to my life (kind of). N is not someone associated with the magazine but if she reads this, she will know who she is. You were my first true friend since I was in high school. I don’t trust easily but I completely trusted you. I let you in whole heartily and shared everything with you. I still don’t understand what happened. I took a day off work to go to a field trip with my son and I came back to find my world had imploded. You never came to me to explain what happened. I don’t know your side of the story. I don’t even really understand what happened when I was out that day because none of what I heard makes sense. I do know that the subsequent events made my life a living hell for years. Even after you left our place of employment, the things you set in motion left deep scars. Not to mention the pain that your absence caused my children. If you read this, why didn’t you come to me? Why didn’t you talk to me? Now that we are working together again, N, we seem to have an amicable professional relationship that acknowledges our past. I am happy with that. I am glad that we have reached a place where that is possible. I hope we can continue that. I still regret the loss of our friendship. Know that I always wished you the best and I still do. I hope you have a happy life. You still make me laugh. And you were too good for him.
Belsnickel, you don’t really seem to be the type of holiday figure that grants wishes. The opposite actually. That’s ok because I don’t really need anything. However, if I could ask for one thing in general, it would be that TBK Magazine and Random Evolved Media have a happy and successful 2020 year. Under this I include all of our producers, editors, writers, authors, podcasters, interns, photographers, other creative contributors, listeners, readers, and supporters. We just wouldn’t be here without y’all. Thank you for everything you do. You make our dreams come true.