There are many pretenders and far too few contenders. But I suppose that’s what makes the contenders so special. They remind you why you wake up in the morning, of what is possible, and, dare I say, what is ideal. Each time you see what it really looks like you are reminded by just how rare and how fleeting it is.

I’ve been labeled an idealist before. I think many individuals of my generation have been branded the same. Aware that it’s typically used as an insult or a putdown it doesn’t rub me the wrong way like it did when I was younger, because we all know that The Adults In The Room have always known better. Us young people will understand when we are older. Only we are forever destined to be younger than those who tell us such things.

Christmas is coming in a few weeks, but Christmas to me has always been more about a feeling than an actual date. Christmas is waking up after getting not nearly enough sleep with enough adrenaline to carry me through the day; it’s an excited feeling that can only come from the happiness and innocence of childhood; it has no substitute and I don’t think I have to describe it much more because it’s universal.

You don’t have to overthink this. You simply roll with it. With age comes less excitement in general and far fewer surprises than you ever could have imagined. But when it comes back you never forget it. You remember. Memories come back in waves, and feelings once thought to be eternally dormant rush back to the brain like salt to enhance the flavor of everything on your plate.

When it’s new everything is perfect, even though you know it won’t last forever. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t have to matter. Because right now the images that flash through your mind are endless, and right where they need to be.

You get the impression when you are young that everything is going to work out in the end. I’m 32 and remain a victim to this hopelessly romantic outlook. There is always some sense of fatalism that runs through the back of my mind, yet all my energy and effort is spent knocking it down or pushing it back. And it’s moments like these that provide the optimism, even for just a brief spell if that’s all this is, to conquer anything and everything all the time.