I’m about to admit a very hard thing.
I believe in magic.
Not magick or majik or faeries or things like that (though I’m hanging on to hope that unicorns, Santa, and men who understand their own emotions are all real). Real-life magic, like destiny and serendipity and love and beauty and miraculous sorts of things, even if they’re not real miracles. I’m a hopeless romantic and believe love to be one of the most fundamental and important things in life. I’m passionate to the point of fallacy, and pour myself wholly into every damn thing I do (whether a good thing or a sorely ill-advised thing). I’m not sure I can extend myself into believing Everything Happens for a Reason, because I think there’s a lot of shit that just happens…but I do believe from everything that happens, you can make something, and that’s kind-of magical, too.
This is a hard thing for me to admit for a few reasons. For one, when I converted from Christianity to agnosticism-with-atheist-leanings, I did what I often do: rode the pendulum as far to its opposite position as possible. I actually began to roll my eyes at anything spiritual…including just seeing magic and wonder in nature and everyday life. I think that was a pretty significant mistake.
For two, at some point, reason became vastly more important to me than emotion. I think, really, I became afraid of emotion, because it’s so unpredictable and powerful. Plus, I think part of it is at the same time the internalization of and struggling against gender stereotypes. Women who are emotional tend to be seen as less competent in the workplace, and career success has been very important to me. I also think I might be a victim of the “women are crazy” gaslighting epidemic as described by Yashar Ali of The Good Men Project. I’ve tried so hard to rationalize my feelings away and operate solely from a place of logic, pretending emotions had, and should have, no bearing on my decision-making. (Yeah, ask me how that’s worked out. Short answer: not.) And really, what is magic but something wonderful that causes overwhelming, soul-gripping emotion??
As I’m growing, though, I’m learning that denying that huge part of myself — the part that loses its breath every time the fireflies come out at night, the part that falls hopelessly in love even when my brain wants to know what the fuck I think I’m doing, the part that believes in (mostly) happily ever afters — makes it impossible for me to wholly love myself. And the older I get, the more I experience, the more it seems that loving yourself just as you are is the Key to Everything.