On Finding Magic Once Again
There’s something about the arts that gives it an illusory, magical quality. There’s always been a reason why I am attracted to well-done theater, a spellbinding book, an emotionally cathartic poem, a pensive song.
The expressive arts is a charm that is cast over many others like me. We aim to capture the human experience in the best words. The best way possible. There is a quote on my personal website that I have searched and searched for by Octavio Paz. It hints at art being a product of aesthetics, which is in turn a product of philosophy.
“What we call art is a game,” Paz said.
To me, art is about reinvention. You can never have too much stories or songs in my opinion because the world and everyone in it is always changing. Maybe I don’t remember much about my relationships or my childhood because I escaped so easily into a book or drawing something (badly, I would like to admit). But what I do remember is the moments when a book or a song made me change the way I think once again.
To be honest, I’ve gone through the reinvention phase again. Because my hair cannot grow fast enough, I bought a wig and posed in silly ways with silly filters. I felt like a child who found their mother’s red lipstick for the first time. I would lip sync to an old emo song I knew or wear my glasses and pretend that I was an emo version of Jessica Day (from “New Girl”).
Being emo has always been at the heart of myself. Winter, just another season for bringing out my winter darks and the busying music of my Italian boots. I went to my first private tutoring session blasting Violet Orlandi’s cover music through open car windows.
Magic makes us feel liberated in a world where structures aim to keep us down and numb. Not saying that I did a perfect job at my first tutoring session on my own, but I walked away thinking that my sense of autonomy is growing. The independence I feel at the corners of myself is slowly morphing into a network of good people and confidence.
Occasionally, I’ll doubt myself. But my magical self will say, “It’s okay to think that, Taylor.”
“But can you imagine what life would be like if that wasn’t true? If you were to succeed and more?”
Part of my bipolar mind wants to control everything. From my weight and diet to my work schedule. Manias are often me losing an incredible amount of sleep just to create anything that will last forever–then me crashing because I wasn’t successful with that. So, because I am teaching myself about the beauty of slow progress, I am taking the time to integrate grace, gratitude, and peace into my life.
I don’t have to schedule a heavy day of reading, writing, and research. I don’t have to exercise for an hour. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to. By seeing my productivity as a privilege, I start to welcome slowness. I start to weave intention into whatever walks into my life.
For example, there’s a guy that I like. But part of me is afraid that he does not make room for intention or stillness, that he makes work his whole identity because he wants to forget about the hard things he’s been through. There’s nothing wrong with that. But liking him–and I think he likes me for the breath of (moodily emo) air I am–has been like trying to corral a wild stallion into a corner.
Do I know just how dangerous that can be? Why on earth am I giving myself this impossible task of trying to get him to notice me, to ask me out, when I need to let my own wildness roam? If he wants to roam with me, then let him, my mind says. But don’t think that you both are trying to tame each other.
Someone once told me that introducing something new into your life should be regarded as a luxurious addition. It brings out the flavors you already have in your palette. Building a plate that does not have much (what my sister calls a scarcity model) and then bringing in something only emphasizes what you are lacking.
Because last month I was severely victimizing myself, I am finding magic in people once again. Building a healthy plate to eat from by establishing light-hearted but joyous relationships and mixing in a healthy amount of laughter and deep conversations. I am slowly looking at people not as what I lack but what their different perspective, if they are so willing, to add to my life.
This magical concoction is what I call not a cure, but an antidote to my loneliness. It heals and absolves the pain I went through before my thirties. It even sprinkles in a little bit of love and resilience and maturity so that I don’t make the same mistakes again.
This falling in love again and again and again is why I continue to believe in magic. It is why every time I get out of bed, I am not mourning the day already. There’s so much to do and so much not that by becoming stuck doesn’t seem like an option. Every day is an opportunity. And I will continue to fight. To let my magically rebellious heart win for once.