Not too too long ago in a place not too far away from where I am now I believed it undeniably and unequivocally true that magic was real and that I was a fairy princess. This was not just a belief I came to on a whim, but a doctrine I lived by for many years. This realization first came to me when I began wearing an abundance of plastic Dollar Store dress-up jewelry. I am not sure why, but for some reason I loved the sparkle of plastic silver. Of course, this obsession caused me to have to be tested for lead poisoning later that year when it was announced that some dress-up jewelry contained traces of lead. Young children all over the country were developing lead poisoning from sucking on the jewelry, a thing I too had been known to do. Anyway, by the end of the year my fixation with plastic jewelry had escalated, and I began wearing crowns. Oddly enough no one seemed to question this new development until one day a friend finally asked me why. My response came to me as though I had always known the answer. “I am a fairy princess,” I said. It was the first time I had ever uttered those words and from then on I understood the truth. Belief is magical.
This epiphany had come to me with no effort at all because I was always of the mind that to believe in something is to make it true. Basically magic exists because it is believed to exist. This is the idea that saves Tinkerbell at the end of the movie. My existence as a fairy princess however, was not defined by children clapping their hands and chanting their belief. Rather it was defined by my belief that I myself was a mystical creature and that I was able to exist as one. Although this idea seems silly in this context, the implications of it are found throughout the world in literature, philosophy, religion, and politics. The foundation of most religions is built on this concept. People believe in the God or Gods of these religions not because there is proof of their existence. Their existence seems to be proved because so many believe that they exist. America itself was also founded on a similar idea. The democratic government that has run our country for over 200 years exists because the American people have faith in it. Theoretically without their faith the American government would not have power and would cease to exist. The primacy of this belief even extends into pop culture. Stars are created and destroyed based on the beliefs of a select few. Edie Sedgwick rose to fame simply through Andy Warhol’s belief that she was a star and fell when he stopped believing.
The importance of believing applies to individuals as well as to larger groups. It is belief that allows individuals to define their own identities, allowing them to become what they believe themselves to be. I was a fairy princess because I knew myself to be one, much as James Gatz knew himself to be Jay Gatsby. His belief that he was something more than the son of unsuccessful farmers allowed him to be more. Individuals have the ability to transform and recreate themselves as their beliefs change. I no longer believe myself to be a fairy princess, so I no longer exist as one. I now define my identity by my belief that I am a strong independent woman, which when you think about it is not really that different from being a fairy princess. I know that as I evolve in the future how I think about myself will help transform me into a new person and I will have the power to become whomever I want to become. So if I decide sometime in the future that I am in fact a fairy princess, I will again exist that way.
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