This I Believe

Jimmy - Ithaca, New York
Entered on February 17, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: carpe diem

I believe that fairy tales do not need to exist. The world is not so predictable.

I believe I can describe love in statistics and not strip it of its magic. I write this alone in a café, single on the eve of Valentine’s day. I believe there are thousands of people that one could be happy with in the world, each different, but happy nonetheless. I believe this comes from what I have seen of people’s incredible capacity to love. Break it down by sexual orientation, common language spoken, physical proximity, and age— what is the use in the soul-mate construct? I believe it is misleading to place the emphasis on finding a perfect person, since it falls temptingly close to assuming your journey is done once you have found him or her. The more perfect the person, the less you feel uncomfortable, and that is good, right? But I believe that finding someone is the beginning, and that friction, seen through, brings glue.

I believe that magic does happen, but more strongly, that you can choose to make magic happen by making room for it in your life and not simply waiting for it. Traveling through Paris with a friend last summer, we were stopped by a stranger that asked us to purchase some expensive handbags for her. She extended her arm, cash in hand, and explained that she had used her limit of purchases at this particular store. I hesitated, but my friend agreed. We spent the next hour of our vacation waiting on a cashier’s line, and when we were done, we felt pretty good about ourselves. We stopped for drinks at a outdoor restaurant and bought a round for the table of students next to us, stock-piling more good feeling. I didn’t know it them, but I started expecting good things to happen, I almost felt entitled to it. An hour later, a local man ran off with my bag with my personal travel journal and camera filled with the week’s memories. Nothing costly, but absolutely irreplaceable. Magic happens, but to feel entitled to things? The world is not so predictable.

I am glad the world is not so predictable as a savings account. It demands you live in the moment and not expect things, that a fairy tale life is an illusion and that your actions and life should be lived harder and truer for it right now. For when magic does happen, it doesn’t happen because it “should” happen—it is mysterious, spontaneous, and all the more precious.