Lauren - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on September 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in magic. Not the “Abracadabra” kind of magic but everyday life magic. The kind that comes in the form of a smile from a stranger, a hug from a parent or a letter from a distant friend.

In November of 2007, about a week before my birthday, my parents came into our computer room one night when I was finishing up my homework. They had just finished putting my three siblings to bed and they wanted to talk to me about “something important”. My dad proceeded to tell me that he had received job offers from numerous different companies. At first this seemed to be a good thing; whichever new job my dad chose would allow him to get a raise. But as he continued explaining I learned the hard truth; almost all of these jobs would require that we move out of Minnesota. As I continued to discuss the different jobs with my parents I tried to remain calm on the outside; inside I was reeling in shock. I was very comfortable with where I was in my life in Minnesota; I had a steady boyfriend, a recently acquired job that I loved, best friends and worst enemies. But much to my dismay the date was set and on August 14th 2008 I left Minnesota for good.

Although this experience is not one that I like to re-live on a daily basis, it showed me things that I hadn’t seen before; things that had always been there but that I hadn’t really noticed. On the day that I was to leave Minnesota my three best friends and my boyfriend came over to my house to spend those last few hours with me, two of them stayed until they could no longer see my car driving away. They shed tears with me and comforted me over the phone when I felt like life would never be normal again. I knew that there was magic in friendships but I had never fully appreciated how much that magic was a part of my life. The emails, phone calls and letters that I get from them every so often now always remind me of that magic and I know it affects their lives as well as mine.

As I continue to make new friends and have new experiences here in Chicago, I’ve noticed other kinds of magic. I noticed it on the first day of school when I met people who accepted me right away. It was there the first day of my new job when I found out that even if it’s not exactly the same I can still have just as much fun. It is on the bus when someone shares a seat. These things show me that no matter where I am, there is magic in this world; all I have to do is look for it.