I believed I could bring the magic.
I believed until I stopped believing. One day, at age fourteen. Watching her cry and cry. The first sense that it would never be all right. That she and I would always be riding the edge between This World and The Void.
I knew I was smart. Creative, funny, talented. I knew it. And yet the circumstances of my life seemed to prove otherwise. The evidence was mounting and not in my favor.
People died. Rejected me. Abandoned me. All I wanted was to be deemed worthy and lovable. Yet I could maintain only the most tenuous connection to either of those qualities.
And so I became who I thought they wanted me to be. I took a job doing what I was supposed to do. All for their love. A love that never came in the way I wanted – without strings or condition. A love that was never complete or fulfilling. Because it wasn’t for me. It was for them. Always for them.
I grew to hate it all. The job, the life, those people. Myself.
I descended into Hopelessness, a place that comes of constant disappointment and regret. It is a place that is easier to get to once you’ve toiled in Unrecognized Desire and Unfulfilled Dreams. A place where I became slave to the other and not in service to myself.
Hopelessness is a black hole that sits atop my liver, the secret place where I store my anger. My shame. My fear. It’s where my ambitions and aspirations go to atrophy and die. The bottom of Pandora’s box. Hopelessness is sticky and sour and desperate. It is The Void. And when you are in it, it feels real. More real than anything made of flesh and bone and sinew. More real than reality.
But then I met you. All of you and each of you. Tiny flickers of light that shone out, illuminating the blackness of my hole and scaring away the creatures that dwelled in the shadows of my fear.
Hopelessness became the false bottom of the magician’s hat. And below it I found soft folds of silk, a vast and infinite realm of possibility, a place beyond imagination. A place of fearlessness and wonder. Of curiosity and play. A place to be big and bold and daring. I found the place that I always dreamed existed and never dreamed I’d find.
The place where I keep my magic.