These past few years have been shit and magic.
I have struggled horribly with my health. I left the company I’d long been with under circumstances that I would rather not think about, and the attendant income insecurities aroused fears and worries that I had not felt in a decade. I swapped domiciles, moving from one country whose people are yoked to an uninterested, intimidating pensioner to another being dragged under by the enormous hulk of a once admirable political institution weighted by corruption and mismanagement. In both, the young confront a grim, hopeless future, while an emergent elite, venal and vicious, feast.
That’s the shit.
There has been magic, too. A sudden devil-may-care attitude, Pac with the Thug Life tattooed on my chest inviting a joust with fate and all its diabolical machinations. It is magic.
It is embracing the uncertainty, the feeling of fuck-it-let’s-do-it that comes so naturally to the young, seeing my mental space open up to new possibilities, accepting new risks, taking long shots, opening myself up to new feedback from old friends, feeling the thaw in neuroses long-held. It is magic.
It is a visceral maturing—do you know what that feels like? It isn’t growing up, it is growing into who you were as a kid. It is finally embracing long-held eccentricities, accepting your limitations, understanding that some opportunities may have passed you by—the ones you’d envisioned in your early adulthood and have held onto for so long—but there is still life to be lived, there is still space for the uncool. Magic is that deep acceptance of all your former faults, it is accepting that not everyone will like you, and so you best stop trying to please everyone. It is having endured enough of the quotidian bullshit an average life comprises of that you can factor into the future a certain baseline level of it without losing the belief that some new thrill may still be had.
And so, I suddenly find myself with a will to play, a call to be a child, to take my adult responsibilities seriously while nurturing the sense of a world of wonder and fantasy so typical of children. What, after all, is a life well-lived but the shimmer of a long childhood where all we do is play?