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Bringing Back the Magic

I've been losing my spark, but I promise to live differently this year...

By Rachel M.JPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 8 min read
Bringing Back the Magic
Photo by Eugene Zhyvchik on Unsplash

Entered into Vocal's Sleep Resolutions Challenge: Share a New Year's resolution guide that prioritizes rest.

Bringing Back the Magic

“The universe sings a deep, eternal song, sound in waves, in deep sighs, in whispers, in swirling chords and rising, falling tones. The music of the worlds, weaving in a pattern that is both chaos and order, both beauty and terror, without beginning, without end.”

Jessica Khoury, The Forbidden Wish

I remember a time when life was simple. I read books for the pleasure of it, instead of in the hopes that I someday might start a bookish YouTube channel. I lit candles without watching them, trying to weigh the length of the wick against the time before I'd have to buy a new one. I drank tea from a pot, without worrying about the stress of having to clean it.

I was mindful.

I was happy.

My story is a familiar one; I'm a millennial with a master's degree, living in a big city, with a lifetime of debt and no job prospects. Needless to say, I'm stressed.

It's only recently that I have realised that the stress has begun to dominate my life. I no longer reserve my worry for the big things; no amount of stress is going to pay off my student loans, so my nervous system has found a new place to focus its energy; on the everyday hobbies that once brought me joy.

I can control how often I have to buy new candles. I can control how often I have to clean the teapot, and If I don't read a book, then I won't have to feel guilty about never pursuing my dreams of becoming a YouTuber.

I consider this new reality in stark contrast to my old self...

I used to fall into a book the same way I'd fall into a cup of tea; letting the imagery engulf me in its swirling warmth, splashing through the liquid language that would spill over the brim, off the page, and sink into my daily existence. My candles smelled like the gardens from Dragon Keeper; my fairy lights were twins to the ones that flew through the pages of Inkspell, and the tiny chandelier that hung over my bed was the spitting image of the glowing stones from the dwarven caves in Eragon.

... and then it stopped.

I stopped seeing the imagery. I think it's because my everyday stressors became too much to juggle, and instead of fixing it, my brain shut down, along with it the parts of me that were responsible for feeling peace, wonder, and joy.

This year, I want to change that.

This year, I'm bringing the magic back.

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”

― J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan

I thought I had found the solution to my lackluster life when I stumbled upon the social media trend, 'romanticise your life.' But the warning's in the name... romanticise; it quite literally means 'to make something appear better than it is.' It's an Instagram filter for your life, and I don't need one of those. I don't need to make my life appear better than it is - I need it to feel better than it does.

Instead of romanticising my life, I'm going to take a page from my younger self's story; I'm going to 'fantasize' my life.

Not through day-dreaming and media consumption, but in a tangible form. I'm going to start with the gossamer threads pulled from the same spool that I used when I was younger; books. For this years resolution I'm taking passages from my favourite fantasy stories (both new and old) and transporting them right off the page and into my everyday existence.

Here are six new years resolutions inspired by my favourite fantasy worlds.

Deep breath... here we go!

Blue as Violet Petals

"When I went to the spring to wash early in the morning," he murmured, "there'd be tiny fairies flitting around above the water, not much bigger than the butterflies you have here, and blue as violet petals ... I sometimes caught one and put it in a jar."

Cornelia Funke, Inkheart

Butterflies are nature's fairies. Now that I live in the city, seeing one has become somewhat of a rarity unless I'm viewing their frozen bodies from behind a display case at the night markets. As hypnotic as it is to study them up close, I'd much rather see them in action. I'll coax them to my house with seasonal flowers, and if all else fails? Well, that's what fairy lights are for.

Resolution: Plant some flowers, and hang a string of fairy-lights

Two Bees Entwined

"He presented me with a tiny golden pendant of my own - two bees entwined together around a tiny piece of honeycomb. It glistened in the sunlight, so rich and burnished that I thought the minute drops would melt and slide away in the heat"

Jennifer Saint, Ariadne

The original Greek Mythos got many things wrong, and thanks to a slew of breath-taking retellings we're finally beginning to understand previously mispresented characters. Regardless of tales old or new, one thing remains the same; a love of bees. I have them to thank for the honey in my tea, so I'm going to honour them (whilst simultaneously channeling the energy of a Greek princess) by providing a safe space for them in my home.

Resolution: Leave sugar water out for the bees

Muted Hollow Music of Waves

“Mist rose around us like the souls of drowned sailors, and the only sound was the muted hollow music of waves moving along the hull.”

Heidi Heilig, The Girl from Everywhere

Much like the stars, the ocean pays us no head. Yet, we feel it as if Mother Nature herself were singing upon those waves, and whispering secrets for only us to hear. The ocean is every artist's most generous muse, and despite the fact that we all feel the same about it, our love for it is deeply personal. It would be easy to resolve to visit the beach this year, but I'd much rather start a resolution that will keep bringing me back.

Resolution: Start a sea-shell collection in a glass jar

Silver as Thin as Silk

Her hair was arranged in an elegant swirl, held in place with silver combs. A jade bird decoration was perched on top. It had delicate wings made of silver as thin as silk cloth that trembled whenever the Princess moved her head.

Caroline Wilkinson, Garden of the Purple Dragon

Images of jade and silk have plagued (pleasantly, mind you) my thoughts since I was a young girl. I have the Dragon Keeper series to thank for that. When I lay my head on my silk pillow case, I am transported to the imperial palace. The only thing I'm missing (ah... aside from the political intrigue and ever-looming sense of danger) is a piece of jade to aid in my beautification.

Resolution: Purchase a jade face roller or gua-sha

Dancers, Stately and Graceful

It seemed to him then that they were dancers, stately and graceful, performing a dance almost infinite in its complexity. He imagined he could see the very faces of the stars; pale, they were, and smiling gently, as if they had spent so much time above the world, watching the scrambling and the joy and the pain of the people below them

Neil Gaiman, Stardust

I believe it's true that gazing at the stars has the potential to shift your state of mind. Those twinkling jewels remind us of the endless expanse of space, and our small but important role within it. Sometimes, they'll even offer you a friendly wink. Gazing at them in all their stately glory grounds me, and I'd love to feel that steadiness... magnified a hundred times.

Resolution: Go to the observatory at night and look at the stars

The Green Dragon

"Oh you can search far and wide, You can drink the whole town dry, But you'll never find a beer so brown, As the one we drink in our hometown, You can drink your fancy ales, You can drink them by the flagon, But the only brew for the brave and true...

..Comes from the Green Dragon!"

The Return of the King

There's no single tavern passage that comes to mind; the fantasy inn is more of an idea than any particular place. It's always exactly where you need it; the baths are hot, the beds are soft, and there's a hearty meal ready for supper. I used to enjoy exploring the taverns in World of Warcraft. I haven't played it in a while, so I'm going to capture that energy by cooking something from my World of Warcraft themed cookbook.

Resolution: Cook a hearty meal from the World of Warcraft cookbook

Six resolutions seem manageable to my busy mind, but I've got one more big one left to make; I want to start seeing the magic in everything. From the purr of a cat, to the resonance of a friend's laughter, and to the strobe lights that dance across a concert hall; I want to be the kind of person who appreciates her reality for the beautiful moments as they appear, in whatever that form might be.

Sure - fantasy can represent the best of humankind and mother nature - and it's easy to get lost in the fantastical worlds that capture our hearts. In fantasy worlds, we see film-makers at their peak, a writers prose at its prettiest, illustrators at their most illustrious, and nature as its most sublime... but something we fail to account for is that all of this magic we see on paper and screen has been inspired by something tangible.

Something real.

So let's immerse ourselves in it differently this year, and start living it.


About the Creator

Rachel M.J

Magical realist

I like to write about things behaving how they shouldn't ~

Instagram: Rachel M.J

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