I was recently attending a voiceover class – virtually, of course – in which one of my classmates said she was having trouble accessing a sense of wonder for the piece she was presenting that night. In that moment, my heart broke for her and everyone else in the world who has lost their sense of wonder.
As the youngest person in the (Zoom) room, I realized that many of my peers were likely disillusioned in many ways because of the current state of the world, and simply from being functioning adults much longer than me. I came to the conclusion that this was likely why my classmate was finding it difficult to feel something that is oftentimes only attributed, nay allowed, to children.
Like Don Quixote’s mission to civilize, I found myself embarking on a mission of my own – the mission of restoring wonder to any and all who have lost it or forgotten what it feels like. I believe that people have different things that bring them to wonder, so I can only speak to the source of mine, which is stories and storytelling.
As a young girl, I watched Sabrina the Teenage Witch (I loved it so much that my most prized baby doll was also named Sabrina) and I was captivated by the world of magic. As I got older, I read books about good witches and watched movies about witches and wizards fighting forces of evil. I understood that these were all figments of creators’ imaginations, that just about everything within these stories lived in a fantasy world, but I didn’t care. In quiet moments I would allow my mind to drift and imagine just what magic might actually feel like and all the wonderful things I could do with it. It was a joyful way of using my overactive imagination which usually spent time envisioning worst-case scenarios. I still like to think about magic in the fantastical sense, but I’ve found something even better: real magic.
It’s not the kind of magic that involves flying on brooms, or powerful wands, or brews in cauldrons. It’s the magic that exists when you give yourself over to a story and live in that world for its duration. Quite honestly, sometimes it feels like I use stories like a drug because of the escape they offer, but when consumed and created thoughtfully, stories can change the world. They can galvanize people all over the world to be and do better. They can restore people’s belief in themselves and humanity. They can shake us to our very cores and awaken things we never even knew existed within ourselves.
Maybe I’ll be written off as a naïve young person, but that sounds like magic to me.
Everyone can access this magic by simply remembering what inspires their sense of wonder. Because the wonder is what will lead you to the magic. What is the thing that ignites a fire in your chest and makes you feel like you could explode with love and excitement? Maybe it’s an old hobby from your childhood. Maybe it’s something you’ve always wanted to try but have yet to do. Or maybe you have no earthly idea what it could be, and that’s okay because one of the best parts of (re)igniting the wonder that lives deep in your soul is all the adventures you get to embark on to find your magic.
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