“Someday, you’ll be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
I just finished watching Prince Caspian, the second film in the Chronicles of Narnia movie series, and it reminded me of the days I spent in my room reading fantasy books; wishing I lived in those worlds, wishing I was the characters I read about and it also reminded me of the disappointment I felt with the reality I lived in.
A lot of people become mostly cynical as they progress into adulthood, it’s like all the magic of youth fades, all the hopes and big dreams are traded for the harsh reality of ‘the real world’ along with its skewed values of materialism and survival of the fittest where the phrase “there’s no love in the heart of the city” rings true. Very few retain the open mindedness and sense of possibility that being young brings, and even then it’s mostly nothing more than a passive faith in the randomness of life. In scenarios like that I think it would be accurate to say that the environment has crushed the sense of personal agency that every human at one point possessed.
My ever switching worldview currently has me toying with the interconnectedness of life. It is general knowledge (I think) that life is a vastly interconnected process that can be affected from top to bottom and from bottom to top, a primary example here would be ecosystems; the environment provides for its inhabitants (top to bottom) but if there are no inhabitants or if the inhabitants behave in ways that affect the environment in averse manners, the environment will die (bottom to top). Basically, life is an open process, power is never static, it always shifts; sometimes it rests with the environment, other times it rests with the inhabitants, there is no absolute ruler.
So in this process which I am a part of, there are the things that affect my existence; circumstances, school, family, friends, environment, etc. all are interconnected parts of my identity and all have legitimate degrees of influence in determining how the events of my life will progress, but for some reason, maybe this is just me, I tend to forget that ‘I’ the one experiencing all of this is a very real part of this process as well and I also have a say, perhaps the most in how my life will pan out. I am not almighty and I do not possess self-sustenance, but all the same I am powerful and with practice can be self-reliant because I am a part of the process. I can choose not to subject myself to any of these circumstances and even though the consequences might be unfavorable I can make new circumstances, because I am a part of the process and thus I can influence it.
I’m sure you’re wondering how we got here from Prince Caspian and fairy tales, well it’s because sometimes, life threatens to be the same stale process over and over, its events seem to suck out the magic and hope that allows most people to dream. Reminding myself that my life is not something separate from me, but a process I am part of and can influence greatly allows me to keep faith and hope alive. While there might be no mythical creatures and river gods, my life can still be an epic adventure, it can still have wonder and curiosity and I can choose to go down the rabbit hole after all these are the things that keep one young and childlike, so maybe if I practice constantly, I’ll find one day that I can read fairy tales again and even better, I won’t have to be disappointed with my life when I’m done.