“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” ~ Robert Frost
If my recent adventures in risk experimentation have taught me anything this past month, it’s that nothing is quite as daunting as the mind makes it. While this is an extremely helpful piece of knowledge when approaching intimidating tasks, it is not without it drawbacks. In fact, when things become approachable they lose a lot of the mystery and splendor that surround them. Something vital to existence, but detrimental to maintaining the feeling of importance in one’s every day tasks. The older I get the harder it is to find the magic in everyday life. As usual, I have a few theories as to why this happens.
Possibility is more exciting than reality. Now that is not to say residing in the real world is a boring waste of time, and that we should embark on a never-ending quest into the unknown. Last I checked, “adventurer” was a title confined to the more fantastic elements of fantasy and science-fiction (which, consequently, is why I still want to be Indiana Jones when I grow up). However, no matter how exciting an event in my life has been, it has paled in comparison with the many possible scenarios my mind has created in anticipation of it. Obviously, this has a lot to do with the brain’s tendency to focus more on the positive elements of an experience and less on the negative ones. Which, as anyone who has done anything can tell you, life is a mixed bag of the good and the bad. Furthermore, the older we get, the more our grandiose plans for the future slowly give way to the realities of the present, thus taking a small bit of the wonder with it.
Information robs us of our innocence. The greatest thing about being a kid, is the entire world is unexplored and left for us to discover. As we get older we slowly learn more and more about the universe (Like, for example, *Spoiler Alert* Santa Claus is not real, though I’m not quite certain science has been able to indisputably prove this fact). Slowly, we begin to accept that most things in life are far less epic than the stories we are told growing up. We’ll probably never come face to face with a wizard, fight a dragon, or embark in a lightsaber duel for the fate of the galaxy (though I will have a lightsaber one day, even if I have to invent myself). Now don’t get me wrong, clinging to untruths (like the non-existence of climate change) and writing off the pursuit of higher knowledge as something for snobs is not good advice for any society. However, taking on the responsibility of becoming informed, well-adjusted adults inevitably causes us to lose a little more of the magic. Alternatively, you could always run off to wizardry school and throw of the cruel shackles of reality once and for all with this guy.
Responsibility overwhelms all other considerations. Life is full of highly anticipated moments. Be it little things, like an epic poker night with friends to large things like getting married or the much-anticipated premier of The Avenger’s Movie (and yes they are equally important). The more responsibility we take on, the less we are able to truly focus on the excellence of these moments. We find ourselves unable to immerse ourselves in the extraordinary nature of what we are experiencing, because deep down we know the shadowy figures of duty may be looming just around the corner. Once again this is merely a necessary part of the transition into adulthood and it is probably best not to throw it to the wayside in favor of forming an underground terrorist unit with your imaginary friend.
So now that I have thoroughly depressed anyone unfortunate enough to read this, what to do? Surrender to the cold, hard reality, that as we get older all the magic will fade out of existence? Or should we revert to a state of mind where we reject all responsibility and knowledge in favor of the ancient teachings of the great Wizard Oberon Zell-Ravenheart? Neither of these are probably realistic approaches to solving this dilemma (though if I ever have to traverse an underground mine, I will definitely be giving that guy a call). I wish I could say I had the panacea to this particular problem, but sadly the best I can offer is this piece of advice from the wise, albeit mythical, Albus Dumbledore: It is important to fight and fight again, and keep fighting…