My family was at Waffle House eating breakfast during our holiday break - all six of us sitting on the bar stools. I was mesmerized, watching the staff work their magic like a well-oiled machine. The washing of dishes, the waiting on tables, the preparation of food was choreographed just so. There was one woman who was especially charming. She had such an ease about her, like I had caught her mid dance. She was in elegant motion, pausing only to prepare her next rehearsed sashay.
Previous to working for a year in food service, these details would have slipped by me. But having flipped a couple thousand waffles, I know the work is no small thing. It's fast, hectic and keeps you on your toes. This woman? Smooth like butter.
By the time we were done eating, she was hero status in my mind, worthy of her own novel, tv series, concerto or poem. This is how quickly I can romanticize someone else's life. My imagination mirroring the swell of my heart. After all, this woman was truly beautiful.
But again, I have served breakfast food. I have gotten sweaty in a kitchen. I have scraped burnt waffle from a hot iron. I have soaked sore feet and rubbed out a tender back. I have worked long hours only to attempt to come down off the rush gracefully. Me, in that food service job, was magic too, (I wrote a lot about it HERE) but my oh my was it relentless work to make it so, far more work than it was to sit on a barstool and cheer on Miss Waffle Champ werkin' it.
There is a certain kind of imaginative play that sits on the sidelines and spins tales on a bystanders barstool. There is another type that entails a rolling up of the sleeves and a getting down and dirty. The latter is the type of magic we work for ourselves. A worthy undertaking? I think so, but it can feel doubtful when your elbow deep in a vat of waffle batter. Much easier to slow your whisking speed as you drift off into a daydream of the tale of Cinderella than to focus intently on sweeping out your own cinders.
Your magic calls to you though. It calls to you through the tales like Cinderella. Through the waitress who fries your hash browns like she's the queen of some mystical land. Through the strangers walking down your street like they've got something you don't. It is a white rabbit, daring you to follow it for YOUR sake, finally for your own sake. And like Janae so articulately puts it, your magic grabs you by your body and says, "YOU have this life, now LIVE."
You too are worthy of your own novel, tv series, concerto or poem.
*In an effort to give examples of The Magic School philosophy in action in my own life, I've decided to write an on-going series of posts called The Magic School Mini. Think of them as snippets of the much larger philosophy that is explored in The Magic School 101. Let's call them Magic Briefs - (not the kind you wear, although if you need magical underwear, by all means slip your legs in and pull them up around your hips and enjoy).