i buy lottery tickets all the time. i still believe in santa claus. i cross my fingers when i really want something to go my way. sometimes i croon, “he loves me, he loves me not” while deflowering blooms. and i always wish on shooting stars.

so i like to believe in magic. who doesn’t? it’s comforting, isn’t it? to believe that there are forces bigger than us which will swoop in and right every wrong our blundering missteps have caused? i know that it offers me solace. it takes a weight off my shoulders.

i’ve been thinking about magic a lot lately. or, at least about forces bigger than ourselves, specifically fate and subconscious motivation. all my friends are leaving for college, we’re all experiencing major upheavals in our lives. and, as with any change, it’s hard to keep track of all of your possessions in the move.

i’ve found myself drawn to the idea of weekly scheduled calls, designated email days, preplanned letters, etc just to make sure that my friends and i don’t lose track of each other. but i always can’t help but feel that to reduce friendship…a kinship between people…to such bare bones contrived efforts..is to desecrate it in some way. i guess i always just assumed that if someone was really important to me, i would feel compelled to pick up the phone and dial their number. i wouldn’t have to schedule it into my day planner. and i would never consciously have to choose to be their friend. i liked to think that it was something that would just “magically” evolve.

my friends and i used to sit back and wait for our paths to cross. i think we believed that we would think of each other during the day and find time between soccer practice and homework to call or drop an email. a lot of times it just didn’t happen. the intentions were there, they just never quite materialized. i know i always took affront when people claimed that they had meant to call, “really,” they just hadn’t gotten around to it somehow. i always shot back the response that if things were important we make time for them. and it’s true, i just didn’t understand what i was saying.

because, i was, in a sense, foreshadowing the conclusion i’ve come to as of late. we make time for things that are important to us. it’s a conscious effort. friendships don’t get maintained on their own. they aren’t some sort of sacrosant institution free from the necessity of work.

the fact that i have to schedule a phone call with my best girl friend isn’t a desecration to our relationship. it doesn’t mean that i wouldn’t want to share my life with her spontaneously — it’s just that it’s so easy for things to get lost in the shuffle. you can’t just assume that all balls will jump into their sockets.

after all, we don’t let our careers just “evolve” on their own. look at how assiduously so many of us courted our dream colleges. we left nothing up to chance. if those parts of our lives aren’t sullied be effort and preplanned hard work — why should we feel compelled to believe that friendships are above “work”. they aren’t. nothing, in this world, is too pristine to be sullied by effort.

i’m working on my friendships. and although it’s sort of sad to realize that our bonds aren’t magical, these days i believe that thinking things happen on their own is dangerous, even as it’s comforting. after all, why leave the best things in life up to chance? i’ll keep buying lottery tickets when the jackpot soars to unimaginable highs, i suppose – but i’m not quitting my day job anytime soon. there’s a difference between wishing on shooting stars and hitching your dreams to them. that weight that “magic” lifts off my shoulders… well, it’s supposed to be there. and what load isn’t made lighter with friends to help bear the burden?


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