Before It’s Too Late

There is this thing that happens

when you grow old

and no matter how hard you try,

you cannot go back

and you cannot stop it

and one day you wake up

and realize that 

you are no longer magic enough.

As a senior at UCO, I graduate in only a few short months, which I suppose that gives me some authority, or at least some credibility, to give the average college student a small piece of advice on the whole college thing. Even though I feel like I know about as much as a goldfish does, or maybe even a moderately well-trained Golden Retriever, there is one thing I learned the hard way. If you take my advice, maybe you won’t have to. Or maybe you will because who am I to give you advice and why on earth would you listen to me? Anyway, you can decide for yourself on what to do with this tidbit of hard earned knowledge:

Don’t make yourself grow up too quickly.

That’s it. It seems pretty simple, but in my experience you don’t realize you’re doing it until it’s done. This gets a little dark, but it’s important so bear with me.

One day you are driving down the interstate and that something that you had just disappears. It fades into a memory that you cannot even name, and it never even makes a sound.

It’s something like innocence, or intelligence, or possibility, or infinity, or maybe it is all of those things. It is something like magic, like childhood

It doesn’t have a name, but it is certainly something good. It is something intangible but it is there– in the hollow spots of your mind. It fills you until you fill it up with something else, something you think you need– something like anxiety, or the impossible weight of death, or maybe the desire to be remembered. You fill those unhollow spots with something unremarkable without a second thought because you didn’t know what you were doing. You didn’t know you were sentencing yourself to a kind of death even though that was what you were most afraid of. 

You never even knew that something until its loss washes over you like realization.

Maybe that something is “muchness”, as the Mad Hatter would call it, but unlike Alice you cannot get it back. This life is not a fantasy and there is no miraculous cure for death, no sleight of hand that can trick the villain and save you because you are the villain too. 

You kill yourself a little more everyday and the only thing you can do is choose a better method for tomorrow. 

You cannot save yourself.

You are not magic enough.

No matter how hard you wish to be, you can’t take back the filling of that space, the growing up, the “becoming an adult.” You can be an adult and still keep your magic, but you have to find it before it’s too late. Find it before you cover it up– before it covers you up.

Korbyn Carter
Korbyn Carter

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