Reality Is A Disappointment And Other Things Reading Fantasy Taught Me

In A Darker Shade of Magic there are four worlds, three with magic and one without. But it takes magic to make a story. Even in Grey London.

When I was little, I loved to play out my favorite books. I’d train as a witch at Hogwarts. I’d crush evil with Lewis Barnevelt and his wizard uncle in a house with clocks in its walls. I’d travel to Mount Doom with Frodo and Sam through the forest of my backyard.

Even if magic wasn’t “real,” I had access to it. A branch was a wand. Gold colored plastic was the One Ring. Shadows in the basement were monsters only I could vanquish. I lived in a world filled with magic.

But being an adult is a little like realizing you live in Grey London when you’d thought you lived in Red. I feel like Lila Bard, working towards this goal of adventure and happiness only to be disappointed by the reality of reality again and again.

There’s never enough time. There are always bills to pay and obligations to fulfill. On especially overwhelming days I come to the conclusion I’ve been waiting for things to start only to have this be it.

But on the good days, I keep trying for an adventure that seems more tangible. For happiness that isn’t out of reach, but disguised as the unexpected.

An epic fantasy adventure always starts with risk. It’s not enough to want adventure. To find it you have to look. You have to be willing to let go of the present for the future.

My future will [may…] never include a letter to Hogwarts. Or a man with many coats from another world. Or a bargain with a faerie for another life. But it doesn’t mean I have to stop looking for magic. After all, even G.K. Chesterton said an adventure is just an inconvenience rightly considered.

What are you reading this week?



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