I Want To Believe

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I’ve always been attracted to the mystical and the magical and the mysterious. Maybe it’s just my love of fantasy, but it’s always appealed to me. As a kid I collected giant inflatable aliens and had them set up around my room like they were just going about their daily business. Cosmo, Eclipse, E.T, Pinky, Brain, Garlic Bread. They were all my friends. I used to look out of the window at night and stare at the sky, searching for spaceships. And by ‘I used to’, I mean that I totally still do. My parents would tell me that I was an alien and that was why I didn’t have a belly button. I never really believed them, but I wanted to.

But it doesn’t just stop at aliens. Ghosts, unicorns, vampires, witches. I believed in them all. And I still do. Partly, at least. I still think that it’s not a coincidence that we have a unicorn on our passports and all those witch trials must have happened for a reason. And the legend of vampires came from somewhere, right? You can argue all of these things are merely folktales, but I still have my suspicions. However, a problem stems from my belief in science. Evolution, the Big Bang, dinosaurs. I’m all for that stuff. I also don’t believe in God, not just because of science, but because even as a kid the stories didn’t resonate with me the same way that ones about werewolves did.

Now I find myself stuck in a stage where I’m finding my love of the mystical clash with my belief in proven facts. I’ve never been one for astrology, but recently I looked into it a little more. Yeah, so all the descriptions they give you are super vague and could be referring to any type of person. I may resemble what they tell me a Leo should be like, but so do a lot of people who weren’t born under the same stars at me. Recently I found out that I am a Lea Sun, Leo Moon, Libra Rising. I don’t know what any of this means or if it has any relevance to real life. And although I’ve always discounted people who read their star signs as a bit deluded, I’ve realised that I have no more proof on the truth of astrology than I do of goblins. I’m a Leo, I’m supposed to want to be centre stage, yet I haven’t had my hair cut for over six months because I have an irrational fear of hairdressers. That doesn’t sound like the King of Beasts to me. I’m sure Mufasa took great care of his mane. However, I do have a tendency to switch between complete self-loathing and total adoration for how great I am. Is that my inner Leo coming out? Is it worth pointing out that I’m a vegetarian? I’d make a terrible lion.

I look at things like healing stones or things that emphasise nature and I think ‘yes, this is totally believable’. But then I think that if they were believable they’d be more widely used. Maybe someone goes to a hospital, and they have a really bad wound, and the doctor just rolls in this giant chrysoprase and they get better. But no, it’s been sold in a gift job of a Buddhist monastery. The part of my mind that believes reminds me of Tinker Bell, and how she’ll die if people don’t believe in her. It’s very conflicting. I’m pretty sure that my stepdad thinks I’m insane, or at least a giant hypocrite. He was raised very religiously, and we often have debates where I tell him how problematic I find religion, and I hold my ground pretty well. And then another day will come and I’ll be telling him about how I think our cat can see ghosts and he can just not comprehend how I believe in these things. The same way I am with him and God.

On a scale of things, it’s like:

I Don’t Believe In: God

I Might Believe In: Astrology

I Definitely Believe In: Ghosts

Please mark how much you believe in _______ on the scale.

I don’t believe that we just live on a floating rock in space. Nature must be important somehow. Maybe nature is what is hiding the unicorns from us. Maybe rocks are magical. Everything is a mystery. I mean, how can we live on the same planet that dinosaurs did once? It is so amazing. I am so fascinated by the world and I just want to know more about it. You can tell me that I’m delusional, or that I’m unsatisfied with my own life, or that I just watch too many movies. And maybe it’s all true, maybe this is really all there is. One day the humans will die out, and with us all our stories and legends and myths, and something else will come along. A world inhabited shadow people, or floating brains, or things as big as an eyelash. One day they might dig up some bones or find a Nokia 3310. Humans will become like dinosaurs or those giant sloths that went extinct a gazillion years ago. The shadow children will be taught in their shadow schools how primitive we were and how we used to believe that other people lived in the sky. There might even be a blockbuster film about a scientist who brings us back to life in a theme park.

Or maybe one day there will be a vampire attack and it will be caught on film and everyone will know the truth and I’ll say HA HA TOLD YOU SO.

Who knows? But I wanna find out.

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Author: Rosanna Parrish

Brit exiled in Spain.

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