Self-development media is full of helpful hints about how to make a life transition painlessly. One that is often featured is, when we are working out what might be our future calling, we should revisit our childhood dreams. Ask ourselves, what did we dream of doing when we grew up? Which is fine. Except, if like me, you wanted to be a fairy in a jar. A fairy called Christabel.
I have been pretty annoyed at my younger self about this. While entertaining or a bit amusing, it didn’t seem to offer many possibilities for my future self. I’ve come to see that being a fairy in a jar might not be such a bad life story. Fairies have nice outfits, or at least, interesting ones. They can fly everywhere which definitely beats walking. Fairies can fly under the radar as only the very young, very old, or fey among us actually believe they exist.
When I let my mind stray back to that jar, I have to say it was pretty plush. Velvet sofas, lots of gold. Not unlike the inside of a gilded bottle a genie might carry. What I did notice, while mentally traveling as my fairy self, was that there was a stopper in the jar that could only be opened by someone external to it. Not good. My adult self simply re-imagined my lush fairy home as a jar with a lid that I could open and close at will. A bit like the soft-top convertible on a sports car. There is something to be said for life experience when determining what really matters.
It turns out that the fairy story I told myself as a kid is a pretty useful narrative. As long as I have control of opening and closing the jar. Oh, and my name is not actually Christabel. Some things really should be left in the past.