There is a line from a poem called “Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell” that I’ve always loved. It goes, “Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic.” When I was younger, I had two great dreams: to run a successful company that inspired others, and to build an unbreakable love story—the kind that one day my grandkids would share with their friends.
But then, I grew up. I got a great job and settled into a life that seemed amazing—at least, amazing on paper. Only thing was, deep down, I was waiting for something to happen—especially as I hit my late 20s. As anyone remotely interested in astrology knows, this is when the Saturn return occurs. What’s a Saturn return? It’s when Saturn, big daddy of the solar system, comes along to give you a much needed kick in your ass if you aren’t living up to your highest potential.
My friends were breaking up, marrying, quitting their jobs and traveling—basically, living. But not me. I didn’t marry, lose my job, start a new job, move—literally, nothing of significance seemed to be happening for me. I started studying Kabbalah and astrology, hoping for some assurance that life had meaning beyond just surviving. Through my studies, I realized that I needed to push myself to move forward.
So, I went to an ashram for the weekend, spending hours meditating, practicing yoga, eating vegetarian food, and thinking a lot. On the last day of my stay, I had an epiphany: Nothing was happening for me because I wasn’t dreaming big. WTF happened to the girl who wanted to be a boss? The girl who had imagined that magical love? Apparently, she got shoved in a corner and stopped showing up.
I realized that if I wanted to get her back, this was the time. So, with determination and a healthy curiosity for all things metaphysical, I did some candle magic. A friend of mine suggested I get a custom candle carved at Enchantments, a Manhattan metaphysical shop. When I went in, I took a deep breath and told the friendly witches in the shop my desires: To stop hiding and start making things happen.
They carved me the most beautiful, elaborate candle I’d ever seen, and sent me on my way. Then, with the help of YouTube and a few books, I created a vision board, a crystal-and-tarot–bedecked altar, and a wishing bracelet. In preparation for lighting my candle, I forced myself to ask and answer some tough questions. I pondered what I really wanted in life. I asked the candle to show me how I could better connect with myself. I asked for inspiration and support in reconnecting with the dreams I’d lost. I asked for the power and faith to create a new life plan. I asked for a relationship that would support me in becoming all that I could be.
For the first time, I focused more on the type of relationship I wanted, than on the type of person I wanted. Instead of asking for a man who was a certain height or had a certain set of skills, I wrote down how I saw my dream relationship—how I imagined partnering with someone amazing and inspiring, whose life goals aligned with mine.
About two weeks later, I woke up feeling like I could see my future path. It was so clear what I wanted to do: I wanted to create a company that helped people deal with exactly the shit I was going through right now. And I wanted to create a relationship that would help me to achieve this.
Fueled by a new fire burning within me, I became consumed with this desire to create. How many different ways could I help folks like me? For the first time in as long as I could remember, I felt passion. It wasn’t passion for a person, it was passion for life, and the possibility of creating a life I loved on my own terms.
And then I met a man. It happened simply enough, about a month after my candle magic manifestation ritual situation. I was sitting at my neighborhood bar with some friends when someone from across the bar caught my attention. Every time I looked over, our eyes would meet. This continued for quite some time, until he got up and left. I felt this weird mix of relief and sadness. I was relieved because I didn’t have time to be distracted by guys in bars; I’d just discovered my life calling. Then I felt sad, because I liked the way he’d looked at me—like he wanted to discover my soul.
As I was contemplating this mix of emotions, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and it was him. In the most charming Southern accent, he told me I looked familiar, asked if we had met before. For a split second, I thought that was the cheesiest pickup line ever. Then I remembered we had met before. It turns out we had some mutual friends.
We exchanged information, started hanging out as friends, and soon realized how well our goals, dreams, and desires matched up. We both yearned for a partnership that would inspire us to grow and follow our dreams. And most importantly, the first time we kissed, I literally felt like someone had set off fireworks inside my heart. And now, I’m happy to report that we’ve survived more than a year together. He is not only ridiculously handsome, but passionate about spirituality, music, and food. He gets me little gifts, just because. We are constantly pushing each other to stay focused on our dreams and goals, so we can build a future we’re proud of.
Now, every time I even think about giving up or dreaming small, I remember that it all starts with me. I can make my own damn magic. I have before and will again. You can too, trust me! All it takes is a little curiosity and a desire to reconnect with yourself. At the end of the day, if you don’t have a dream, how can you have a dream come true?
Shereen Campbell is a 30-something New Yorker striving to create the life of her dreams. She’s an astrologer, ecommerce manager, and the founder of My Little Magic Shop. She loves sailing, southern Italian food, and all things magical.
Illustration by Mary Valkosky.
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