The Little Girl That Held Her Breath

Passing through a tunnel in the car today, I remembered one of the most influential aspects of my childhood. I remembered a little girl, long hair in pigtails, eyes trying to catch as many details of her surroundings as possible, holding her breath (well, letting go of her nose when she couldn’t take it, but holding her breath nonetheless) and making a wish everytime she’s in the car and goes through a tunnel.

The reason this is important is as follows. I cannot remember the last wish that little girl had made in a tunnel was, not even when or why she had stopped. It must’ve been beautiful believing that someone was listening and working their magic to make those wishes come true, no matter how big or small. She used to wish for things like the newest doll in the store to have a new friend to play with the rest, the boy Bratz with his badass motorcycle, better grades so her father would finally feel proud she was his daughter, a little sister so she can have an unconditional best friend,… And whether these came true, came true with a twist here and there, or did not come true at all, she still believed in the wish that came next.

I wonder at which point these wishes no longer made sense. When did she suddenly decide in the middle of a tunnel that what she was doing was silly, that no one was listening, that there was no magic. Letting out the breath and vowing never to make another wish. What did it take to just give up on the idea altogether? And why can’t I remember that last wish?

How sad is it that at some point we all stop believing in any magic, in making wishes. I guess that’s the point where our childhood ends, all of our innocence is just sucked out of us due to a constant and repetitive series of disappointments.

In order to overcome the sadness that comes with this realization, I will attempt to go back to the same innocence that little girl in pigtails had. From now on, I will hold my breath at every tunnel and make a wish. Holding on to the belief that someone is listening, that magic continues to exist. We are all craving to believe in magic in our world and I believe it starts with these small gestures.

So the next tunnel I pass through my breath will be held and I will wish for everyone out there to start believing in magic again.

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