The Unicorn of the Sea

From Joanie:

I’m going through a rough patch. Like, questioning all of my life and career choices type of patch. This past year has been the kind where I’ve consistently run into walls, had doors slammed into my face, and in general, felt like every endeavor I’ve tried has ended in failure.

And so I’ve been in a consistent, crabby funk that makes me pretty [expletive deleted] unpleasant to be around.

It lifts, like the proverbial bell jar, every now and again, and the fun person I once was most of the time leaps out and lives in joy. But inevitably, I return to my German birthright--life is misery, let’s eat some potatoes.

I know I’m not alone in this: the feeling that hard work and risk taking and training and all of the other things I was told would make me a success just aren’t enough, that the traditional model of success that our parents and grandparents had doesn’t exist anymore.

I’ve watched the magic drain slowly away from my life as the reality of adulthood and student loan bills and broken appliances becomes more the norm.

But I did marry pretty well.

And by pretty well, I mean I married someone who waited till I was having a particularly bad day to surprise me with this:


Now, I’m not normally a material-goods-make-me-feel-better-about-life type of person. I’m also not a fan of surprises, or even of jewelry that I didn’t pick out or make myself.

But Michael listened to me, and listened when it mattered most--when I didn’t think he was listening. When I said that narwhals are the most magical creatures in existence, that they are the unicorns of the sea.

So he secretly went to Etsy, and found a handmade necklace, because I like to support artisans and their work, and he found a narwhal. And on the back, it says “Magic is everywhere.”

Today has been a better day, in part because I am reminded that magic is indeed, everywhere. I may still be facing failure, and facing the most trying times of my life, but there are still narwhals in the world, creatures capable of surprising you with magic. And not all of them reside in the sea.