The Magic Circle
This post was written by Mikenzie Bartholomae, Class of 2019.
I believe in the power of a magic circle. A person’s life is a constant struggle of figuring out who they truly are, and where they fit in. This battle is definitely prominent in a person’s high school years. Experiencing this myself, it wasn't until I stepped into a magic circle that I felt like I knew what I was supposed to be doing. I was a volleyball player and planned to play throughout high school, that is until I didn't make the team my freshman year. After that, I felt lost and discouraged, not knowing what I would do for the next four years of high school.
One day, I decided that it might be fun to check out my school’s theater group. I tried out and was accepted into the program. On opening night of my first high school show, my life changed. The cast and I were seated in the auditorium getting notes from our directors, but when they finished talking, everyone stood up and proceeded to run out of the auditorium to our school’s cafeteria. While running, students slapped the lockers, filling the halls with rhythm and screamed, “Make a circle…a BIG, BIG circle!” Once the circle was formed, we played countless games that did not fail to make everyone smile. To my surprise, I was called to the center of the circle to participate in a game. I was nervous and afraid of them judging me but was greeted instead by loud cheers and claps. I felt important and accepted by so many people at that moment, and to a freshman struggling with insecurities and self-doubt, that moment changed my life. Seconds later, the theater’s officers made the announcement that it was freshman night, which meant we’d all be given the chance to stand up and give a speech about whatever we wanted. I can’t remember what I said in that speech, but I can remember how special it felt to have all of those upperclassmen that I looked up to listening to me and smiling at me. I remember sitting down not really even knowing what I’d just talked about, yet I felt completely heard.
In a world where people tell others to be quiet and silence their voices, being able to stand up and talk with people who are actually listening is life changing. The magic circle is more than a circle. It symbolizes love and inspired me to have courage in myself. I’m not afraid of speaking anymore, nor of ridicule, nor of living, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that without that circle, I would still be afraid of these things. I have faith in myself -- at least, in the things I can control -- and a voice and a personality, which makes me love myself and respect myself even when others around me don’t. A magic circle can give people the chance to find themselves and, in turn, love themselves. I believe in the power of a magic circle because, without it, I wouldn't have the courage to even write a short blog like this one.