Musings: Ever After
Life is not a fairytale. If you happen to lose a shoe at midnight, you’re not Cinderella.
We grow up with these ridiculous notions of how a Prince Charming is on his way over to you on his shiny white horse. We grow up reading about how Cinderella lost a shoe at midnight, how Beauty was kissed awake from eternal slumber and immediately fell in love with her rescuer. About how Rapunzel falls in love with the only man she’s ever met locked up in the tower. Let’s not get into how the fairytales that we grew up reading were watered down versions of the originals. Let’s just focus on the fact that we grew up on what we believed to be happily ever after wrapped with a bow.
And isn’t it such a rude awakening when you realize that all those fairy tales you grew up reading and believing in, none of them, not even one is ever going to come true?
You could be reading this article of mine and rolling your eyes saying, “Well, sometimes fairytales do come true.” Well, I am glad you found your fairytale. And I am glad that you belong to the infinitely lesser population of people who can claim to have found their happily ever after.
You see, I realized quite the hard way that what Samantha Borgens from Stuck in Love had put into words:
“There are two kinds of people in this world: hopeless romantics and realists. A realist just sees that face and packs it in with every other pretty girl they’ve ever seen before. The hopeless romantic becomes convinced that God put them on Earth to be with that one person. But there is no God and life is only as meaningful as you fool yourself into thinking it is.”
Since the majority of us got brought up on the ridiculous notions of fairy tales, we all have a secret hopeless romantic inside of us. And as we grow up (and thanks to all the new baggage that modern dating has brought with it) we kind of come to terms with the idea that there is no Prince and you will probably not be riding off into the sunset together.
But what these fairy tales fail to teach us is the fact that you don’t need someone to come along and complete you. You’re not half by yourself. What any one of us should aspire to be is learn how to be happy and fulfilled all by ourselves first. We need to give up on the idea that our brokenness can only be fixed if some Prince Charming comes along. That we are all simply waiting for someone to come save us. The truth is no one is coming to save you and no one can save you, until you save yourself. Because everyone is just too busy trying to save themselves.
Fairy tales are more than true – not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.
G. K. Chesterton
Maybe life isn’t quite the fairy tale you had imagined it would turn out to be when you were six-years-old. Maybe the real happily ever after is just realizing that life in its various shades is just as beautiful. That not every day would be perfect but each moment is real. That the only person who will be there for you even when things go wrong and the ground crumbles underneath your feet will always be you. You are your own saviour.
Isn’t it time you started acting like it?