Just look at those two words and see the things that spring into your mind, the words that you automatically associate with them.
An evil witch.
A happily ever after.
These are the thoughts that I used to associate with the two words subconsciously since I was a young girl.
I wouldn’t call myself being stupid. I was young, and all the stories I was told under the heading were about frogs becoming princes over a heart-felt kiss and evil giving in to the strength of love-scratch that, make it “true” love.
Don’t think me a hard, cynical, worldly girl who believes that all to be crap (even if to some extent it is) all I am really saying is, isn’t this approach just a little ancient, a little narrow minded?
And above all, extremely misleading for the kids? And sometimes a little chauvinistic too?
It took me a large part of my teenage years to realize that fairytales didn’t always come in packages of love and marriage and castles in the air. That each person had their own fairy tale, it was just a matter of perspective.
And true love already exists in our life in many forms, we don’t need to grab search lights and go looking for it.
Every one has their own dreams, fears, demons and happy endings. Some would be living happy knowing their family is healthy and there for support. Others would be satisfied knowing they made a place for themselves in the literary world, and so on and so forth.
Then why, despite fighting our own monsters and conquering our own evils, do we find ourselves lamenting we didn’t have the fairy tale life? The reason is simple-our elders failed treacherously when they defined fairy tales to us. For we were taught from childhood that a fairy tale life is just so and so-a damsel in distress saved by the strong man, etcetera etcetera -anything else can’t be satisfying. Nothing else could compare. And no, they say, this isn’t why women automatically take themselves as the weaker sex needing to be saved.
At the risk of sounding a little cliched, I had prefer saving myself before I let others. And I would be happy to let those others be my friends and family, for I could live without looking for a stranger to do the “saving”. I wouldn’t cry and moan that my handsome, rich, powerful prince wasn’t here to offer me his love yet.
I can’t be that thankless.
Yet, people do all this. They are happy, living without the turmoil of poverty or the ill health of family members or even worse things, but they say they have a hollow space waiting to be filled by all-consuming love. And before they can have that they need to look for that person who can give it to them. Then they can ride away in the sunset and…wake up the next morning feeling still dissatisfied? Keep waiting then my friend.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to say that people don’t find that love, but it isn’t everyone’s aim in life so why can’t we teach our kids that happy endings come in other forms too. That their aim could be different. That achieving your goals and dreams is the happiest of all endings.
We don’t all need to keep searching for that love. If it is our destiny we will find it, but for me even without it life could have a happy ending.
I can proudly say now that my Prince Charming isn’t a man. It might be something else, in another form, cause it can’t be a man. Not for me. I have hated the thought of being saved by a knight in shining armor. I want to be my own savior. And my goal-my castle-is a house full of happiness and peace, a world with some more calm, my parents to be in good health, watching over me and my place, as a surgeon, in some hospital helping someone.
And when I help that person, when I save their life, I want them to know their life just got turned into a fairy tale. That they beat something too, and that I was their knight in shining armor there to help save them. Yet they didn’t need too love me like crazies for that happy end, they were already on there way to it.
So, before I end this article, let me just add, those fairy tales from our childhood, what guarantee do we have that Cinderella didn’t get so restless with her life in the locked up castle that she ran away to Paris to paint? Or that Snow White didn’t give in to the psychological oppression of her childhood that she murdered her own kid?
I don’t want to spoil these fairy tales for you, I just want you to realize maybe your life in its own way is moving towards it’s happiest end. Don’t stop dreaming, but stop lamenting and enjoy what you have.
In the meanwhile, teach your children, that there is more in this world then glass slippers.