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My Relationship with Happily Ever After


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I have always loved everything that has to do with fairy tales and my childhood. Growing up, my obsession with Disney movies and the princesses was completely overwhelming. I can still tell you “Who put the glad in gladiator”, skipping rope and coloring with crayons. My belief in fairy tales and an inevitable “happily ever after” consumed me. As a child my head was pretty high up in the clouds and I had a very vivid imagination, but at the age of five I was determined to be a princess.

The summer before my freshman year I played Belle in the musical version of Beauty and the Beast. Donning the huge golden ball gown was something I had always dreamed of. However, waltzing with a guy who was covered with a mask and an awkward furry wig was not the romantic moment the movie had made it appear to be, we still had fun. My conception of “happily ever after” waivered but was not a lost cause.

Flash forward to present day, I am 18 years old and still love being a kid. Although I will admit that with age, the type of my love has changed. I still value several of the same ideas, movies and songs I adored as a child. I had not realized this until my choir took a trip to Disney World last year, and we all had a total blast. We still waited in line to get our picture taken with Jasmine and Aladdin, went on our favorite rides, and watched the fireworks with the same youthful awe. Our ages may have changed, but our minds are still young.

The whole experience of reawakening my childhood made me realize that although I am getting older I can still enjoy things that were a major part of my childhood. I have verified that there is no age limit on juice boxes. As I grow older there are some things that will be left behind, but it is not necessary to forget everything that made me who I am. If I get extremely stressed out I will still grab a coloring book and some crayons, sit down and color. Returning to that type of activity reminds me of the value in the simple aspects of life. Not everything needs to be sophisticated in my life; a mixture of things from my youth and new mature things is perfect for me. There is no way to erase the past so I might as well embrace it. Loving all the quirky things I used to value made me who I am today. There are several activities that I have left behind throughout the years, but aspects of them are still important to me. Basketball is something I can enjoy watching but I no longer play it myself. However, there are some things that I like now, that I never could have imagined liking at age five. For instance, this summer I learned how to play Call of Duty. I am not good at the game (at all) I still enjoy playing with friends occasionally. Having a wide variety of experiences seems to be the best fit for me. I love trying new things, but I still hold onto what has made me who I am.

My conception of “happily ever after” has changed. I realize it is extremely unlikely I will ever be swept off by horseback and ride off into the sunset. In a way, I have grown up. However, I still hold onto the central idea of the fairy tales that shaped my childhood: the idea that dreams can come true. It is corny, cliché and but it gives me hope. Holding onto things from my past remind me how I got where I am today. Every aspect of my life is based off of something that is important to me.

Next time I see a Disney movie instead of analyzing the literary purpose behind the original Grimm fairytale or other place the story originated, I am going to sit back with a juice box, goldfish and just get lost in their mystical land of "happily ever after". It is an infallible way to brighten my mood and reawaken my optimism.



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