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Trampling My Prince Charming This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

If the world is an oyster, I am still looking for my pearl. That shiny little bit of happiness or that one special person who will make all my cynicism and the evil in the world drift away, leaving me with my personal ray of sunshine. Unfortunately, I have become aware that such a gem may be a figment of my imagination. Perhaps, all there really is in this world is the intangible concept of change, unpredictable, unreliable, and ever-present. And quite possibly the only pearls the world has to offer are the small joys and contentments that lie in the spaces between each misfortune and shattered heart. The cheesy end-of-movie music may never play for us.

Since the tender age of six, I have known that there are no fairy-tale endings. This realization came to me while I was hiding inside my pop-up playhouse, wearing a princess dress. The saturated color of the fabric walls warped the world around me, turning my playroom into a torrent of ominous shadows cast by the midafternoon sun.

I could hear my parents' angry screams from the living room. I clutched my stuffed dog, Dots, as my eyes welled up and hot tears blurred my vision. The scary shadows on the walls taunted me as I shook the playhouse with my sobs.

I didn't know what they were fighting about. I just knew I wanted them to stop. My parents' blatant display of distaste for each other was forcing me to rethink their relationship. But I was only six. I did not want to.

My father roared from the living room. I could hear my mother yelling in a fit of sobs. Then, as the screams hit a crescendo, I heard glass break with a deafening shatter.

For a moment, the world was still. There was no more yelling, no more screaming. My mother had thrown a vase, and it had hit the counter and shattered into a million pieces, making it clear to everyone that she was not going to stay silent anymore.

There was no fairy-tale ending like I had seen in countless Disney movies. I was not Cinderella. All I found was a broken relationship that would be the backdrop of my life for the next 12 years.

Apathy toward love had not yet dawned on me, however. Tinkerbell still had me believing that a perfect relationship could exist. I was convinced that perhaps, if I slept long enough and dreamed big enough, everything would be all right. Life slowly went back to that odd state of normal, and while my parents' relationship continued to dwindle, I remained an annoyingly positive child.

But looking back, I pinpoint that mighty shatter of glass as the real end of my romantic heart. I could target my parents' divorce, or the loss of my first love, Brendan from seventh grade, but I truly believe it was that crash that altered my perspective.

Every time I become close to someone, I am aware that one day a vase might be thrown. Shameless flirtations and self-indulgent fantasies of walking off into the sunset cannot tame my overwhelming sense of confinement, of commitment. Sometimes, romance is not enough. And, when the anger and emotions refuse to recede, I might have to be the one to shatter the glass, a break I am not sure my heart is ready for.

So, rather than seeking relationships my cynical heart will always deem doomed to fail, I instead seek happiness in small things. I find joy in laughing with friends until my stomach screams for mercy. In giving my cat a hug after a long day. In the inexplicable euphoria that overcomes me when rain hits my face, drenching my hair.

And while I might not ever find my Prince Charming, or that coveted pearl in my oyster of a life, I will continue to find small gems of happiness in my world. I will continue to smile. Because while I don't know if there will be a happily ever after at the end of my story, I am ready to make each day glisten in the sun and dance in the rain.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

Alicia T. said...
Feb. 6, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Beautiful :)

You had me from the very beginning!

 
kennapie12 said...
Feb. 2, 2011 at 8:50 am
This is amazing!!!! If i said i understood, who does? But i am also like always trying to find the good side of things instead of the bad, that is lurking!!! You did an amazing job writing this!!
 
IamtheshyStargirl said...
Jan. 31, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Lovely, simply lovely :)

Living in the present, perhaps? The best way to go, in my opinion.

Thanks for writing this, and for sharing it with us, the online world of teenink.

 
NonsensicalMuse said...
Jan. 31, 2011 at 2:07 pm
OMG!! I LOVE THIS!!!
 
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