As a young girl, I grew up with the notion that fairy tales existed. That someday a ‘prince charming’ would somehow come into my life and carry me away by his utmost perfection. A standard description of a prince charming was someone who had to be handsome, smart, wealthy, healthy/athletic, romantic, understanding, patient, kind, and……. Well, basically he possessed all positive adjectives.
This bubble of imagination was always further amplified by what seemed to be a never ending fairy tale feeders: movies that almost always had ‘happy’ endings, couples who were so good at faking themselves and made spectators thought that there were never any conflicts between them, magnificent weddings with meticulous ceremonies, and streams of ‘romantic’ pictures/musics/online posts/advertisements, etc.
We all grow up believing that fairy tales exist, that a person who will be a perfect companion with perfect qualities lives somewhere in this gigantic world full of secrecy and lies.
I was a firm believer on fairy tales. I saw love as a purest thing a person can live with. I believed that love was never supposed to be a betrayer. That love, once found, would always stay: tested and true.
As I moved to being in my teens, however, I discovered that I was, indeed, not a princess waiting for her prince charming riding a white horse. As much as I wanted to stay firm on my fairy tale belief, there it was, the previously undiscovered territory: Rejection. Unrequited love. Tragic stories. The ‘long gone and moved on’. I did not comprehend, back then, that love could hurt someone so bad that he/she would never fully recover.
Moving on was never in my dictionary. The day when I woke up finding my first love was not in love with me was a hard slap. The first break up felt like a sharp razor blade. The first experience being cheated on was like a melted ice cream cake on someone’s birthday surprise. It was meant to be, it was meant to be, but the fact that separations are inseparable risk from being in love is a dormant beast waiting to be woken up.
It shook my belief on fairy tales. Forever.
As a young adult, I saw more inconsistencies. Like so many people who decide not to get married because living with themselves is just enough, and they are happy and content with that (and I’m happy for them, too!). Like how come people who have been in love for 8, 9, 10+ years could just break it off like no year has passed by. Or people who have just met for 1 month can somehow add longevity to their own tales and swear to God that they will forever live side by side. Or random stories of how people can just meet and tied up – dialed wrong phone numbers, saw a cute girl in a café, met in their first day of new job, watched same gigs together, greeted by old acquaintances, met in job fairs, match-made by friends or parents. Unbelievable.
And yet, people have got married for a lot less. High rates of divorce cases are solid proof that love does not always stay forever and ever. Somewhere along the line, it may transform into roses filled with thorns. There are also arranged marriages where two people who don’t love each other get married for the sake of various reasons – parents’ consent, cultural requirements, economic needs, or just plain bad luck. Surprisingly, some of these marriages survive, loveless perhaps, where their hearts are somewhere else, but survive nevertheless.
I’m now standing in the line of young adults going through someone’s wedding ceremonies. Watching their eyes glistening with hopes and dreams while holding their prince/princess charming’s hands, clasped together decorated with bouquets of flowers and streams of well-wishers. I am happy for them, of course. IMHO, one of the highest achievements someone can make is to succeed in finding someone who makes them brave enough to swear to God that they will protect, love and care for each other forever. Forever is a long time, but somehow they think it’s not long enough.
As a young adult, my views have shifted much. What I deem as ‘fairy tales’ are now different from what I previously assumed. I understand now that fairy tale is just that. That love is a raw emotion, adjective, noun, feeling, material that will always have its ups and downs. Prince charming exists, somewhere in this world, but with his own flaws and inconsistencies. He/she may or may not be good enough, or cause everlasting peace, but when the time comes to see deeper, they are indeed the perfect companion. All I need, and all you need too, is someone who makes us at ease. Whether or not they are charming is just another unimportant story.
After all, love is not always supposed to end up being buried side by side with funny sayings on the tombstones. Because there can never be someone who is perfect enough to be and to love another person – they are just there with different needs and have found contentment in each other.
I came to the conclusion that we make our own fairy tales. And when it comes to love….
Ah, je ne sais quoi.