“Once upon a time . . .” These four simple words immediately spark excitement in my imagination. May I be so bold as to state that most little girls grow up hearing these words with some type of eloquent tale or sing-songy fantasy attached? They typically include a beautiful heroine, a handsome prince, an overwhelming struggle, and a triumphant victory. In addition, we must pay tribute to the most famous three little words outside of “I love you”—happily ever after.
For some, present company included, these words shaped our world. It took me over 20 years to realize this little phrase has the potential to do just as much damage as good. True, they give us hope for the perfect man and confidence to overcome wickedness looming in our lives, but are we doing children an injustice to believe that life just simply ends after “happily ever after?” Even more, does “happily ever after” actually give a skewed view of reality?
As mentioned above, it took me many years to uncover this two-fold problem. The first being: life does not just end after you say “I do.” It’s not that simple. Life is a journey not a destination. Much like a story, it is filled with chapters, interesting characters, and wicked oppositions. However, our stories do not yet have a neatly wrapped up ending. Natasha Beddingfield said it perfectly with her lyric “the rest is still unwritten.” (I’m sorry, but did anyone else just have a major The Hills throwback moment?? Will I ever get that song out of my head now? Ok. Sorry. Back on track).
As I thought about the characters and plot twists life has written into my story, I couldn’t help but think about the other issue with “happily ever after.” I wondered, does everyone believe they can achieve a “happily ever after?” Cinderella’s story is told and retold every year. But, what about the little peasant girl that never had a chance to attend the ball and meet the Prince? Does she still receive a “happily ever after?” Or, is that fantasy reserved for only the select few who were born in a castle, on the right side of town, with the ability to sing and talk to animals? We know that life is messier than “happily ever after,” but in no way is it void of adventure. Still, I couldn’t help but wonder about all the characters that aren’t mentioned in the fairy tales. Thinking about the countless unnamed faces, I wondered, who are these other protagonists, what is their story, and why is it not being told?
Join me on an adventure to uncover these stories. I am not a fairy godmother. I am not a journalist. I am simply a girl seeking to tell the untold stories. I am a girl hoping to inspire, hoping to spark change, and if nothing else, hoping to provide us all with a little different point of view.
**In an effort to tell these stories, I plan to post a two-part story every month beginning in January. I have already interviewed and gotten to know a few amazing people, and I can’t WAIT to share their story with you. Be advised that some of the subject matter is heavy and might be inappropriate for young readers.
Stay tuned for more! Coming in January. . .