Fairy Tale Amendment

Fairy Tale Amendment

Once upon a time, there was a little girl. She was raised on fairly tales, hoping her Prince Charming would ride up on his gallant horse – handsome, valiant, and endlessly devoted – to save her.

She meticulously planned her wedding day: tulle and white, champagne and romance, murmurs of adoration and soft kisses, long before Prince Charming came along because, surely, he would.

It was written, wasn’t it?

She sighed and wished, imagining the day the most wonderfully loyal man might utter the words, ‘You complete me’, or, ‘I am nothing without you’, or another blissful, tender phrase denouncing all others and causing her heart to swell five times its original size.

She craved the love to end the loneliness; the perfect, unconditional love that would, in essence, be the answer to all she had questioned; the love that would make her whole. Finally, whole.

And then she grew up.

She grew up and realized that while she had dreamed of romance, the boys had been dreaming of something entirely different.

It wasn’t romance.

The fairy tales had all been lies.

Instead of longing for the ‘happy ever afters’ in movies, she scoffed at the deceit. Her fury was palpable. It clung to her, seeped through her skin and saturated her insides like a bitter poison.

She began to notice fathers proudly giving their sons thumbs-up signs and mischievously raised eyebrows, the ‘atta boys!’, the friends placing bets and slapping high fives. She had men grab her, tell lies to take advantage of her. She understood what it felt to be objectified.

At night, she lay her head not on the soft pillowy comfort of unconditional love but on the sharp, cutting shards of broken promises, fractured expectations, and shattered dreams.

It took time – minutes and hours and years of self-reflection, innumerable disappointments – to realize she was better than the narrative she had been force-fed her entire life.

There was no perfect man, no knight in shining armor coming to save her – she could only save herself.

No one could make her whole – only she, unto herself, could do so.

She learned people are flawed, and even at their very worst could not break her – only she could break herself.

She learned she need not tolerate or condone bad behavior, harassment, lies, or stand silently by while it happened – she set the standard for what was acceptable, and no man or woman would ever wish to contend with the wrath of her fury.

Over time, she also learned there were good men worthy of her affection and commitment; that as amazing as he may be, he never completed her, but instead, complemented the woman she had become.

And she lived happily ever after. Mostly. Because fairy tales are pretty much bulls*@t.

The End.

– Ashley

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Fairy Tale Amendment, a woman's journey to loving herself the messy badass Ashley Allyn
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