I have beautiful schedules and lists written up, and upon those schedules and lists are reminders and requirements for myself to write blog posts on the proper days.
Be that as it may, you know I still didn’t post yesterday.
In addition, I am desperately in love with fairytales. Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty – you name it, I love it.
I’ve loved them since I’ve known them. From watching their Disney movie adaptations as a very small child, to being given The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang for Christmas when I was about 8 (and subsequently devouring my siblings’ copies of the yellow, red, and green fairy books), to realizing my dad had an anthology of Grimm’s Fairytales on his shelves and reading it, to accruing various fairytale collections of my own over the years, and even to writing my own adaptation in the form of a play – I have always loved fairytales.
I’m not exactly sure what about them has always captivated me. The happy ending and general involvement with handsome princes can’t have hurt; the underdog character pulling through to win the day is universally appealing.
All I know is that if it’s a fairytale or a spin on one, I’m almost guaranteed to love it. This is something that’s always been true about me.
Most recently, it has been affirmed by my rapid digestion of the book “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer. (Excellent, by the way. Highly recommend).
But it got me thinking about why I really like fairytales. As established by the above 200-odd words, I love them, and always have. Why?
It’s no secret that I not-so-secretly harbor a heart that is extremely capable of being swayed by all things romantic, happy, uplifting, and otherwise idyllic in nature. Happy endings make me giddy, I spend a lot of my time pondering realms magical and fantastical, and I spend a good chunk of my time not spent on the latter daydreaming about how I’ll get my magical, fantastical, happy ending.
I guess fairytales just appeal to that part of me. A lot of people think that’s silly, ill-advised, and a waste of time.
But I don’t think so.
Obviously, I know there’s no magic; at least, not of the fairytale variety. I’ll probably never meet a prince, let alone a handsome, charming, and morally steadfast one. Even if I do meet any kind of prince someday, I’ll likely never become his princess. And I’m okay with that.
But I do think that a happy ending isn’t an impossible target to aim for, for anyone. I don’t expect it to fall into my lap; but in fairytales, it never falls into the protagonist’s lap, either.
It takes time, it takes suffering, it takes work. Even in fairytales, it takes those things.
Cinderella was abused and toiled for years on end before the ball; Belle signed away her life, and all hope of being with her family, with no expectation for it to turn out well for her, before she learned the beast was more than he appeared; Rapunzel was abused, locked in a tower, thought the only motherly figure she’d ever known killed the man she loved, and was banished from the only life she knew before she was reunited with the prince.
In every story, the hero couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel until, finally, they were out of the tunnel.
As the reader, we could see the light, because we saw the story in full.
Here’s the deal – in our lives, we’re the hero. We’re in that tunnel. We can’t see the light. We are Rapunzel wandering the desert, Cinderella sleeping by the hearth after a long days’ work, Belle in captivity of a savage beast. We face obstacles that feel insurmountable.
But they aren’t. Soon there will be our prince, our fairy godmother, a man hiding within the beast.
We know – from those stories, from the successes of other people – that the tunnel ends. Beyond it, there is a world full of light. We just have to keep plodding through it.
I think that’s why I love fairytales.
Because, ultimately, I know they can come true.