Nearly everyone dreams of a happily ever after. And when one says “happily ever after”, a few things instantly come to mind: ball gowns, carriages, prince charming, glitter, a fairy godmother, singing birds.
But is that really all a happily ever after is composed of? The way “happily ever after” is portrayed in the fairy tales makes it seem as if life doesn’t move on after that. As if the story doesn’t progress. As if no more moments are experienced and no more memories are made. Happily ever after is incredibly vague, and therefore, different for everyone.
But to me, personally, happily ever after means that the story keeps going. That there are downfalls mixed in between, and faults within the storybook pages, but still the chapters continue. To me, happily ever after means being strong and happy, regardless of the things that get in your way. Of course, there are times that you’re going to be sad. There are times when you’re going to feel lost, furious, confused, unsure, depressed, anxious, disturbed. At some points, your heart will feel so cold and you’ll feel like there’s nothing left.
But what happily ever after means to me is moving on. Happily ever after means coming to terms with reality (even though it’s not as visibly pretty as fantasy) and turning it into something beautiful. No, I don’t mean making the tragedy beautiful. I mean seeing beauty in a world that you could easily view as permanently ugly. Seeing hope in a world that you could easily lose faith in. Warming up a heart that you could easily let freeze.
Happily ever after isn’t by any means perfection. It isn’t this state of bliss that never changes, never takes a turn for the worst.
So maybe you and your boyfriend broke up, and the ending was no “happily ever after.” But remember the time when you danced in that pastel sundress without a care in the world? Remember the time when you watched the sky until the sunset went black and revealed an array of stars? Remember when you sat back and laughed at the simplest jokes, told stories, and learned to dream again? Or perhaps you lost someone who meant the world to you, and it was so sudden and shocking that you’re not sure you’ll ever be the same again. Don’t forget the times when that person made you smile. Don’t forget what you loved about that person. Don’t forget all that you once had because you lost it.
Because even if everything isn’t perfect, and you don’t have a prince, and your carriage is a beat up pick-up truck and your glass slipper is a running shoe…
even if it’s midnight and you’re all alone, and you used to get letters in the mail but now you just get cable bills, and the closest thing you have to a fairy godmother is your weird third cousin who likes to wear a cape and chant rhymes whenever you walk in the room…
there is still beauty in the world left for you to see, somewhere. There are still people who love you, and people who care about you. There is still hope. You’re still writing the story of your happily ever after. Don’t write “the end” yet. Just believe.