‘When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.’ – Cinderella
I remember watching Cinderella on repeat when I was a little girl. I loved the scene where Prince Charming sees Cinderella for the first time. That was pretty much my first lesson on ‘Love at first sight’ but I was a kid so, I didn’t care much about love and romance.
I also had an unhealthy obsession with Ariel- The Little Mermaid. I used forks as a hair comb, wrapped my legs with a blanket… sang ‘Part Of Your World’ and cried whenever my parents served seafood for dinner. My mom said that they all found it hilarious whenever someone asked me, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ She said that I used to say, ‘I want to be a mermaid and sing under the sea’. To make me feel worse, she also said that I used to throw tantrums and cry for hours whenever I was reminded that mermaids aren’t real.
I stopped believing in fairy tales when they crushed my mermaid dreams.
Then, when I was in my late teens, thanks to teenage hormones, I started to believe in fairy tales again. I thought I finally found my Prince Charming but sadly, he was more like Casanova.
Even though Casanova broke my heart, I still believed that I would get my very own ‘happily ever after’. All the other dreams I wished for came true so I realized that Cinderella wasn’t lying after all.
Nowadays, we live in a society where ‘cancel culture’ is the current trend. We seem to cancel everything; even things as wholesome as Disney and fairy tales made it on the list. So many so called ‘Experts’ have written about the reasons why fairy tales are damaging to children. I always try and see both sides of any argument but somehow, I couldn’t help but find that notion absurd. I don’t think watching fairy tales caused me any damage or gave me an unrealistic view of what love is all about. Fairy tales taught me good values and lessons which I still carry with me today. Plus, I always knew that pumpkins don’t turn into carriages and that fairy godmothers don’t exist. In fact, I was even slightly traumatized when I first found out that Santa isn’t real but, I turned out just fine.
One moment, we’re kids… believing in magic…
then adults kill the magic…
and before we know it, we’re cynical adults…
and we’re more excited about air fryers and laundry powder.
I actually think that real life is more damaging than fairy tales. In the real world, most people don’t believe in magic. Fairy tales show us how liberating love can be but, real life teaches us the opposite. Rapunzel was locked in a tower where no one could reach her. Sleeping Beauty was cursed and spent years asleep. Snow White was poisoned and not a single dwarf could save her. Their loving princes came along to save them and they all lived happily ever after. In real life, we actually promote more damaging beliefs and actions. When our hearts are broken, some of us build walls and lock ourselves in our own tower to isolate ourselves because we don’t feel like we can trust so easily anymore. Some of us choose to sleepwalk our way through life and some of us, poison ourselves by believing that love just isn’t for us. Worst of all, we are constantly told, ‘Put yourself first.’ ‘No one will come save you.’ ‘Save yourself.’ ‘Trust no one.’
It’s easy for us to turn away from love when it’s right in front of us because we’re all pretty scared of falling in love. We’re scared of opening our hearts in case we get burned. Some people spend a lot of time searching for ‘The One’ when really, they don’t even know what they really want. Then, when love comes their way, they don’t know what to do with it because they don’t even possess any self-love so how could they love others? Some say, ‘Happiness is just around the corner.’ but some of us choose to turn the other way, unconsciously self-sabotaging our own happiness because we think we don’t deserve to be happy. We have been conditioned to believe that stories don’t end with ‘and they lived happily ever after…’. With so many failed relationships, life has given us many reasons not to believe in happy endings.
I even became a cynic myself. I became skeptical about love and started to question what it truly means to find ‘The One’. It wasn’t until I met someone who works in the wedding industry that I opened up and asked him the question,
‘How do people know who they’re marrying is -THE ONE?’
Sadly, he didn’t know the answer (although, it was a pretty heavy question to ask over dinner). I don’t blame him… I don’t think anyone really knows if the one, is, –The One, but I guess most people just know and some just take a leap of faith and say ‘I do’ without overthinking because they just want the ‘fairy tale’ wedding. My friend shared something profound with me… He said that simple weddings are sometimes better than the extravagant ones where the focus usually ends up being more on the superficial things (like taking photos to post on Instagram), rather than what weddings are really all about- celebrating ‘Love’.
I stopped believing in magic and fairy tales…
and then, on one special night…when the Perseid meteor showers graced the skies, something changed in me. I didn’t see a single shooting star that night but I was in the presence of one. I was lit up by a star who shared his light with me…a star who shined so bright, he awakened me and made me feel alive again. A star, so special, he forever changed me.
That night, I believed in magic.
I realized that I needed to wake up from a long and sad dream I had been living in for so long. I spent years asleep and wasted a lot of time waiting for the right moment that never came. I spent more than half a decade hoping for change to come. That night, I woke up and my life changed.
It was as if the stars conspired to make that moment happen. I used to find quotes such as ‘The stars were aligned…’ corny, and yet I found myself thinking, ‘I’m falling like the stars tonight.’
I could have had that special moment years ago but I missed all the signs. I didn’t realize that what I was wishing for was right in front of me.
In this random world, how can rare and magical moments like that happen? There are 8 billion people on this planet… what are the chances of two people finding each other? I remember thinking, ‘Surely, something like this is too good to be true?‘
Sometimes, we think that anything worthwhile requires hard work. We think that if something is ‘instant’, it can’t be real or worth it. We fail to see that sometimes, the harder we work for something, the more we mess things up. The harder we look for something, the more we miss it. Sometimes, we don’t even try or look. We put blinkers on or rose tinted glasses to ignore our problems and all the signs. The answers are always just right in front of us and we sometimes choose to miss them. The more we avoid someone, the more attached we become. The more we try and win someone, the more we lose them. Sometimes, we don’t attempt anything because we think we’re losers before we even try.
I was in the car with a friend the other night and we looked up at the full moon. I said, ‘I love looking up at moon and the stars, whenever I do, everything that I’m worried about seem so insignificant.’
So, whenever I’m overwhelmed, I have to remind myself…
There are billions of galaxies and stars up there so I’ll just keep on wishing…
When the stars are aligned, in the perfect moment… when the time is right… things will unfold as they should…
and I believe that…
because, now… I believe in magic.