Once upon a time, there was a little girl. She loved dolls, the color pink and pretty dresses. She especially loved reading stories about princes and princesses who defied all odds to be together. The little girl wished to be a damsel, she wanted her prince to come and rescue her so they could fall in love and live happily ever after. The little girl believed in love so fiercely that it consumed her soul with a fire that would never be quenched until she one day found the truest of love for herself.
As she got older, she read books about love, watched rom-coms and giggled with her friends about cute boys. She planned her wedding in her head and imagined the perfect life with her one true love. But the movies made it seem so simple. You were walking down the street when you would meet him. It would be casual in a coffee shop or in a book store. Somewhere that was completely out of nowhere. She lived for the moment when it would happen. She spent years wasting moments, wishing that all those moments would be the moment. But it never happened.
Over the years, as the little girl grew up, she began to build walls around her heart. She had watched as her closest friends bounced from guy to guy. She was always a shoulder to cry on, for one always seemed to be burned from their most recent “one true love. ” They had said he could have been the one. He was her everything and now she was his nothing. The girl saw her friends and their sorrow, so she began to build even more walls up around herself. She learned from her friends that it was best to be guarded with your heart. Yet, she still counted the moments that didn’t lead her to her own perfect one true love. She still daydreamed about her prince; she yearned for a long life, happily in love.
One day, when the little girl was not so little anymore, she looked around at the walls she had built. She had isolated herself and her heart behind stone. She had never felt so cold and alone. The loneliness consumed her. She resented love and all it had done to her. Her fear of love, perhaps her fear of being hurt from love, had separated her from the others. She tried to spy over the walls, but they were mostly too high for her to climb out from. There was still a small spark in her soul that wished for her prince to come riding in on a valiant bulldozer, forever knocking down the walls to rescue her and her heart.
Eventually, the girl grew numb from the cold. She cried until even her tears were gone. The numbness consumed both her and her heart. She had become cynical. Friends who were in love made her annoyed; the happiness wasn’t real, it wouldn’t last.
“Just wait,” she told them in her head,”I’ll be your shoulder to cry on soon enough.”
The little girl was now a young woman. She threw herself into studying and working. She was too busy for love, she said. There was always an excuse, always a reason to keep herself behind the walls. Sure, she had flings and admirers, but no one held her attention long before she was gone, guarding her heart to keep it safe. She didn’t believe that anyone would actually want to knock down the walls. In her heart she knew that it would be next to impossible to find anyone who would want to break her down, wall by wall. She was numb and didn’t see another way to live.
Except, after some time she did. She knew she was unhappy, so she tried her best to fix that for herself. She wanted to see the world without the walls blocking her view. You see, to do that she fell in love. No, it wasn’t a whirlwind, and there weren’t fireworks like she had always imagined. This love was so very important because it was the only love she would ever truly need.
She fell in love with herself.
She fell in love with her crooked nose, her lanky legs and her small and dainty lips. She began to love life, enjoying the time not just alone but with her friends and family. She fell in love with her best qualities, and she was apologetically herself. Sure there were hard days just like any relationship, but she learned that it was important to keep trying. The spark that she had nurtured for so long, the little flame of hope for her one true love to come was now a fire that slowly was burning through her. She had done it, she was her own hero. She had been able to take down some of the walls that held her in.
The girl no longer hoped for her one true love to come riding in on his valiant steed. Sure, she would still get lost in a daydream from time to time, but her hopes and dreams for her life had changed. She no longer wasted moments waiting to run into the man of her dreams. She still hoped to experience love with someone, but she didn’t need it to exist. Sure it would be nice, she thought, but if I never find it, it’ll be okay.
The little girl was finally free from the walls she had built to entrap herself. She still had a few walls up, but she was no longer enslaved to living in coldness behind them. The dreams she had as a little girl had finally come true. Yes, she had been a damsel. But there wasn’t a prince, she was the hero of her own story. She could finally see the beautiful heart that she had hidden for so long.
And that was all that mattered.