Lately, everytime my girls start telling a story, they always end a story with ‘And they lived happily ever after…’ to which i cringe almost every single time they do.
It’s not because i am cynical about the stories of Cinderella, Snow White and the likes. I, like all other girls grew up listening to these myself with the illusion of a ‘perfect’ life. That like all the stories i read i would encounter my happily ever after when my time came. That each and everyone of us would be guaranteed a perfect life and a perfect partner who would come along and sweep us of our feet.
At some point. I even started feeling sorry for the menfolk for the unrealistic expectation set for them for fighting and rescuing their damsel in distress. Its no wonder men struggle to live up to our expectations.
Ofcourse, as i grew older, these very thoughts were only an illusion and not even close to reality. I realised that anything that states ‘Happily ever after’ generally translates into the term ‘forever’. And anything that is forever holds less and less significance as we take it for granted.
If it’s a new love who makes every step a dance on air, or a new and thrilling job that makes us chase our dreams but eventually the day arrives when the pavement appears beneath our feet once again. And we are hit by reality. There is nothing wrong with any of this happening, it is in fact the natural evolution of life.
We are all in search of happiness. But what we fail to realise is that percieving “happiness” as a goal is clearly a wrong goal. Because happiness isn’t permanant and neither static. It is only a feeling that you experience in a moment and will be gone leaving you with a memory like any other emotion till you find something else that helps you derive ‘happiness’ again.
As i reflect on all these thoughts, i wish i could tell my daughters to value moments rather than search for their happily ever. The importance to embrace the good moments that take their breath away. And if at some point they are faced with a broken heart or a broken dream (which i’m sure they will) then to find the courage to let it go with grace and to never stop believing.
As for me, I believe ‘Happily Ever After’ as a devastating concept. I believe good, honest and wonderful things come to us in a limited time frame because nothing as close to humanity lasts forever. Nothing is permanant. Endings give things meaning. Like it was meant for me for a certain time to value and to cherish.
And if it came down to it, right here right now… I would choose a happy ending than a happily ever after…everytime.