Does this title sound selfish?
Does this title have a bigger meaning?
Let me tell you a little story:
There once was a little girl. She lived in a world of her own where she never wanted to be a princess or the mom or the damsel. In her world she was more than a hero – she had all the superpowers she ever wanted, combining every super hero (and villain) she had ever admired to so include an active imagination that fueled her wonderland, plus the power to love anything or anyone, real or imaginary, so much that she could give it a life of its own.
To her dismay, this was only her dreamland. In the real world she was plagued with what she should do and who she should be. She was always told that she had no other destiny than to be the damsel, the mom, or the princess. Despite her disagreements she was told that she would grow up to find true love, get married, make babies and live happily ever after. It never sounded like a happily ever after that she wanted, but as she grew this is what she was told was her fate. As she grew this message began to infect her imagination land. The little girl within her tried to fight until the little girl simply fell into a deep sleep, exhausted from fighting the lies. The lies began to twist in her mind becoming the only truths she knew. She no longer dreamed of being her perfect superhero but instead began to look for a “Mr. Right.” She had no idea what it meant but she was told this was her destiny, was it not? Having no luck in finding this “one” she began to grow lovesick, unable to comrade with boys without the incessant need for someone to fall in love. She grew frustrated not only because it never worked, but because she was losing sight of what used to matter conflict continued within her as this little girl became a young woman.
For almost 3 years this young woman tried to love a boy so she could fall in love, get married, make babies and finally live happily ever after. She wanted to appease the voices reminding her of her fate so she could live in peace, but she wasn’t happy. None of it felt right and when she tried to voice these concerns no one understood. She was told that this was what she needed, but she was not ready.
“You’ll love babies. Especially when they’re your own.”
“Marriage isn’t what Hollywood makes it up to be, but it’s always worth it in the end.”
“You’ll find that perfect guy that makes you feel like a princess, or better the QUEEN, and you’ll grow old together and live the best, happiest life you can think of.”
“Just listen to God. He’ll show you the way.”
“I think you’re too young now, but you’re day will come. You’ll get married.”
“You think he’s your friend. But watch, you’ll get married and make beautiful babies.”
“Maybe not this guy, but there’s a guy out there for everyone. You’ll find yours.”
She did not want any of it. The relationship struggled and wilted between the two of them until finally it just ended. The young woman wanted to be hurt and sad about the end of this American-dream-potential relationship, but she just couldn’t. After years and years of slumber, the little girl down deep inside felt the prickle of freedom calling her out of her deep sleep.
This little girl finally saw the light, being just as youthful and bright as when she fell asleep. Did you figure out that this little girl is me?
My whole life I’ve been told that I have to be the exact opposite of who I am. For years I blindly believed that I had no choice but to accept the American dream, become some homey mother with lots and lots of babies and devote my love endlessly to a man that was predestined to find me. In truth, that doesn’t sound bad to some but I am not a some. I’ve been different since day one! Since I was a little girl in my pretend play I never wanted to be the one someone had to be saved or be the one to settle down. I went on countless adventures, portrayed a multitude of strong female heroes, and even in pretend I defied what my imaginary authorities wanted from me. Somehow I let these worldly voices soak in and corrupt a good thing and I became the one person I never thought I would become.
This “Ode to Me” is not about lifting myself up above you, it’s about lifting up this little girl inside and letting her light shine out on the world that tried to snuff her out. Like dancing in the light of the sun, this girl is bursting forth with color and freedom and this is a story about my year ahead.