5.0
April 23, 2020

Screw the Fairytale Life (& the Prince Charming).

My glass slipper broke—damn thing shattered into pieces. 

It never really fit right anyway. Some days I had to force my foot in it; some days, it was too big. I was always trying to find the best way to balance. Always walking carefully, hoping the next step I took wasn’t the one that would cause the wreckage. 

When I would fail to squeeze myself into a fairy tale, I would sit carefully on the ground—silent and alone—and glue the pieces back together. My feet always bled, and the glass left its own stain, but I said nothing—those who are trying their best to make their life fit into a fairy tale don’t talk about the pain. 

At one point, from the outside looking in, I had the fairy-tale life. I had a love story that left people in awe. But, all I was feeling was the glass beneath my fractured, bloody feet. 

That was the last time I attempted a fairy tale—it fell to pieces. I couldn’t fix it. I couldn’t do it another time. The parts refused to fit back together. Or maybe I didn’t want to. I sat on the ground, glue in hand, and wondered where the fairy tales for people like me were. 

This is when I realized that I never wanted a glass slipper. I never wanted a prince charming. I never wanted to be a princess. Maybe Grimm tried warning us in the original versions of these fairy tales. 

In Cinderella, the wicked stepmother told one of her daughters to cut off a part of her foot so it would fit in the slipper when the prince showed up. This gruesome detail was left out in the Disney version, but it’s more important than anyone thought. 

We can’t force ourselves to fit into a mold unless we are willing to sacrifice a part of who we are—even if it is a toe.

Everywhere we look, the idea that we have to find our “other half” is forced upon us, regardless of sex. Even Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is grossly distorted and says we need a significant other. No, he only claims we need to feel loved. Love, however, comes in its purest forms through friendship and family, not relationships that are driven by society. 

Platonic friend love and familial love leave room for the individual to grow independently. Not as part of a whole—not as a half.

I’m not a half! I’m whole. It took me a long time walking on a lot of shattered glass to find that. 

Now I run barefoot through fields of faith. The grass is cool on my scarred feet—the morning dew makes it soft. Sometimes after a rain, I walk through mud puddles to feel it squish between my toes. My heart is full, and I love myself because I’m no longer broken in half.

That is the fairy tale I want for myself, and I’ve finally found it. 

Society should take note. One size does not fit all.

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Shandee Richey Davis  |  Contribution: 720

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