Penning My Own Happily Ever After


I’ve been squeezing myself into fairytales ever since I can remember. I grew up with a healthy appetite for stories full of twists and turns and “happily ever afters.” As a little girl, I’d stick my nose into a book and transform with ease into the fearless heroine with my bow-and-arrow ready to fire at a moments notice in order to save the day. I loved playing the young girl traveling across the seas to seek out where the boundaries of life and love could be found. My absolute favorite was Cinderella, because who could have imagined that losing a heel could bring you the love of your life?

Looking back, I think I spent so much time devouring books and molding into characters because it meant escaping the reality of what I considered to be my own sub-par story. I was sure that anything short of saving people from fire-breathing dragons or an evil villain would leave a stain of monotony on every page. I much preferred to become a part of something different from myself, something new & exciting & daring & far from plain little Aly.

And when the heroines started hanging up their bow-and-arrows and the “ever afters” started fading into black, I decided to squeeze myself into other people’s real-life stories until I found one I could comfortably fit into.

It didn’t take me long before I settled into His. It was sweet and simple and easy… no dragons or even horses for that matter, but a cute high school stud with a great family and a bright future seemed good enough to me. It had all the workings of a happy ending…

and so marked the beginning of losing myself in a merry-go-round of make-believe. Of slipping out of the lead role in favor of an easier supporting character. Of shimmying my way into a plot-line that wasn’t my own.

I straddled the line of His world and mine, and they became so intertwined that I forgot who the narrator was. I liked hiding myself in the sentences that he wrote. It was easy and comfortable. I became lost in the hope that our stories would become one, so that I wouldn’t have to learn how to pick up a pen and write my own adventures.

Somewhere along the lines, I have come to understand the truth. It turns out that prince charming isn’t there at the beginning of the story. Cinderella spends years developing her own plotline and evolving into a brilliant, hard-working beauty before she rides off into the sunset on a white horse with her handsome prince.

I’ve spent the past six months realizing that an individual’s life should be much too big and bold to fit neatly into the 12 pt. Times New Roman font of someone else’s story. My story isn’t a product of His. My life isn’t a sentence in someone else’s novel. I want to pen my own fairytale with a cerulean blue crayon in big bold letters and questions marks and capital letters. I want freedom for plot twists and big dreams and room to fly. Maybe someday there will be a prince whose story blends with mine to craft a picture-perfect ending, but until then, I have my own blank pages to fill with extravagant syllables and exclamation points and I think I’ll be the narrator of my own Happily Ever After.

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