I don’t wear a lot of make-up, or a lot of jewelry or invest in too many material things because I have never seen my life as a story of roses and fairy tales. I have grown up on the defense, prepared to fight many battles, many times alone with no one by my side to help me fight or to protect me. I have tried to keep my life simple, because I was not sure what would happen next, good or bad. I have lived, even in my happiest moments, cautiously, awaiting an imaginary gavel to fall and for the things I love to be taken away at any moment. I am always ready and prepared to stand against any enemy because I have always felt under attack.
Throughout college I worked hard to maintain financially and emotionally. I look back and regret never taking the time to experience and embrace the beauty of my present because I was so focused on the past and the unknown future. I missed out on many opportunities because I did not feel that I was worthy. I second guessed myself many times and lost out because I was afraid of succeeding. I ran from things that I really wanted. The only person that short-changed my experience was me, myself and I.
When I look back at all of the pictures that I took over the years, I captured many great moments. Our first celebration of a group birthday, our first homecoming, my roommate walking in the fashion show, seeing my idols on stage and meeting celebrities in the cafeteria on random days of the week. It appeared that I had finally received my roses and was living in a fairytale and that I had accepted that role wholeheartedly. These pictures failed to capture the moment I found out that my grandfather had passed away and how my friends were there for me as I walked across campus to turn in my papers and get my business in order. The images failed to capture my emotional instability, my anger and my lashing out at others because I was hurting so much inside. There were no pictures of me in the counseling center knowing I needed help but unsure of the exact reason. The pictures showed roses and fairy tales but that was not my truth.
My life has never been roses and fairy tales but I had to learn to let go. Let go of my past and stop allowing it to control my present and incorrectly predict my future. I had to learn to enjoy the moment, to stop beating myself up for taking a trip or enjoying a concert with some friends. I had to learn to cry even when everyone else was smiling. I did not have to fake the funk for the sake of others comfort. I had to learn to never put on a mask but to always be myself at all times, whether the world liked, loved or hated it. I had to learn to stop and smell the roses and dream about fairy tales because it was fun and worth it. I had to learn that no one’s life is roses or fairy tales but that does not stop them from living out their wildest dreams.
Now my life is full of roses and fairy tales not because it is perfect but because I declared it. I surrounded myself with beautiful people and love myself for my outer and inner beauty. I have my King, a prince and a dog. We live in a kingdom that is full of light and love. My life is far from perfect. I cry, I get frustrated, upset, I disappoint myself and others. I aim for an unattainable level of perfection as a mother and wife and push myself too far at times. Despite the ugly, my life is full of roses and fairy tales and I would not trade it for the world. Live the life that you want, not the one that you think you deserve. Be you. Do you. Live in your truth. Tell your own story. On your own terms.