Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall
As a little girl, I believed. I believed that life was easy, or should be, or would be. I believed that I was pretty, or should be, or would be. I believed that I was loved, or should be, or would be. I believed that love conquered all. That is what I believed, no matter what the mirror said. I believed that all my dreams would come true, I believed that all I needed to do or be was good, clean, tidy, helpful, honest, hard-working, a good daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend, and I knew that I was, should be, would be. All I had to do, was believe and I did with all of my heart, I believed.
Who made up those fairytales, who started telling little girls that if they were the fairest one of all they would have a night in shining armor fight for them, or Prince Charming would swoon when he saw you, or that all the world would know you were special and would want to be just like you? Who was it that spread those terrible rumors that we all believed, and many still do? Until we looked into that mirror one day and when we asked, “Who was the fairest one of all?” that same mirror you dusted off every day and kept so clean would say, Well move over Rover so I can see who else is in the room? What? Not me? Do you mean I may have gotten this all wrong? What?!! But I am Cinderella, I have the dress and tiara to prove it!! Look, wait, all you have to do is wave a wand or plant one on me and you will see… I clean up pretty well!
What a rude awakening it was when I woke from that dream to find myself there, standing in front of a mirror and all it did was show me someone I did not want to see. Me. I was just a girl, who needed to go to school just like every other girl. A girl who had very frizzy hair, very big frizzy hair, and pimples on my face, and a body that was as ordinary and plain as pretty much any other girl in the room. So, what is a girl to do but pick up the mop and start cleaning up that mess of disillusionment take a reality check, and become the walls, so that no one would notice the plain girl in the back of the room? Because who did I think I was, thinking that I was special, thinking that someone would look at me as the fairest one of all? Silly little girl. Except, here is a secret, one that I have never told anyone before, and that is that I still believed. I believed that if I worked hard enough, if I did enough for everyone around me, if I gave to everyone more than I had, more than they could imagine, they would see that my shoes were shining. If I just loved more, cleaned more, helped more, they would see…but they didn’t. No one ever bothered to look at my shiny shoes, made of glass no less, no one looked down to see them there, right on my feet. So I held on, I held for as long as I could, I held my breath because I knew, I knew! That I would be chosen, that it was my turn next, because I was a good little girl, and I was.
But the Balls came and went and I got tired of waiting to be asked, and started to eat. I mean, why not? It wasn’t like anyone was going to notice, and I ate some more, and some more, except that was a secret too, I had a lot of secrets it seems. I never told anyone, not even my closest girlfriends what I thought, wished for, and still waited for, because I knew they would laugh at me, they would laugh at me because they had a secret too, they too thought they were the fairest one of all, they also waited for their Prince Charming to sweep them off their feet, they told me, and being the good little girl I let them believe it, I let them wear the dress (since it didn’t fit me anymore), the tiara, I showed them how to walk and talk, I was the good little friend. I was that girl who gave and gave and was happy to because I still had the shoes, but then one day someone asked me for my shoes. My shoes?!! How could they ask me for my shoes? I had already given them all I had, I had given them all of it and they still wanted my shoes!! What do you need them for? Your feet look all bloated in them anyway. Look at my feet though, look how pretty they are, they would say, and they were right, so I slipped off my shoes and handed them over. I knew then I would always be lost, how could Prince Charming find me without my shoes? And then I was empty, and cold and barefoot, but whose fault was that anyway?
OK, you may think that I have lost it, that I have written one too many e-zines. But the truth is that this dream that so many of us little girls grow up with and that we learn to believe can come tumbling down right upon our heads, and all the king's horses and all the king's men could not put poor little delusional Berta together again. We become crushed with the idea that life is harder than we thought it was going to be, that beauty is not quite as cut and clear as wearing the right dress and shiny shoes, and that you have to work your butt off to lose a few frieken pounds!! That you can give and give and give and no one really cares, well they care, but not really.
Most people just think you like to give; you like to take on more than you can, and you like to see other people wear your shiny glass slippers. But here is the thing, here is what continues to crush all of us little princesses in perpetual waiting, We still believe, don’t we? Isn’t that what you are still doing, waiting for some fairy tale to finally come true, so that you can live happily ever after? Aren’t you? Isn’t that why you haven’t really put in any serious time to eating well, because you believe in fairy tales? Are you still waiting for that shiny red apple to bite into? You know that perpetual apple that historically all of us women, collectively, have taken a bite out of? And why did we eat that apple? Please, don’t say that it’s because we have all been so very, very, hungry, but perhaps because we still believe that it is that easy, that perhaps this apple will be the apple that will make all our dreams come true. Isn’t that why we keep on trying one new diet after the other, hoping and hoping that this time all of our dreams will soon come true, and we will be transformed as simply as waving a wand, into the fairest one?
Ah, but guess what? You took a bite of that apple and have been asleep all of these years, that’s right and it’s now ME that is going to lay one on yah! Ready! Pucker up because it is going to be a good one! Because this kiss is the sweetest one you will ever get because it is full of honesty and truth and it is the only way to go. I am done with fairy tales, I want to be the fairest one of all, I want it all! How about you? So, let's get it together, put away those fantasy stories, and get to the crux of the problem. You and I have believed in the wrong fairy tales, we have listened to other people's stories and have forgotten to write our own, to be our own person, and to understand that if we do not know who we are, if we do not believe that we are worth it, if we are still waiting for someone to say that we are special, then we may all remain in a perpetual state of sleep, dreaming our lives away.
Wake up little girls, wake up and smell the roses, I have taken off the thorns and have left you bread crumbs (organic, whole wheat, and low fat, the type that no bird would want to eat) to show you the way. You will get your hands a little dirty and perhaps a little callused, but you will love to see how well-worn they are because they are real and they are yours and they will get you to the truth and back to yourself. So close your eyes pretty little girls and tap your heels three times, and say…There is no place like home… bring yourself back to the reality of yourself and all the wonderful things that you are, and take that stupid mirror that has no clue as to what beauty looks like and toss it out the window, and know the fairest one of all has been and will always be, simply you.
So when is it your turn? When you take it!!