Recreating the Fairy Tale

I love my friend S. Aside from the fact she’s amazingly intelligent, witty, kind, patient of my neurosis, beautiful, talented and gentle, my dear S always knows exactly what I’m in search of. The girl just has the perfect timing.

She sent me this quote:

“I read and walked for miles at night along the beach, writing bad blank verse and searching endlessly for someone wonderful who would step out of the darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that that person could be me.”

– Anna Quindlen

And I just love it.

I’m in a transition period at this point, seeking somehow to balance who I was with who I have become and find the perfect meeting place between the two which will allow me to become who I am to be. It’s strange because I feel like this transition has been going on forever. Or at least the last few years. When I was younger I depended on everyone for everything (because mostly I had to) but I also always seemed to be waiting around for that one thing, that one person, that one element to fall into place and for everything to begin running smoothly from then on.

No such luck.

It never really occurred to me that maybe I could be that final piece that fell into place. The day it finally hit me that I was waiting around on someone to do what I could easily do myself, I was sitting on my porch talking to my then boyfriend. My world had, as it seemed(s) to do often had fallen apart and he was the first person I called. He came rushing over, white horse disguised as a white Altima, to tend to my wounds and sooth my soul. But then a funny thing happened. As he listened intently to my story of woe, I realized- before he even started his comforting song and dance routine- that I was tired of relaying my stories. I was tired of calling other people to commiserate and then receive bad advice. It was about time I started doing something about being broken rather than just stay content to be broken.

I haven’t always been so fiercely independent. Back then I was needy and afraid because I was generally alone in the world. He was to me, that fairy tale we all remember from childhood. The details might vary from each telling and get a little vague but the cliffs notes still read the same; girl falls apart, boy swoops in, saves girl and day, boy and girl live happily ever after with only love to see them through. And boy, of course, always just so happens to be ridiculously rich (a prince no less) and distressingly handsome. And I had this guy. I had my fairy tale wrapped all up in six years of togetherness that was far better and lasted much longer than 50% of all marriages in the Unites States.

And then I realized that I didn’t want that and my world really came crumbling down.

Oh, it wasn’t that I didn’t want him. It was that I was so goddamn tired on waiting to be saved all the time. So much of my life was spent waiting on that goddamn prince on his white horse that I’d heard so much about that I realized all the time I wasted waiting on him to to get to me and fix my problem, I could have fixed the damn thing myself. And it wasn’t so much as he was no longer needed in as much as his capacity changed. I didn’t need a savior. I needed a partner. Besides, Disney is just amazing. Who can live up to the hype?

This didn’t go over too well.

And that is partly my fault. In my quest to begin to take care of my own demons, I became fiercely independent– and by fiercely independent I mean completely incapable of letting anyone else do anything for me.

I was all and completely “anything you can do I can do better” and the bad part was, well, it was true. I am infinitely efficient on my own. But you can see how in a relationship this may not fly. For a man who wanted to so badly to be the one to make me happy, to take care of me, this was like being laid off from a company that you helped build because you were “no longer useful”. I never, EVER said this by the way, but I could see how this could be the general perception.

So here I am, five years later and tired. Because while I am infinitely efficient on my own, goddammit it’s just tiring. Trying to find the balance. Some sort of medium between taking care of myself and allowing myself to be taken care of by the people who love me and not fearing that allowing them to be as good to me as I am to them somehow makes me weak or will cause me to grow dependent on someone that might someday leave.

I can’t blame him for what happened to our relationship after I decided to be my own superhero. I can’t say I necessarily regret taking charge of my life either. But I can say that I’m so very sorry for the kind of man it turned him into.

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