So most people probably figure out that the whole “happily ever after” thing doesn’t really exist around age 13. I am a really slow learner, so for me, it was more like 30. And it took me a LONG time to get over it.
I truly wanted to believe that I would be whisked away by my soulmate on a white stallion; that good always triumphs over evil; that people are inherently good; that if I worked hard enough my dreams would come true; that friends are easy to come by and will always pull through no matter what; and that happiness drops in your lap when you aren’t even looking.
Since I didn’t have the most idyllic childhood, these movies gave me unwavering hope; something to look forward to in life. That as I got older, things would only get better. And I continued to believe this even after reality smacked me in the face on a regular basis. After all, Cinderella had some hard knocks, and she made it work!
I think this has always been a part of my problem with anxiety and depression: I had unrealistic expectations from a really early age. Shakespeare has been quoted as saying,”Expectation is the root of all heartache.” Oh, was he right.
I like to learn things the hard way. Here are just a few of the things I have finally accepted:
• Life can really suck, but it’s what you make of it. If things aren’t working out, do something different. Nothing will change unless you do.
• Hard work does not equal success. You can find a job you love and truly enjoy — but you may not get paid in money, recognition, admiration, or the like. And you have to be OK with that.
• People screw up. You have to learn to be happy with yourself first and not depend so much on others. They will never be able to give you everything you need, because they are all humans after all.
• I really have to love myself before I can love others. I know, I know, this is really cliché. I found if I am not confident in myself, no one else will be either. I have to accept myself warts and all. If other people don’t like me, well then, I probably won’t like them either. Win-win!
Does anyone else have thoughts or beliefs from childhood that turned out not to be true?