This I Believe

Maddie - Colorado
Entered on November 18, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in fairy tales and “happily ever afters”. I believe that someway, somehow, everything will be okay. Even when it seems too dark and terrible for the Prince to save the Damsel, somehow he prevails. He slays the dragons, gets the girl, and lives happily ever after, right? Well, the beauty of fairy tales is that they don’t skip over the evil. G.K. Chesterton once said, “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” Isn’t that what everyone wants; to be able to overcome overwhelming circumstances?

Life is more like a fairy tale than most people realize. There is always another story and another “happily ever after”. Behind every “once upon a time”, there is just a regular person facing extraordinary obstacles. I believe in fairy tales because they are real, and they happen all the time. How could New Orleans rebuild itself if happy endings didn’t exist? How could people change if there wasn’t something worth fighting for? Dragons are slayed all the time but unfortunately, people just focus on the other dragons standing in their way.

Last year, my friend attempted suicide. I quite literally thought my world was ending. I couldn’t understand it. I didn’t see how anyone could try to end it all like that. Looking back, the only thing that got me through that ordeal was that I was holding on to hope that I could make it to my happy ending. I knew that there had to be a silver lining amidst all of the pain. Everything had to work out okay. But it didn’t; at least not like I planned. I lost some friends and made some mistakes, but I learned more than I could have ever hoped for. It took a while but I started to realize that I’m a better person now. My life is different than I wanted or expected, but it is what it is supposed to be. I started over and put my past behind me. I don’t know how my story is going to end, but at least I know that that part of my life is all “once upon a time.”

Through it all, I’ve learned that life goes on. Every shadow passes and the sun still shines. Life is a story and it doesn’t end where the pages run out. The thing they realize in fairy tales is that the good in the world is worth fighting for. Some one has to hold onto that. Call me a nerd or what ever else, but I believe in fairy tales because I have to hope for a happy ending.