Kyla - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on March 2, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I don’t believe in happy endings.

Yes, I know, not really an upbeat sentiment. But it’s true.

Growing up, I was always a “girly” girl. I loved to play dress up, play with my dolls, and I absolutely adored all of the Disney princess movies. These fairy tales taught me to trust in everlasting love and that all stories end with a “happily ever after.” As a child, I believed in these fairy tales more than I accepted that peanut butter actually comes from peanuts. I felt a connection to these characters. Fairy tales illustrate that good overcomes evil, and that good will always be rewarded—through a prince sweeping a princess off her feet. As a girl I felt like I would find my truest love and I would be so smitten with him from the moment I saw him that nothing else would matter except the two of us being together.

As I began to mature into a teenager, many different events affected my view of life. When I was thirteen, I lost two of my friends to leukemia. Erin and I had met through my aunt, and her second battle with leukemia was her last. Krissy and I had been friends since we were babies, and we shared many of the same interests. She died a few days after her thirteenth birthday.

I am an incredibly faithful person. I am Catholic, and I generally believe in the teachings of the Catholic faith. However, these two deaths rattled me to my core. Being just thirteen myself, I never thought death was near. I was an immature, self-centered teenager who thought I would live into my seventies or eighties. I never thought that anyone would die at that young of an age.

In addition, marriage is an everlasting bond between two people for me. And with the divorce rates continually increasing each and every day, my hope for the future constantly diminishes. If a generation above me cannot stay married, then I have to wonder what will happen for my generation and generations below me.

Now don’t get me wrong, when I am sitting in a movie theatre watching a classic love story between two people (a.k.a a “chick flick”), I cannot help but hope that everything works out—something I am supposed to hope. If I said that I only wished for people to hate everyone else and be alone in the world, I would have a pretty pessimistic outlook on life, and I’m pretty sure that people would probably avoid me. In a movie, it feels right for those two characters to work out in the end. But it just isn’t practical.

Now I’m not saying that I don’t believe in love. Because I do. I know that two people can really care about each other and love being with each other. However, I don’t believe in the cliché that everything works out in the end. Marriage is not something that you just do and then live out your entire life in complete happiness. Being in love is something that two people have to work on each and every day. Traveling for work, adultery, emotional affairs, lack of communication, and money all contribute to the difficulties of love. Two people have to be completely committed to each other and must be willing to do whatever it takes to hold onto love. I hope that I find a person that I love enough to spend the rest of my life with him. If that man is right for me, then I will be willing to put in all of the needed effort to keep our relationship alive and stable.

I have many different goals in life, and I know that I can find fulfillment through those goals. I believe that an older person can look back on his or her life and find contentment and peace in how that person lived his or her own life. I desperately want to accomplish my goals in life, and this will thereby help me find satisfaction and purpose for existing on Earth.

But I’m not going to limit myself to a “happy ending.” I’m going make my own ending.