From a very young age, we have been inundated with Hollywood images of “happily ever after”.
As a chubby twelve year old I ached and wished for a prince. I used to think that all of my problems would dissolve if I could just find a man to love me. I even developed a crush on Prince Harry at one stage, thinking that maybe I could be royalty all on my own. Hey every little Aussie girl wants their Princess Mary fairytale right?
As I got a little older, I realised that my “happily ever after” would not just fall into my lap.
Those that know me may roll their eyes. I may be one of the “lucky ones”. I met my Prince Charming at nineteen years old.
My (now husband) even proposed in an incredibly romantic way, getting down on one knee, after an afternoon of strolling through the autumn New York City streets, and ice-skating at Rockefeller Centre. We had a dream wedding and purchased our first home together last year
I am incredibly and phenomenally loved by this exceptionally beautiful man. He made me a more understanding, fair, calm and rational person and taught me to always share what I am feeling. In my few years of dating, I had my fair share of toxic relationships with men, who made me a much lesser version of myself. The best thing about him is that he makes me the absolute best version of myself.
Since being with him, I have not fallen into the trap that some people do, getting comfortable and taking less care of myself. He would love me no matter how I looked, but I think it’s incredibly important to keep fit, happy and healthy for my own well-being. He is incredibly encouraging of me, and having a healthy and happy relationship means that your partner encourages you to do what makes you content and to be the best you can be.
I still have my fair share of self-esteem issues from a childhood of bullying, taunting at the hands of some not so nice people. And truly believe that finding your “happily ever after”, is really about finding yourself, whether inside, or outside of a relationship, and loving yourself.
Your self-esteem and happiness should in no way be tied to whether or not you have a partner. Can your “happily ever after” mean having a life full of self-discovery, personal growth and happiness without a partner? Abso-freaking-lutely.
Can a life dedicated to health, fitness, travel, learning, dedicating yourself to a cause, a passion, a hobby (or whatever your pleasure and self-satisfaction may entail) be YOUR happily ever after?
The deep-rooted, societal belief that to live out your days happily, requires you to be married to your soul mate and grow old together is lovely, but may be outdated and not necessarily for everyone. Some are lucky to find a life partner, someone who will love them unconditionally, but many are lucky to draw this unwavering support from family and friends too. It is important to realise that people that we perceive to have a perfect life are likely to have their own battles and challenges with health, finances or other suffering and loss.
Open your heart and mind to whatever life brings you and have realistic expectations. By my definition, a “happily ever after” is living positively and efficaciously as you define achievement and success and ultimately to love yourself and be content with what you have and who you are.
Tips for getting YOUR happily ever after;
- Do something new, that may scare you at first, but that you have always wanted to do.
- Do things that make YOU happy, and be the best version of you, not to impress other people, but so you feel good about yourself.
- Write a list of the things that make you happy, and refer to this if you find that you are going off course.
- Have realistic goals about what you want to achieve and for your future.
- Be healthy.
- Put your time and feeling into the relationships (friends, family, partner) that make you feel good and less into those that don’t.
- In a similar vein, let go of the things that no longer make you happy, or bring you down.
- Let go of the stereotypical, fairytale notion of “happily ever after”, and have faith that things will fall into place.
A big thankyou to the few girls on twitter who also helped with my research.