When I was young I believed in fairytales. My favorite colors were pink and purple. I wanted to be a princess and live with my mother forever. I wanted a million horses and an older, loving brother. I wanted a father. I wanted friends I could relate to you. I wanted an endless supply of Barbie dolls. I wanted stability.
When I was young, I loved the teeter-totter. I loved swinging on swings at the playground and the pony rides at the zoo. I loved dancing with my crazy aunt at wedding receptions, and I loved dressing up in pretty dresses. I loved kittens and puppies and friends that thought the world of me. I loved my family, even if I never thought it was truly complete.
When I was young, I had to grow up extremely fast. I had to be the parent. I had to hold the parent to the rest of the family. I had to go through things a child should not have to go through or live with until they're older. When I was young, I was old but the dreams still rang true. Now, they've faded.
I grew up, and just like in all the stories, the fantasies of childhood significantly dimmed. I went to a wedding and it was all a blur. I just wanted to leave. The ceremony was beautiful, and I knew the bride enough to hug her afterwards – the groom too. I went to the reception and texted in the corner. I didn't want to be involved. I knew a majority of the people there, but I didn't talk to them. I didn't want to. I didn't want to recognize their presence and smile too much while we repeated small talk for ten minutes and then moved on into the awkward silence that always comes. I'd never really connected with those people, and I wasn't about to start.
When I was little, I loved to go to weddings. The bride's dress was always so beautiful, and usually I was the flower girl. I loved the reception, especially when it was time to dance. The father-daughter dance was beautiful, and it was magical when the bride and groom shared their first dance. My very lively aunt would dance with me when everyone was free to come onto the dance floor. She'd spin me in circles and we'd bounce around to the music. I'd never want to leave.
This time I was the age of the people getting married. I didn't feel comfortable at the reception. I felt awkward and I just wanted to leave. I suspected it wouldn't be much different if my crazy aunt was there, because I wasn't the little kid she might have just been entertaining. I'm older now and that causes for some awkwardness with something as spontaneous as dancing. Grateful was an understatement when I finally was allowed to leave with the people I'd come with.
My life isn't empty now, but it's not full. The illusion of being almost there is gone. The fairytales and dreams I'd clung to before have nearly dissipated completely. It makes me wonder where my life went, and if this is what being "grown-up" really feels like. Something inside me wants to snap, but I just keepgoing. It'll probably get better and more worthwhile, I tell myself. Maybe the illusion isn't really gone after all.