Monday, August 8, 2011

Life is NOT a Fairy Tale!

Let me just put this out there... life is not a fairy tale.  No, this isn’t an angry single girl post; this is more of a “when life hands you lemons” (made lemonade – with vodka!) post.  You’re shocked I’m sure; I’ve clearly been on “STOP WHINING! JUST HAVE FUN!” rants in my recent posts!

That being said, this post requires an additional preface... (yes, you may call me “Betty Backstory” in this moment!)  When I first started this Blog it was under a pen name.  I did that because I figured eventually I’d get the urge to post about sensitive moments in my life that I have always kept very private.  I can’t decide if I’ve done that because I was protecting myself from potential judgment by others, or if it was to protect my loved ones who will unavoidably be called out.  Either way, I’m over it and ready to continue with my “STOP WHINING! JUST HAVE FUN!” rants by shedding a little light onto why I’m so passionate about it...

NEWS FLASH! The world isn’t imploding around you!  It seems that so many people get stuck in the roundabout of daily life and stress themselves out over little dramatic episodes.  I can’t stand seeing Facebook posts by people who are clearly breathing fire and pissed off at the world because they are stuck in traffic, someone was rude to them or they have to work long hours.  Seriously people, in 50 years, I assure you, each of those events will have ZERO bearing on your life!  Why do you waste your energy flipping out over things you truly have no control over and that truly have no impact on you in the long run?!  It exhausts me just thinking about it...  face facts folks:

Life is not a Fairy Tale!  There are things that happen, however, that can have a significant impact on you in the long run...

Things like:
Your parents being Heroin addicts (in addition to your father’s alcoholism),
Learning about “The Big C” at age 5,
Your parents divorcing when you’re 3,
Spending your childhood going to NA meetings with your mom and little brother (but don’t worry – you’d still go to Saturday night Mass with your Grandfather to balance the scales),
Visiting your father “away at college” in true, cryptic Italian terms (prison for those of you who are scratching your heads),
Having all out wars with your mother’s live-in, alcoholic boyfriend all through your teen years,
Your father suddenly passing away when you were 16,
Watching your seemingly healthy grandma go from diagnosis to funeral in 7 weeks and helping tend to her in the interim,
Regulating your mother’s psychological health from 3,000 miles away...
Seeing things that are burned into your brain, hearing things a child should never hear and becoming an adult in the house at 4 years old. 
Life is not a fairy tale.

But life goes on... You take all of your experiences and you carve your path in life based on them.  You can either learn from the mistakes of others and be the best person you can be despite the hand you were dealt, or you can succumb to the weakness of those around you and follow a similar path.  You have the choice to look for pity from those around you for “what happened to you”, or to use it as fuel to prove to the world that YOU are a strong person who makes their own decisions.

Once something BIG happens in your life, it’s easy to look at something small like a flight delay and brush it off.  You’ve experienced true heart break.  You’ve experienced true trauma.  You know what it’s like to be sent to hell and back.  You can pull on those experiences enough to realize that the little annoyances in life aren’t worth your effort.  You need to conserve that effort for when it’s necessary and when life truly throws you a curve ball.  If you’re one of the fortunate few who haven’t had major hurdles in life, take it from me, you’ll want your energy for those times and you’ll have wished you didn’t expend it on the idiot taking 30 minutes at the ATM.

If you’re lucky... you have people in your life who you’re able to lean on when the proverbial $h!t hits the fan.  They are the people who support you, motivate you and act as a distraction from the insanity.  They play an integral role in helping you chose the path of strength, determination and success.  They aren’t the only key to the equation though... it starts with YOU!  I am lucky.  I have many of these people in my life and I always have. 
Despite the admission above, my mother is one of them – a huge one of them!  She has always been my greatest cheerleader.  (Yes, I clearly felt the need to defend her and clarify her inner greatness despite her past lapse in strength.)

Scary realization!  Most often in the past when I have the intense drive to express my gratitude to my important people, it’s my intuition telling me something is on the horizon.  Like my Ah-MAZING Grandma (“Mom Peggy” who now lives in my heart), I’ve always had a “sense” about things... that’s another story for another day.

The moral of this story is, as this post’s title implies, LIFE IS NOT A FAIRY TALE!  Don’t expect it to be.  You can, however, make your own Fairy Tale and have your own happy existence by letting the little things go... remind yourself that the daily little annoyances are not equivalent to the world collapsing around you.  And if one day the world does collapse around you, find your way out – you can, I promise!

PS: Please note that this post is not an invitation for a series of “Poor Jen” comments/emails.  I’ll never forget where I came from, nor have I ever wished for different circumstances.  Every single experience in my life, for better or worse, has made me who I am, brought me to where I am and will send me where I am going.  I’m not sorry they happened; I don’t need you to be either.  I can definitely appreciate any shock you may be experiencing right now if you're learning this for the first time though... ;)

PS to my PS... in re-reading this I realized I could've implied that I'm not open to any comments/responses to this.  That's not what I meant to imply... I simply meant please refrain from responses with an underlying tone of pity.  It is what it is, ya know? :)


  1. This is not a "let's pity Jen" comment. Even though you had a lot of friends, you were my bestest/coolest friend. You were and still are an AMAZING person. Always with a smile on your face, always laughing. You've never made your life a reason to have a pity party for yourself. People usually use their life circumstances to determine the kind of person they become and you didn't do that. You're the kind of friend who remains in people's hearts long after they've last seen you. DUH!!! That's why when you come to NY everyone's dying to see you for a bit! :-D Our start doesn't determine our finish and you proved that. :-)

  2. It's true life is not a fairy tale (but I wish ;)). I like your blog it can help others, sort of awakening