Everyone knows the story. A girl has big dreams of adventure and finding a place where she can fit in. That all changed, though, when she met a Beast. They fell in love, conquered over evil, and with her undying love she turned him back into a gorgeous human being with flowing red locks once more. And then…nothing.
Nada. Zilch. Zero.
They just get married, and it’s all done. No adventures for the beautiful girl—just a big castle and a hunky ginger husband and thousands upon thousands of servants.
Now don’t get me wrong, this was my favorite story growing up. I remember watching it on my television and singing (loudly) to every song, but there was one point where I wouldn’t—I was too engrossed and awed. It was when she just turned down that conceited man, and she’s singing about all her dreams. I know every song by heart by now, but it was these thirty-so seconds that really blew me away.
“I want adventure in the great, wide, somewhere!”
I’m not sure why this simple sentence resonated with me so much, but it did. She just sounds so…hopeful. Determined. Like nothing will get in the way of her dreams. Not that self-centered man, not the little town she lived in, not her well-meaning father’s somewhat shaky reputation. No, she was going to go places, see the world, read to her heart’s content! It didn’t matter where—heck, I doubt if she even had a clue where to start.
But the real killer in this age-old story is TIME. (See what I did there? “Tale as Old as Time”? Anyone?) Over time she began to love that Beast, and, as they always say, time heals all wounds. Even dead dreams.
I loved her. She was my idol, with her giant imagination and vigor for reading. But now that I’m older, I find myself resenting her. I want to know if she actually did make it out. I want to know if she went over the world, met all sorts of people, maybe wrote a book or two.
I know that her life doesn’t necessarily suck. I mean, she did find that special someone who understood her; heck, he gave her a freaking library! But that seems to be the only one of her dreams that came true. Did she and her beastly-hubby go out and see the world? Did they travel to unknown places just because they could? Did they fall even more in love with each other every day?
Someone once said to me that you can never have both a fulfilling life and a satisfied heart. My initial reaction was, “Watch me,” but then I realized that they were right in a sense. There is no perfect. There is no way that your life will be sunshine and rainbows all the time.
So maybe if I follow my dreams and my heart it will be hard, but the way I look at it is if you want something to last, you fight for it. If things get broken don’t just throw it out; fix it. Work on it, improve it, breathe life into it again.
So yes, she may have found her dream guy, but she got a bit sidetracked along the way. Maybe she did wake up every day, wondering how different her life would be if she never came to that castle.
I decided that I will try and do what that beauty didn’t. Maybe I’ll fail miserably.
But then again…maybe I won’t.
PS: Yes, I used the Disney-version of Beauty and the Beast for this post.
PPS: Paige O’Hara is amazing.