Today I’m going to share something I have been thinking about for some time now. It’s a lesson that unfortunately I had to learn…or rather, a lesson that kicked me so many times in the head until I said ‘okay, okay I got it!’ That being: life is not a Disney movie (and we all know how much I love Disney).
When a child goes through something traumatic, they do whatever is necessary to cope. Some turn to vices, others act out. Some shut down completely or just repress it all for a future therapist to unpack. My method of coping was to romanticise everything. I had to believe that there was a magical world out there somewhere. I wanted so badly to meet my own Prince Charming someday and have a loving family of my own (and I do but bear with me). I swooned watching the cartoons as a child and felt my heart tug once the credits started to roll. I guess that’s why I love Disney movies so much. They give me hope. They give me happy endings. My reality was the exact opposite, so I threw myself into a world of books, movies and television shows where everything always worked out in the end.
This ‘hopeless romantic’ side served me well in some ways growing up. In other ways, it really didn’t. When people let me down, or when I was dumped or even when a day didn’t go anything like the wonderful, fairytale plan in my head, I fell hard. Much harder than anybody else who had zero expectations. I’ve always been an overly sensitive person, but I was affected so much more because I was shocked by the things that didn’t play out the way I expected them to. Reality was laughing at me on the sidelines with a bucket of popcorn in its metaphorical hand. Nothing ever goes the way you expect it to and things certainly don’t happen like they do in the movies. Because I’m stubborn, I’m going to briefly blame Hollywood. It ruined me. There are no epic kisses in the rain as the music starts to swell. People don’t just appear on your doorstep saying they were wrong and want to spend their lives with you. The people you meet aren’t always kind and they will let you down, sometimes more than once. The biggest knock to my noggin was when I had a baby. For months I had visualised having the most euphoric birth and the happiest experience raising my child when I came home from the hospital. Allow me to pause and chuckle. What ended up happening threw me for a six. You can read more here and here. Honestly, having a child has been the best thing for me because it finally forced me to confront reality and stop having naive expectations.
Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean I’m all doom and gloom now; never expecting anything good to happen in my life. It just means I am more aware of what could go right and what could go wrong, so that if something doesn’t pan out, I’m not so devastated. Now, I can safely say that I no longer see life as a Disney movie. Instead, I like to use the term ‘casual magic’ – coined by a social-media influencer I know. Casual magic refers to the moments you weren’t expecting anything amazing to happen but then, all of a sudden, they do. A couple of weeks ago, Abi had just woken up from her afternoon nap. As I walked up the stairs and opened her bedroom door, I saw her standing up in her cot with a smile on her beautiful face. When she opened her mouth, she uttered the most perfect word in the history of language: ‘mama.’ She had never said it before. I nearly fell over in shock. Tears ran down my cheeks; I was so happy. I had never envisioned it happening this way, but I’m so happy it did. Casual magic hits us when we least expect. It can come in the form of a magnificent sunrise on your way to work, or a stranger paying you a compliment. Your significant other might surprise you with a sweet-treat or your child decides to tell you they love you. These things don’t appear in movies. They just happen and they are more beautiful than anything in the world. It’s okay to dream. It’s okay to get excited about a future event. I think for me, I had to learn not to pin every single emotion and hope on what I thought something or someone would be like. For me, it wasn’t just a day-dream, it had to be that way or I would be depressed. That wasn’t healthy.
I want to raise Abigail to be excited about life. I want her to love Disney as much as I still do. But I also want her to be rational and logical. I want her to have some inner armour to protect her when things fall apart. Living this way has made my life a lot easier. I don’t expect anything anymore. Some days are smooth, others not so much. I take the good with the bad and keep on truckin (sorry for the lame wording). Life would be pretty incredible if it was like a Disney movie; I’m not going to lie. But real life, the one right in front of us, is just as amazing if we allow it to be. I want to remember that. I’m no longer making grand plans in my head or declaring I know exactly where this life is taking me. I’m just going along for the ride; excited for the pockets of casual magic along the way…
Let me know your thoughts down below. Thank you for reading.
Peace & Love xoxo
I think its nice to have those characters to lean on -to know that someone somewhere wanted to created this to show that there is still hope for love.
But sadly reality isn’t a utopia and our souls only go as far as our bodies allow us to -preventing us from seeing how much harm we might be causing.
It’s so true wise words thank you!
I absolutely love the term “casual magic” and things your children and loved ones do and or say are perfect examples of this beautiful term!
I love watching an old favourite movie (including Disney) when things are getting me down to remember that there is still hope for happy endings 🌈🌈
So true Lisa! It’s important to remember what really matters in life and great to know that Disney is always there for a bit of fun and light hearted ness when we are down x
This was such an interesting read my friend! Like you I love Disney. But I’ve been the entirely opposite of you my entire life – more practical than romantic, more logical than creative (this is very true and one surprises many!), not expecting any happy Disney ending, more so never expecting anything good and really almost nothing surprises me. Maybe that’s just the pessimistic in me devoid of hope 😂 On the downside when something I want happens, I feel like I don’t deserve it and if for instance if it’s someone giving me a gift, I might even forget to say thanks 😂😂 So lovely to hear Abi is getting up and about! Cannot wait to see you soon, and talk soon xxx
Thank you so much for reading my friend! I am striving to be more practical and logical like you so I don’t get too upset. I think like everything in life we need a healthy balance. You certainly deserve all the best things in life! I cannot wait to see you soon xoxox
i am the worst when it comes to having an expectation in my head and being severly dissapointed when it isn’t met. I guess it could be down to romantic movies but how everything is so sugar coated when you’re growing up. x
It’s so true, I blame Hollywood for romanticising everything. It gives us unrealistic expectations. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in this thinking 🙂 x
I needed this today–thank you so much for sharing!
You’re very welcome! Thank you for reading and I’m so glad it helped 🙂 x