|Such is life, girlfriend.|
A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about the major influence a certain Disney princess has had on my 20s. Belle from Beauty and the Beast dared me to want adventure in the great, wide somewhere. Oh, how I did and do crave that adventure.
If she's my inspiration, than Ariel from The Little Mermaid has been my spirit animal since age 3.
TLM was my movie growing up. I watched it more times than I can remember, and it never lost that magic. I had a mermaid-themed birthday party when I was 4. I named my male stuffed animals and imaginary boyfriends Eric. (I don't even care that he's a character, he's ruined me for men.) I walked around the neighborhood mournfully singing "Part of Your World" (which sometimes turned into a mash-up of "Somewhere Out There," because I didn't have a good grasp on lyrics at this tender age).
It still gets me as an adult. The soundtrack makes regular appearances in my daily musical playlist. The theme music from the end -- which is called "Happy Ending" in case you didn't know -- causes me to instinctively well-up. Every. Single. Time.
I even gave my favorite prince and sea princess shout-outs in my debut novel. In Hard Hats and Doormats TLM is Lexi's go-to comfort movie. Prince Eric is her yard-marker for measuring male perfection, even wishing for a man with a boat. (This may have been a case of art imitating life a little too closely.)
|Hey, girl. Wanna hear about my beach-front property and boat?|
I love this movie for the fact that it will always remind me of any number of sweet and happy moments from my childhood.
The new, revamped HD version of the movie has been airing on TV a lot. And while I won't sit down to watch the whole thing, I try to catch a few minutes of it -- especially if it's at a favorite part. It's comforting to watch and recite the lines and sing a long. But now that I'm older, this experience feels different. It's not the remastered color and sound, though they're awesome. It's not that I'm watching with a more critical eye. It's that I'm different.
It's the way the song -- my song -- makes me feel.
At 27 years old, as I watch this scene unfold, I heard the song in a completely new light. Rather than being a pretty tune about a girl who wants to explore a new world, it's more. For me, it's about a girl who wants all of that, but she can see it right there, just beyond her grasp. And it's devastating to not be able to follow the dream she can practically taste. It's one thing to dream, it's another to watch it happening, but not be able to do anything about it.
As a grown woman, I better understand what the favorite character from my childhood really wanted: to be part of a world she could almost touch, but couldn't reach.
Every time I check Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, I see a friend writing when I'm lacking the motivation to open my manuscript. I see someone living somewhere I dream of living. Doing things I want to do. It's all too easy to watch their world and desperately want to join them. In our world of high speed Internet connections, mobile web access and social media -- three things I love -- we watch the world our friends are projecting and can envy them accordingly.
Let's loosen the belts and get honest for a moment. ("But Laura, isn't that what we've been doing all along?" "That's what you'd like to think, bwahahahahaha.")
We all have something we desperately want. Sometimes, we can practically feel it. But we also have something holding us back. For Ariel, it was the whole being a mermaid without legs situation. For others it's insufficient funds or courage or any number of issues. We're all grown-ups now. ("I'm 16 year old! I'm not a child!") We understand we don't always get what we want. But that doesn't make the desire matter any less.
|Don't worry, buddy. Everything will work itself out.|
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