Tonight I watched Carrie Underwood's "Ever Ever After" music video for the umpteenth time. As I sat and watched Carrie spreading joy throughout New York City and finding true love in the end, I realized that this song is my favorite for a reason. And that reason is because it combines every single thing that I believe about love into three minutes, twenty-seven seconds. I realized that I, too have been dreaming of a true love's kiss, and so is everyone else.
As you read, I would encourage you to listen to the song that inspired this post. Just click on the "Ever Ever After" above.
This post is about love, because I believe in it, and I believe that you do, too.
"Though the world might tell you it's not smart...."
So many people tell me that I'm naive or even stupid to believe that one day I will find my Prince Charming. Let me just address that. I am neither naive nor stupid. I think that those who don't believe in true love and dismiss it as a childhood fantasy and nothing more are cheating themselves of a wonderful, beautiful thing. I know true love exists. I've seen it happen. It is amazing, and very much real.
"Sometimes you reach what's real just by making believe"
It makes me so sad when someone tries to tell me that true love is a process, something with steps and something that can be strictly controlled.
It is a process, but love is not tangible nor is it controllable. You can't buy it, you can't bottle it, but you can feel it. Sometimes, if you just let yourself believe that something is possible, it is. I know because that is how I learned half the math I know today.
Those who talk about the steps that love involves need to realize that wherever steps are, there is also the possibility of falling down them. You'll fall in love, and if you listen to yourself enough you may even realize it, and then how lucky and happy you'll be :)
"Start a new fashion, wear your heart on your sleeve"
But like any good thing, love takes work. The emotion may be effortless, but you have to help everything else along.
Has anyone ever read Pride and Prejudice? Best book ever. In it, Jane and Mr Bingley both adore each other, but they were separated for a long, painful time because neither was willing to actually put to words their undeniable feelings. And that is the problem that all the skeptics talk about.
When someone says that love isn't real, it's because they think that love should be something blaringly obvious. Not so. Love is about the small things as much as it is about the large. You have to make that other person's happiness a priority, because your own depends on it. Sometimes this involves wearing your heart completely on your sleeve, complete with loud proclamations of your attachment. At very special times, this involves rings and vows. But quietly or loud as a bull horn, love is.
"Let your heart believe in ever ever after"
Some people put on this tough exterior and expect the world to buy it and take them at face value. Well I don't know about the rest of you, but I can see through that in a New York minute.
It's not so hard. People will go off about how they want to further their career or have some "me" time but really all they're saying is that they are afraid to take those last but oh-so-critical steps. Maybe they mean it at first, but as time goes by and they get comfortable, people get less and less spontaneous and more methodical and they become unwilling to hope and wish for things, because wishing is what four-year olds do when they put a tooth under their pillow, or what teenage girls do when they see 11:11 cross a clock. People are afraid to put their trust in something that seems silly and is quite possibly not even real. They say they don't believe in love, when really they just don't believe in their ability to find it.
"Maybe it's just one wish away"
You may never know, but I do, that love is just one wish away. Falling in love takes a wish, it takes a dream and a hope, and it takes courage, because love is what makes you most vulnerable. To let someone in, you have to let some walls down. Courage is something currently lacking in the world, because so many people are afraid to wish for it.
"No wonder your heart feels it's flying, your head is a-spinning"
In Harry Potter Hermione is talking about the most powerful love potion in the world. She said that it smells different for each person, and hers smells like grass and parchment. My love potion would smell like Blue Knob, freshly cut grass, the ocean, and raspberry lemonade. Love is in glances, smiles, corny jokes that make you laugh till you cry, and shy, churning feelings in your stomach. Some people will say that those things are hormones, and that's true, but it's also love.
The other day I was walking around, and I saw a certain person. All of the sudden, the lighthearted, happy feeling I was experiencing gave way to painful stomach aches. Umm....excuse me, body? Do you minddd?? I kept wondering to myself, why am I feeling this way? Am I sick? Why do I feel like I need to run and get my backpack? Or put on my marching shoes? And then it hit me. This is the same feeling that I would get before the first day of school, this ache was the same I felt every single day August-November of my junior year during 2nd period, because 3rd period was marching band. This is my nerves at their most extreme. I don't know why my body thinks I have nerves and all that to spare for this kind of stuff, but it certainly seems to think that it needs to roll out the big guns when I am faced with my biggest fears. As if I don't have enough to worry about. So I asked myself, why am I so nervous? Could it be that I possibly this person? Maybe. I still can't decide. But that's besides the point.
Sister Obering says that she still feels all tingly and giddy around her husband. I want that feeling, too. Of course I don't want to have debilitating stomach pains whenever I see my future husband, but I definitely want to feel a smile come on, and maybe a few nervous giggles, and always a happy lift in my heart and bounce in my step.
"In our secretest heart, it's our favorite part of the story. Let's just admit we all wanna make it to ever ever after"
If I were to take a poll in which I ask everyone in the world flat-out if they want to be happy, I would be very surprised to hear anyone say no. Who doesn't want to be happy? Who doesn't want to have a fulfilling, satisfying life? We all want that. We all want our life story to end with, "and they all lived happily ever after." It's true.
You can want other things, and you can have them and walk around with a smile on your face. But it's always better when someone smiles back at you, yes? Like it or not, you are looking for someone whose very smile fills you up with happiness, and it feels good to know that there is someone out there looking for your smile as well :)
"Fairytales coming true"
I want a fairytale, and I know I will get one. My Prince Charming is one who will be so excited to meet me, one that would be ecstatic to find a note from me, one that holds my books for me and offers me his jacket.
One day I was talking to this guy and he said, "Nicole, one day you're going to find someone who will write notes for you, and you will marry him." This is true, but of course I will not marry every single guy who writes me notes. I would be married to like, seven guys right now if that were the case. No. But there are certain things that I expect of my husband....
Every girl has her own "thing." Some are more ridiculous and far-fetched than others. For example, my friend Veronica says that she will marry the first guy who buys her a giraffe. Seul wants a Korean pop star. I'm not sure which one it is at the moment.
Others have much more attainable "things". Julia likes broad shoulders. Gina wants a man who understands that she has friends and family who deserve her time, too.
Some girls don't have "things", but scenarios. Holly will meet her future husband at a coffee shop. They will both order the same thing, and then one order will be ready before the other, and they'll both reach for it and their hands will touch, and in that moment they will just know. Heather wants a cowboy that she will meet on an airplane.
Me? I want someone who will make me laugh and who will fully support my love for Disney everything, but especially Disney Princesses. Hmm....maybe we will hit Disney World as a part of our Honeymoon?
"If we just don't get it our own way"
Some people say that you'll never get exactly what you want in a husband. Perhaps thats true, but I think I am pretty low maintenance, and I also firmly believe that when you are united with someone in marriage and even in friendship or business partnerships, you learn to adapt.
You have to give a little, and take even less sometimes. But with love, it's all worth it, and I know that at least for me, I am going to be married to a man that inspires me to grow in every way, and that each compromise that we make and each sacrifice that we endure together will only make both of us better and more in love than ever.
"You even might wind up being glad to be you"
That being said, while my husband will constantly be making me strive for self-improvement, he will not do so in a condescending way. We all know that one person who seems so good. You look at them, and you think, man they are just perfect.
But wait, why, if they're so perfect, do you feel so crummy to be around them? It must be because you are so imperfect. It's your fault. You find yourself constantly trying to be the person they want you to be. You read your texts twice before you send them, you check your laugh at the door, you hesitate before speaking because what if they don't agree? You justify all this by reminding yourself that they are perfect, and therefore, perfect for you.
They are totally not.
Tell me something, do you want to live your whole life not watching your favorite movies, never fully opening up to how you truly feel about that person, and constantly making excuses to yourself for why you can't do any of the above? I don't, and any self-respecting person doesn't either.
The perfect person for you is someone that you can grow with, not measure up to. You are your best self, and there's a guy out there who adores you.
"Let yourself be enchanted"
Fairytales all need a little magic. Fairy godmothers, enchanted mirrors, talking animals, it's all there, but not here. We don't have those things, but we do have love.
In another favorite movie, Aquamarine, Aquamarine asks Hailey what's so great about love anyway? It only hurts. And Hailey says that she doesn't know, but she knows that there's a reason why people want it so much, and that is "because it's the closest thing we have to magic."
And I believe that. I believe that people can do amazing things with the power of love. Love inspires me, it motivates me, it makes me happy and excited to experience it for myself. And I believe that perfect love never has to end. It can keep going....
Forever ever after