I often wonder what I would say to my 7 or 8-year-old self. What kind of advice would I give to the younger me? I would say, “Don’t you worry, child, you will get through this. It just takes a lot of time and patience, but you will be okay.”
Not many people will talk to their younger selves and say those words. I wasn’t a confident little girl—I always had my worries about anything and everything, such as: Will I grow up to be a writer or a fashion designer? Will I succeed at my job? Will I love it or will I hate it? What if I don’t grow up to be a person who someone else loves? What if I don’t find true love like both my grandparents did? Will I meet someone that will treat me with respect and take me to the diner for dinner? Will I be a good mother to my own kids? Will I turn out to be a good person with good morals like everyone else I know?
I had the same thoughts at 17, and then at 25, and now at 28 I believe in true love, and that it will come for me when I am not expecting it. I think that everything will happen when it is supposed to. At 7 and 8 years old, I was a princess waiting for her prince to come and swoop her off her feet on a white horse. I believed in fairy tales. I dressed up as my favorite Disney princess Snow White when I was 5 years old.
I was a little girl who dreamt big and had passion. That passion flew away when I was 23 and 24 because my dream of writing or working in fashion was crushed by adults and other girls who knew nothing about it or taught me that it was just a hobby that I would never get good at. I was heartbroken that idea was instilled in my head—I believed it at the time. I believed it when I was 7 or 8 years old, when all I wanted was to dress up and play imaginary house. All I wanted was to be free of the judgment and shame I felt even at that age, I felt it deep in my bones, whether it was from other girls my age or strangers who didn’t even know me.
I was bullied by other little girls my age, girls who were prettier and better than me. They picked on me and said I was weird or didn’t have the talent they did. I was an oddball to them, but I didn’t care, nor did I show that to them. In secret, I would cry myself to sleep sometimes when I got home. I’d cry to my dad and say, “Those girls at school pick on me all the time!” He would hug me and say, “Well, ignore them, they’re wrong and you’re beautiful!” I believed him then and still do now. My teachers in middle school and high school treated me with respect. They encouraged me to follow my passion for writing. I remember this substitute teacher I had read a poem I wrote in class.
When I graduated and told him to sign my yearbook, he wrote, “To Brittany, keep writing and following your passion, you’re a very good writer and will go far!” I don’t remember his name, but he believed in me that much to inspire me to continue doing it. At 7 or 8 years old, I didn’t have any faith, but then I started to have faith when I would talk to my grandparents about it, they gave me the inspiration to write and follow my heart with everything I do. I think I always knew I could be something or do something that would help other women or girls. I knew that one day I would open my eyes and feel the strength and power that I never had when I was a little girl. But now I would tell that little girl, “Your dreams will come true and you will go far.”
I wasn’t so secure back then as a little girl or even when I was a teenager, but I still had the bravery instilled in me and the strength to say, “Back off and let me live.” Let me do what I was born to do without the judgment of the peanut gallery. I promised myself I would go far with my writing or even with love and in life.
I did and still am going far. The fairytale is there and will come to me one of these days. I still hold out hope that love will find me one day and then I’ll get to say that to my daughter eventually. The story of how I dreamt of true love at 7 or 8 years old and it finally came true. I want to inspire my future child when I do end up having one, and I’ll be able to say that their dreams will come true too. Keep the faith and hopefully, within time, everyone’s dreams will come true, because fairy tales do exist.