Somewhere in a charming little town, lived a golden-haired beauty in a basement apartment. The small living lifestyle might be crowded for some, but that didn’t seem to bother her, it was home - besides, she rarely spent any time there. She was always working or out with friends.
People had always been drawn to her sweet and charismatic demeanor. She cherished being in love and embodied “la vie en rose” as her personal philosophy.
At first glance, she seemed young and innocent but behind her eyes, a flame lit up her soul.
Like a morning sunrise, her smile was warm, capable of making you so sage that before you knew it, you were revealing your deepest secrets.
Not that she was perfect; in fact, there were times where one might call her downright insufferable. Although, even in those instances it was hard not to love her.
There aren’t words to describe what this enchantress made them feel; all they knew was that they were addicted. It was inexplicable; dozens of rumors about this girl could be heard in the whispers and shadows of her town.
One of the most prevalent was about her long golden hair. Rumor had it that if you managed to cut off one of her locks, you would hold onto a piece of her forever.
For years, while she slept, people would sneak into her home slowly cutting piece by piece. Night after night, unbeknownst to the slumbering beauty there was not a single golden hair left on her head.
There was nothing left for her to give or for anyone to take.
That morning she opened her eyes and realized what had become of her, tears rolled down her face. A feeling of emptiness crashes into her like a violent tide. She opened her mouth to scream but the current pulled her deep under the surface. The more she tried to gasp for air, the more water filled her lungs. The light in her eyes began fading as she drowned, and in a moment the world went black.
She woke up on an unknown shore, truly alone without a soul. She had hoped to wake up from this nightmare, but it wasn’t a dream at all, it was her reality.
She lifted herself up, her body covered in bruises, likely from the roughness of the ocean. She stood there a moment, wondering if she should call out for help but finally deciding against it.
She did not want to go back home. As she took a look at the world around, welcomed by the possibilities, she started walking and did not stop or look back.
Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. The cuts into scabs, the scabs into scars and bruises faded. No matter what happened along the way, good or bad, she kept walking.
On her journey, she met many people who shared their stories, and some even walked with her for a while. She explored new cities, hiked mountains, crossed rivers and swam in oceans. She, for the first time, felt connected and grounded.
Every morning was another blank page. Everyday was another adventure, some were good and others were terrible, but never dull.
One afternoon, at a little bistro, she sat down to have her coffee and caught a glimpse of her reflection in the window. She noticed that her hair began growing back. She noticed the colour was no longer gold but a rich chocolate brown. The curls were now full waves that gently fell, unruly but beautiful.
A few years had come and gone since she had woken up on that shore, bruised and empty. Now, staring at her reflection, a smile spread across her face.
Had her hair had never been cut, would she have ended up on that shore? Would she have walked in that direction? Would she have explored the world? Or met all those people? Would she be sitting at that cafe? Would she be looking at the fearless, confident girl in the window?
If a caterpillar is too scared to transform, it never grows wings, and never learns to fly.
I don’t have a perfect formula to life, and I don’t believe in “happy endings”. I leave those to fairy tales. What I do believe is that life from the beginning to the end, is a continuous journey. Sometimes that journey feels amazing and other times it can make you feel like there is no reason to go on.
If you can love yourself at your ugliest, if you could love yourself mid-transformation, allowing yourself to grow in the most unlikely of places you will find loveliness within yourself and inner power.
A single rose that grows through the cracks of the concrete is more beautiful and more special than a rose bush in a garden.