I’m rather fond of my name – particularly my middle name, Aurora. It means “the dawn” and my parents found it rather amusing that I would be “AuROARing Tigar”, but the idea to scribble it on my birth certificate came from my dad. He claimed to have an Aunt Aurora on his mother’s side but later discovered he didn’t. So, I’m named after an aunt I don’t really have.
Never bothered me though, I was more excited as a child that I had a royal name – Sleeping Beauty’s official title is Princess Aurora, and therefore she instantly became my favorite. I knew all the songs, had a dress that switched from pink to blue, and wanted more than anything for my prince to come.
Funny thing is – probably up until I moved to New York, I still roughly knew the songs, had pink and blue dresses and still badly wanted my banker-doctor-lawyer prince to find me. To rescue me even from the exhaustion of going on yet another date with another guy who I ultimately wouldn’t be interested in or would be and it would be unrequited. Though I was barely 21 wen I packed up and left the South, I had been on what I thought were enough dates and just wanted to wake up from the deep sleep of loneliness I felt like I was in.
If I’m being honest, I didn’t shake that feeling of wanting happily ever after until I really starting focusing on this blog and this journey. And then I started meeting women I admired – women who were older than me and wildly successful and….single. It didn’t seem to faze them, though – they were focused on other things. Things that brought them tremendous happiness, things that they created for themselves, thing that made up a lifestyle they loved.
And it didn’t involve men. They weren’t against men, but dudes certainly weren’t necessary either. There was no need to be rescued. Evil stepmothers could be tamed with distance and financial independence. If they wanted to live in a whole other world, they could get there by taxi or train, no need for a magical rug that would probably need to be dry cleaned, anyway. They weren’t held captive under the ocean or a castle, and if they were under any spells, it was merely the curse of being beautiful, successful and independent.
They weren’t princess and neither am I. Sure there are some modern-day fairytales (enter Kate Middleton) but those are very few and far between. Even Ms. Duchess didn’t need to be rescued, she just happened to fall in love with someone who happened to be a prince. And these women who I’ve developed strong friendships with, some have since gained a plus-one but they haven’t lost themselves in the process. They have given me the confidence and the knowledge to stop looking for someone charming to free me from singleness. To never depend on a man for anything and to count his presence as a blessing if he’s a good one, or his absence also a a blessing if he’s a bad one. To realize that really, the best kind of happily ever after we can find has absolutely nothing to do with a guy.
In fact the best happy I’ve felt has always come from accomplishing something on my own. By finally getting that dream job (yes indeed!), by severing any dependence from my parents, and living in a city I love. No man made those things a reality, I did. And should a man never come into my picture or Mr. Possibility bite the dust like the others, I know I’d still have something quite powerful to depend on. Something unstoppable and relentless. Something that took a long time to find, something that took hard work to develop, and something that brings me peace in the places I need it the most. Something that regardless of what happens or where my life goes or who I marry or don’t marry, what job I find or what job I lose, will always remain a constant.
Something that I’ve always loved, even if at times I couldn’t find confidence in it. Something that’s most simply – me. And if I happen to live happily-ever-after alone, then I’ll spend my life helping others, having incredible sex with lovers who won’t offer me a diamond, building an empire, adopting babies like I’m Angelina sans-Brad, and realizing that I’m just fine with just me.