Once upon a time, I was the Little Red Riding Hood at the end of the story: you know the one who had already killed the wolf and was living happily ever after? I got to the end of my fairy-tale by the time I was 23. Life is the mountain you choose to climb, right? The one with the goals on top. Well, I reached the top of my mountain early.
I gave up a lot to get there. I shed the kinks I’d dabbled in at the beginning of my adulthood. Normal people were vanilla, so I was, too. Normal people lived in five bedroom houses, so I moved out of the artsy cottage with the magical-enchanted tree in the garden. I threw away my kitsch crap and stopped hanging out on the floor of that Melville bookstore with the dust everywhere that was owned by the eccentric dude who gave away his most collectible stuff for free. Normal people… that was who I was going to be.
I had Prince Charming, two dogs, and a white picket fence. I had the career I’d wanted through high school. I was the rag trade’s latest size zero (obviously, sweetheart) and with enough of this season’s cocktail frocks to get me to Fashion Week in something new erry damn day. I was insufferable and spoiled, but I had everything the world had told me I was supposed to have. Rightfully so, because I shopped every fucking day.
Life will introduce you to yourself the hard way if you don’t stumble onto the real you the easy way… or at least, that’s what happens to the lucky ones, and I was lucky. I began to try to squeeze bits of myself into “normal”. I got a writing gig and moved into the hippy suburb where the dusty bookstore was.
The more I found myself, the lower I fell down my mountain with the goals on top. I let go of Prince Charming and went to writing classes instead. I started embroidering butterflies for no reason other than that I could. I stopped wearing stilettos. I fucked out of Glitter City and moved to the coast. I stopped having vanilla sex.
You could say I lost it all, but life on a mountain with goals on top is not the life for me. I prefer the kind that’s cobbled together out of bits and pieces you hand selected because you fell in love with them each individually. I prefer living the fairy-tale nobody else wants. The one I want. Because it’s my damned fairy-tale and The Wolf is very far from vanilla anyway.