Happily Ever After Takes Work

We all love a happy ending to a story, with all the threads of action tied up a neat bow. We have confidence the beloved characters will continue on in our imagination with everything they deserve in life. Villains receive justice. Broken things are renewed; curses are broken. A village rejoices. True love comes to those who wanted it most.

In the last 18 months, I have been living a real-world fairy tale. Characters in fairy tales rarely write it out as it happens. They don’t know quite how it will turn out and who wants to be a disappointment? At some point, however, there has to be a period at the end of the sentence, a chapter, when you can tell the story to the satisfaction of everyone. We all know, however, as we are still alive to tell the tale, that it goes on and builds and twists and gains even more details. I learned that happily ever after is HARD WORK. That is where I have been instead of writing – making the life where I can write again.


If you had asked if I were happy in life when I began writing for the Brown Dress Project, I would have said yes. I was happier than I had been in a long time. I had career direction, an avenue for creative outlet, an amazing church family, friends, and a well-organized life. I didn’t hate myself or brooded on the past. I liked this version of Anna. She was a better person.

Yet, I was lonely. Even worse – I was lonely without having hope of it ever going away. All my attempts at remedying the situation had come to naught. The Orthodox dating scene, especially for older singles, is slim chance to none. From my tiny perspective, the happy life I had was all I would get. In order to fend off despair, I had to stop all romantic activity completely.

I turned my focus to prayer, especially in building a relationship with the Theotokos. I asked her for two things. First, protect me from the situations or people I should not associate with. Second, show me who I should get to know. As with any mother, the overwhelming word she used was, “NO!” It was uncanny – usually within 24-48 hours – an interesting scenario would quickly go sideways. I felt like I was three years old again. All the “No”. Nothing fun. Nobody. For a year.

On the 4th of July, 2018, I was bored, at home, on a day off. I baked cookies for a friend. I decided to join a dating app. My cynical nature told me the best I would experience was maybe a nice dinner and a handshake. My hopeful nature thought, well, perhaps you could find a companion to go see museums and theater shows. Just do fun things? No pressure? Add some spice to life? There had to be someone out there who wouldn’t mind my peculiar nerdiness. I certainly did not expect what came next…

[Thanks to Melinda Johnson for kicking off the #bloginstead three day challenge! I needed a way to just get started again. Stay tuned for the rest of the story tomorrow and Friday.]

13 thoughts on “Happily Ever After Takes Work

  1. I love this! I’m used to the “little did she know” plot device foreshadowing danger, but I like how you turned it on its head. Little did you know the joy that was waiting. Reminds me of the Bible.

    Like

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