The story of Cinderella is more than just a tale about a woman waiting for her life to start. It's more than a story of female degradation and reliance upon male economic power. It's more than a hashing out of female competitiveness in such an environment.
It's about wanting to be picked out, to be recognized for the people we are. It's about the time when we push toward something and that something pushes back. It's about the time when the universe and our desires actually develop a relationship and get along, all good things happening at that moment. Poof! You are a princess. Now go forth and bear royal young.
I know that as a girl, I wanted that moment to happen and happen soon. I was very tired of being who I was because I wasn't so great. I wanted a whole life makeover and a fairy godmother if it could be arranged. Of course, I understood that such things were not possible, but I had this notion that they might be if I held out hope. Part of me went along with whatever in the hell was happening, but a tiny little romantic section was waiting for the metaphorical prince.
This prince could have been anything life changing, not just some dude on a horse. Money, happiness, a new dress--but recognition was what I craved most. I wanted to be seen for who I knew I truly was. I wanted a teacher or adult to declare me something special in some way.
But as in kindergarten when I waited to be touched with the magic wand after nap time--the award given to the most perfect, still child in the room--this recognition didn't come. When it continued to never really came in the right form or right vehicle, I realized it wasn't about the world around me but me.
I needed to be my own prince.
Crap, I thought. I knew it.
So all these many years, I've been my own prince, and right now, I'm not a very good one. Certainly, my prince has done some good work in the past, but now he forgets for long stretches to give props or encouragement or hope. My prince takes very long naps, drinks a little too much wine, and watches too much television. My prince needs an intervention.
So call me Cinderella. I'm sitting by the hearth, sweeping the ashes. My prince is outside calling. All I need to do is listen.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org