I almost hate to admit it but I have the same petty mental breakdown frequently. It almost always occurs when I feel as if the world has treated me unjustly in some way: when I’ve gone out of my way to be nice to someone and they essentially spit in my face, when I genuinely apologize and it doesn’t matter, when I’ve slept for under 6 hours and I’m dealing with fussy infants sans coffee for over 10 hours…it triggers a slow but steady descent into madness. I like to call this particular form of madness my “Disney Princess Breakdown”.
Not to talk myself up but I really try to see the good in the world (I did create a blog attempting to “document the magic & enchantment of everyday life” after all). My family nicknamed me “Fairy Princess” long before this blog was ever created because I liked to prance around in yellow glittery dress, braid flowers into my hair and kiss puppies all day long. I am sensitive and I tend to see life as sunshine-y and glittery. A Disney Princess breakdown is predicated on this doe eyed exuberance for life. A Disney Princess break down begins when you have the disheartening realization that the world is in fact not all goodness and sunshine and daisy crowns and honestly you’re sort of miffed about it.
As you slowly (re)discover that some people are mean (and consequently listen to Fairy Princess Taylor Swift’s “Mean” on repeat half a dozen times) and that some days the bad guys win you become more and more disheartened. The harsh and cruel nature of the world is more than just “unfair” it becomes practically unbearable! The mean girl gets the guy, the cheater lands the job, the fake and un-genuine receive the credit…it’s practically realizing you’ve been locked in a tall cramped tower without wifi! The breakdown may begin with internally questioning why your boyfriend’s ex feels compelled to text all the time and quickly morph into “Why do we even bother with love if we’re all bound to betray each other in the end?” and eventually lean towards the more dramatic and existential “What’s the purpose of our existence if evil prevails and goodness doesn’t seem to matter?”
I call this sequential descent the Disney Princess Breakdown because only someone delusional enough to skip through fields of wildflowers and dot their “I’s” with hearts could have this sort of epiphany past age 5 let alone on a regular basis. Of course bad things happen to good people. Puppies are abandoned. Children starve and for god’s sake the mean girls get the guy sometimes! Turn on the news Princess! Schools are being bombed and women are oppressed and realistically you’re going to get a rude blog comment now and then. It’s a princess problem, not in the sense that it involves chipping a nail or scuffing a Valentino but rather that it is based on privilege.
I do try to be (what I see as) good. I don’t run red lights or litter. I feel guilty when I think sassy thoughts towards the babies I nanny and dislike disappointing the people I care about more than anything. I avoid lies and manipulation, I sometimes cry when I think about kids being mean to my little brother at school. I care about what I do making a positive impact on others. I try to be good but even this “goodness” is a privilege. I have the opportunity to be good but some people don’t have the luxury of this train of thought let alone the ability to break down every time a puppy goes without dinner or there is talk of ISIS at the dinner table. Tenderness and sensitivity are signs of privilege in the sense that they indicate the world has not hardened you.
So many people wake up every day without potable water, they’re crippled by a life of impoverishment or they’re unable to understand my irritation with student loans because they’re not allowed to go to school and learn to read let alone take out loans to fund higher education. It’s a Disney Princess Breakdown because even though it is based on an unjust world filled with sadness and heartbreak it fails to recognize that the darkness out there has barely touched the life of the offender. It’s a real problem and every princess deserves to express sadness over real emotions. Your emotions are real and therefore any discussion based off of them is valid but when you step outside of the castle and peer in from the gardner’s cottage don’t the marble floors you once threw a temper fit upon seem so much shinier? Standing on dirty stones the world seems even more unjust than it did lying upon the marble.
I’m one of the lucky ones and even though I don’t believe belittling our emotions or our problems (big or small) is the solution I do believe recognizing a Disney Princess Breakdown after the fact is a step in the right direction. I can’t promise I won’t sob uncontrollably if I throw a party and no one shows up or if I get in a texting argument with my bestie but I can promise I can step back and enjoy eating the ice cream for the party even if I have to eat it alone.
Have you ever had a “Disney Princess Breakdown”? How do you remind yourself to keep things in perspective?
Have a beautiful weekend my Pretty Princesses and don’t forget to enter the $145 Target Giveaway to celebrate Lauren’s One Year Blog Birthday!