I used to believe I was Cinderella in real-life. I used to imagine myself as an adopted child, a secret princess. It would explain why my mother was the way she was, and why I ended up doing all the chores. I used to imagine looking out my bedroom window on the second story and see my own Prince Charming on a white horse, ready to take me away from that wretched house. I used to imagine that my prince would really make me become a princess and I wouldn’t have to cook or clean anymore. I wouldn’t have anymore chores and I could just depend on him and live life sweetly. I used to.
I wanted that Cinderella Life so badly because of what it would mean for me. I believed it so hard. When The Cheetah Girls came out and sang the song Cinderella, taken from Toybox, I was breath-taken and it became my token song. Did I really need a prince? Would I be stuck here until my prince comes, or will I make a stand for myself?
I was 9.
It didn’t matter, though. I was stuck with the mindset that I needed no prince to save me, for about a year or so before I fell back in love with Cinderella, because there was Cinderella for me to read, watch, and Cinderella 2 to continue on the story. There was also Ella Enchanted, both novel and movie.
The only reason why I believed I was Cinderella was due to my chores list. I’ll openly admit, however, my childhood chores weren’t so bad until I was twelve. I was just a spoiled, lazy child before then, and it kind of carried on in my pre-teen to teenage years. All I had to do during elementary school was to pick up after myself, do my homework, and pick up after my siblings, since I was the eldest child. I had to stack the shoes at the foyer and hang up my coat and backpack after school.
However, puberty hit me and I was twelve, that was when everything changed and I reverted back to believing in Cinderella’s life being for me.
My chores went like this for those first few years:
- Help cook.
- Babysit siblings and cousins when parents went out.
- Make rice.
- Make lunch over weekends (just ramen), sometimes breakfast (eggs and sausages).
- Fold laundry.
- Put laundry away.
- Clean (pick up after myself and my siblings).
- Vacuum (a lot).
But, then I became 14. I was at that high school age. I had to:
- Make dinner every night (make lunch during summers, too. Breakfast every now and then).
- Babysit, babysit, babysit.
- Make rice.
- Washer/Dryer for laundry – Fold and put clothes away.
- Set/Clear the table.
- Do the dishes.
- Bathe the baby brother(s).
- Clean the bathroom(s).
- Do majority of cleaning.
Technically, my siblings assisted me with all of these chores, but it was pushed more upon me since I was the oldest. I also always took/got the brunt of the chores because I wanted my siblings to have more fun and freedom than I had at their age. In that way, I made myself into Cinderella, but I still expected the prince on a white horse, coming to save me from my way of life during that time.
Now, I understand the necessity of chores. It’s a little excessive that my parents still make me do chores above all my other siblings but I feel as if, understanding why makes it all the more better. I complain still, but I’m not as against it. It’s something I’ll have to do in the future. The excessive cleaning and amount of chores, though, I don’t want to have for the future. I want it to be equally spread out amongst whom I live with, rather than dictating on whom will do what and how much work will be given to others. I want it to be equal and equitable.
I don’t expect a prince anymore. I have a significant other who isn’t a prince in the slightest, but I see him as a knight, only because he protects me and supports me. He isn’t perfect in the slightest, but he is absolutely someone whom I am very glad to have in my life. He is much better than any prince I could have ever gotten.
So, do I still believe I’m Cinderella?
I am my own person. I do chores because I will have to. I will have a life that I choose for myself, hopefully full of equality, equity, fairness, and respect. I love Cinderella, always have, always will, but I am who I am.