“Happily ever after” has always bothered me. As a child I would engross myself in stories that would be about brave knights on horse back slaying dragons, girls who could speak and rely on animals to help them with housework, parents who loved each other, hell, even the sterotypical Romeo and Juliet love stories where it’s so tragically beautiful. But happily ever implies that you’re only happy after. After what? The story ends? You slay the dragon and save the princess? Your very own prince or princess wakes up from a deep slumber with your true love’s kiss? Happiness, isn’t how it ends. That I am sure of. The story will go on, outside the book covers, the reality is our stories don’t end happily. Happiness isn’t just acquired by getting through one challenge and being rewarded for the success of surviving. If only it were like that. Happiness isn’t just awarded to the hero upon saving someone or defeating the evil inside or outside of your own body. People aren’t other people’s happiness. You can love someone and you can make someone happy but you are not and never can be their happiness. You yourself have to work for happiness, and you have to allow yourself to be open to the little moments of unexpected happiness along the way. See, in the real world, the story doesn’t go great when the hard stuff hits and in reality you don’t get a reward for waking up the next morning or sweeping up the broken fragments of memories you share with strangers from lifetimes ago. The reward is waking up the next morning and not getting cut too deeply by the pieces. There are happy moments along the way, before and after the storm, even during it if you’re with the right people. Happily ever after doesn’t exist. Because we aren’t ONLY happy after everything works out (I mean we are for the most part) but we’re happy along the way and before the story even starts too. Every story starts on the heels of another story’s ending. When we get to see the smile of the person we love after they cry, or the beauty in the expression of ones soul or the words that make you feel something or the days that you never want to end or simply just the way story itself goes, is happiness. We are happy then, too. Not just after. Never just after. Happily ever after is lie. You have to keep working for happiness, you have to keep letting yourself see it. And the only way you learn to appreciate it is when you don’t have it any longer. After, we are on the roller coaster that is life. The same roller coaster we’ve riding on for as long as we can remember. Racing from point A to B, birth to death, happiness to sadness. That’s what the after is, and it’s only happy if you let yourself dwell on it that way, otherwise it’s just another goddamn begging at rock bottom.