I must have been 27 when I was told that not all people are what they seem to be. Well that is who they seem to be. In fact that is who they are. I always wanted to believe that people were honest. It was a harsh reality to realize that not all things are as they seem to be. I remember just moving to New Westminster and hoping that this was the injection that my life needed. I just got out of a 4 year dead eneded relationship. The kind you invested everything you had into it while the leech kept on taking you for all that he could. It was my fault. I had the words of my dad ringing in my ears. Relationships are 50/50. Sometimes in order to make them work you are going to end up doing things that you don’t always necessarily enjoy. That is true but when the realtionship is constantly one sided it becomes time to move on. Moving on is hard. We let our families and society dictate what they believe to be the normal expectations of life. Go to school. Get a job. Get married. Have children. Spend the rest of your life in debt. Forever embracing the circle of life that we are all becoming accustomed too. The problem with that though is there is way too many fishes in the sea and we always believe that the grass is infinetly greener on the other side. Back then though it was a little bit harder. Facebook wasn’t even a thing and we were stuck on dating sites such as lavalife and my growing favourite lemontonic. That is where I met my latest beau. He was obnoxious and confident. So much so that he was a little bit over the top. He rocked the iconic Friends hairdo probably at a time when one shouldn’t. He thought name brands were the be all end all and if the charade would have carried on I would have definetly gone to the poorhouse. I remember our first Valentine’s ended in horrific proportions. It is always easy standing up for yourself in the moment. We know what feels right and what feels wrong. We know how much we can tolerate in that moment and of course standing up for oneself seems the norm. So here we were at Valentine’s drinking bottle after bottle. I had just cut off my waist length hair cuz he convinced me that I would look better with boy short hair. (He also was only intimate with me if he couldn’t see my face but I don’t think that was the actual problem. Or maybe it was who knows). He shamelessly flirted with the waitress even including her to the bar we were going to. Back then I was super nervous, anxious and shy. I had a mild (maybe mild) form of social anxiety . Factor in that the guy I was seeing made me look like a teenage boy I definetly didn’t feel confident at all. He sat me down at the bar and left to conversate with anybody else he could find. He didn’t want to take me home because his night would be over. My panic and nervous energy boiled over and finally as he made his way over to me I exploded. Finally after hours of being left all alone he drove me home.I was able to calm myself and thought we could salvage the night. He had completely closed himself off to me. Angered by my insecurities. He dropped me off and never talked to me again. Mind you I was calling over 100 times just trying to get him to forgive me. I made all the promises under the sun to change who I was in order to make him happy. I became desperate to make him happy. The more my calls went to voicemail the more enraged I had become. It didn’t matter that he was awful from the very beginning. Or that when I took him out for dinner he ordered the most expensive item on the menu. Had a bottle of wine and desssert. We were at a steakhouse so I could already see that I was in trouble. I tried really hard to impress somebody I was never going to impress. He was so rude to me and here I was desperate for his attention. Why would I do that?What I thought was rejection to the greatest guy I have ever met was in fact the godsend that I was looking for. Through work I was able to talk to somebody about how I was feeling. She told me that in most first encounters we always put on our best show. We do things that we normally wouldn’t do all in the hopes of impressing somebody we didn’t know. Once they are caught then you can remove your mask. It could be slow at first or in some cases all at once. The point though is we are all guilty of playing a role that we think our partner might be attracted to. It’s our security blanket from the outside world. Not everybody puts on their best face only to reveal a monster underneath. But it’s those monsters underneath that we recognize the most. Think about when you meet somebody new. You are polite, on time, gracious…all those qualities that attract us to each other. Then all of a sudden…voila. The lies start. The name calling starts. This Prince Charming Syndrome just doesn’t apply to people trying to attract somebody to be intimate with. It’s even in those that we are pursuing frienships. You can’t be as hard as nails and expect people to like you. No you have to be as sweet as honey to attract others that are the same.It is impossible to truly know somebody intimately anymore. We do have to protect ourselves to some degree from the pollution that exists in the outside World. You may think you know somebody but wait until they are under extreme stress. I mean losing their job, falling ill, a loved one dying and trust me all gloves will come off and you will see a side that will disgust you. Money seems to be the driving force behind all the evil in the World. Money causes people to do the most horrendous things to each other and the people they love. Money does rule the World and until we release the hold it has over you it will be an impossible task to actually find true happiness. Money is what showed me some people’s true colours. Nobody should ever be too poor to be a friend. That is what I was being made to believe as a single 35 year old living in a bachelor pad. I made numerous mistakes and alot of them were due to wanting to believe they were Prince Charming. I was so lost in the fairytale that I forgot who the main character even was lolMaybe that’s the key. Maybe we need to be our own hero. Maybe it is time to let go of all those fictional characters and get real. Get real to yourself as you look in the mirror. End the previous storey and start anew. I never wanted to begin rewriting a whole new storey at 37 but you know what I am so glad I did. Ending the old way of believing, behaving and just being I started to write a new normal. A normal that when I got out of bed I couldn’t wait to get living. That the details of my storey were written in between the lines of another beautiful fable unfolding right before my eyes. Surrounded by love, friends and family my days were finished in silver linings. Although not everything had a happy ending all endings were bittersweet. The people coming into my life each had their own storey. Some of our stories became intertwined and others were complete other genres. Almost another conscious reality written in. My biggest source of anxiety is when I try to read ahead to the end. With the realization that not all endings and people are as they appear. At least for now I have faith that I can recognize those Prince Charmings. The ones who wear the masks because they are trying to confuse and sway us. My new storey has no room for those types of being. The Prince Charmings of the Worlds are no longer who I seek. My friends are those that are humble who wear masks out of fear of being recognized. The ones who make me feel that no mask is necessary. Where we are all accepted as we are.