growing up, i was always the black sheep. running rampant at naptime, sleeping during playtime, i never did what anybody told me. if i did it was because my decision had already been made, you just happened to agree. i questioned everything, but did it silently and would go find out for myself in favor of asking others. i never needed anyone nor did i want them. i was queen of my own kingdom, and no, i did not want to pick at a salad while you drone about the life of….what was your name again? i would entertain myself with a few distractions here and there, but none held my fascination. to be honest, no one had actually caught it to begin with. every man was a pawn and every “I love you” was a “checkmate” in my game, and i was killing it.

believe it or not, behind all that in a deep, heavily guarded part of my mind is someone else entirely. that person is a hopeless romantic, who’s only dream in this life was to settle down with her soulmate and have two kids and roam the world together. she wanted to just be a mother and wife, who stays madly in love with her husband throughout their decades together. she believed in people and always turned a blind eye to their flaws, giving them the benefit of the doubt. she was sweet, optimistic, and pure. she was me.

and then i lived.

the more i saw, the more i truly understood, the more i forgot that sweet girl that i once was. i was shown that the movies were all a sick lie because good never beat evil. so i embraced evil, letting it pour into my life in endless streams over the purity that once was. when my obituary was written, my life would be described as a series of craigslist missed connections. this was the first time i truly surrendered.

then there was this- this beautiful family who loved me like my own mother did, except multipled by 7, making it impossible for me to ignore them like i had my poor mother, who had given me everything. under the care of their unconditional, sometimes overbearing, love, i grew softer, sweeter, and for the first time since i was a little girl, i felt. at last, i had found harmony. second surrender.

not long after, another gift would find itself at my door. i was in rare form that night, leaving my filter at home in favor of bold statements. once my target was locked and acquired, my banter began:
“you’re hot, let’s hang out some time” i was met with an eyebrow raise, followed by a sideways smirk that i would grow to love. intrigued, but still focused on winning this game, i disappeared, leaving him to wonder about me all night.

needless to say, i did win the game and i did get him, but the funniest part is that he got me. he fearlessly came and took his throne next to mine, leaving me no room (or desire) to protest. and so at last, this queen bowed to her king, surrendering her armor; for in his arms, wars ended, walls tumbled, and her heart was radiant once again.