Wednesday, April 9, 2008
I Know Who I Am
One of my favorite parts in one of my favorite movies, Moonstruck, is when the wife/mother, played by Olympia Dukakis, befriends a man at a restaurant. He walks her home and then asks if he can come inside with her. She is married, and even though she knows her husband is cheating on her, she says no. The man persists and asks why not. She says, "Because I know who I am."
When I was a little girl, raised on vivid fairy tales and free time, I often imagined I was a princess who had been secretly sent to live with a regular family so as to protect the royal line. Of course, no one knew but me and the animals in nature--but they couldn't speak to tell anyone. It made me feel better to imagine this scenario when I would get into scuffles with my siblings, or feel misunderstood by my parents, who expected me to do chores and babysit the younger kids. One day, I imagined, my royal bodyguards would come and escort me to a life of splendor!
By no means did I have a miserable childhood--quite the opposite in fact. It was just a childhood fantasy that I look back on now and laugh. And yet, as I grew older and became interested in genealogy, I realized that I am descended from royalty, if the family trees are accurate. I can trace a direct line to Erik XIV, King of Sweden, and further back to Viking kings such as Harald I of Denmark, known as "Bluetooth" (he's the one the wireless technology is named after!) It's strange, but knowing this gives me a certain security and stability. I feel secretly important, and connected to something larger than myself. It's awesome to think of how many people throughout time have lived lives that led to and culminate now in me.
Also, growing up in the church, going through the Young Women's program, I have always been taught that I have a "divine nature," or in other words: I am a child of God. Not only that, but because of it I am heiress to all that he has, a kingdom you might say, if I do my part to live righteously. But this isn't just me, this is everyone, and he loves all his children equally. And yet, knowing that I am a child of God makes me feel very very special.
Just as when I was a child, mad about something stupid, I would imagine my life as a princess, now I remind myself when I'm feeling sad or careworn that I am a princess. I am a loved child of a kind heavenly king. He is looking out for me, just waiting to bless me. And even though I might have to be crammed into a stuffy subway car or have my heart broken by a silly boy, I know who I am. I know where I came from, who I am, where I am going, and why I am here. I know what I'm worth, and what I deserve. From now on I'm not settling for anything less than the best.
(Pictured, an illustration by Elenore Abbott from The Swan Princess.)
Posted by Lady Holiday at 7:59 PM