Alaadin, Cinderella, and so many other Disney movies have gone out of their way to prove that truly, in some nonexistent part of the world, it isn’t completely impossible for a floor-scrubbing nobody to become a princess in one night, neither is it impossible for a low budget Robin Hood to become a prince. I learnt from these to hold on to those wishes I had deep down and to believe that my fairy godmother would show up soon. I learnt to believe that she was probably just delayed by the unending traffic in Lagos and would soon come around and wipe these tears away. I believed that wishes really were horses and I, a mere beggar, yearned to ride.

I grew up surrounded by illusions of “the perfect life.” I grew up to believe that my Troy was only hiding somewhere and would find me, his Gabriella, soon. I grew up believing the lies that Disney fed me with and soon, when my years on earth counted 16, I began to wonder what exactly was holding Fairy godmother down. Hadn’t she heard that I was on the verge of losing it with everything the universe hurled at me? Couldn’t she see that her goddaughter was not fine and needed her urgently?

I was chronically deluded. With no mother to whack sense into me, the universe decided to take on that role. I watched as my expectations disappeared into thin air. I watched as everything I had longed for became as vapor— they became nothing. I saw how I had so filled my life with vanity and irrelevant longings. I saw my reflection in the mirror again, but this time, it was clearer. I saw the rags in my hand, the scars on my body and it dawned on me that life wasn’t a fairytale. It dawned on me that there was no one waiting somewhere to hand me a horse, aka “my wishes”. Talk about a rude reality shock.

There I was, rocking back and forth as the waves of that shock went through me and I saw life for what it was. Except you have an able witch backing you up from your village, which is highly uncommon as our Nigerian witches don’t really fancy helping people, or you have a pastor somewhere praying day and night for you, which is also unlikely as our pastors have other needs than your petty wishes— well if you magically have one of these, you’re one of the lucky few who life will give all their wishes on a platter of gold. Most of us however, aren’t gifted with these life cheats and so we begin to fight.

That’s the dirty rule to play this game called life. You have to fight to get what you want. No, I don’t mean rolling up your sleeves and engaging your enemies in a mortal combat— well, you could do that though. But what I really mean is pursuing your dreams, your ambitions with all that you have and all that you are. Did you see what I did there? I didn’t call them wishes. That’s because wishes will always remain wishes except you decide to pursue them and when you’re pursuing them, of course, it becomes more than a mere wish.

“What’s the point of all your rambling?” you ask. I don’t know. I just want someone out there to know that wishes aren’t horses and beggars aren’t riding either. I don’t even understand the expression but you get my point.

If you want something, fight for it. If you want someone, fight for him/her. If you truly want something, fight till your sanity seems questionable. Fight with all you have and maybe, just maybe, you’ll end up with your horse.

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