Weekly Training Journal #1

What are your thoughts/feelings/relationship with Fairy Tales?

I’ve had a relationship with fairy tales since before I was old enough to fully understand what they were. Disney’s fairy tales were a constant when I was a child, played for me to watch by parents who wanted their restless daughter to just sit still for an hour or two. Even the first Halloween costume that I can remember is fairytale-related – Dopey, one of the dwarves from Snow White.

As I grew up, I realized that I loved not only fairy tales, but fantasy in general, too. I adored reading from a young age, and read voraciously over the years, devouring every book I could get my hands on. After reading books like Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted and Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Just Ella, I discovered that I especially liked fairy tale retellings.

When I reached high school, I stopped reading quite so much. School, homework, and activities just didn’t allow me the time. While I was never exactly “cool”, I definitely didn’t quite fit in, so I also fell out of the habit of reading or watching fairy tales for fear of being further ostracized by my peers. This was the late 2000s – movies like Tangled and Frozen which in recent years boosted the popularity of Disney’s fairy tales had not yet been released. Fairy tales were not “in”.

Yet, not so many years after that, I found myself turning to fairy tales again. It wasn’t intentional – I was in a situation that I couldn’t possibly have foreseen, confined to the couch for years as I did nothing but wait for my brain to heal. The stacks of old Disney movies from my childhood were inevitably revisited, and my old love of fairy tales was rekindled. It wasn’t long before Tangled was recommended, and it immediately became my favorite movie. At the time, I felt so trapped by my injury that I could relate very strongly to Rapunzel and her initial situation of being stuck in a tower.

At the time, I also heavily favored stories with happy endings. It was so frustrating for me to be sidelined from my life that I needed all the positivity I could get, and I realized that I could find it in fairy tales aimed at children. I owe a lot to fairy tales – the past five or so years have been very tough for me, and they’ve helped get me through my struggles. For this reason, I find them fascinating, and I’m curious to learn more about them as we embark on our adventures as ENDI agents.