My poetry has changed and evolved as my life has. Years ago, I worked really long hours at a job I hated. Now, I work long hours at a job I love. Back then, I felt my worth was tied to my accomplishments. Now, I realize that couldn’t be further from the truth.
When I was single, I worked a lot and had family obligations and did a lot, but my married friends didn’t always understand my life. Why should they? A lot of my pals got married early and their life was different. So when I thought about what made a princess, a real life one, someone who had the kind of life I wanted… it wasn’t the girl with the tiara I thought about. It wasn’t a bride with a big wedding… it was just someone with a partner, with a mate that God had chosen especially for them. My idea of living like royally then (and now) was about doing what you were meant to do in life. For me, this included marriage.
I had been told no one would ever want me. I had been told I wouldn’t be a good wife. But my spirit, that part of who I am that is God’s child, knew this was a lie. When I was finally able to embrace the truth, which often comes in slow but steady steps, things changed for me.
Just one year before I met my husband, I experienced some bad stuff. I felt really low. I reached out to God, angrily and then with tears, and wrote down in my diary that:
“I want to get married. I want to write a book. I want to go to Paris.”
It was my way of saying I wasn’t done yet. I wasn’t giving up.
While the bad things I experienced had nothing to do with love or relationships, I still wasn’t going to give up my desire for a partner, either. I held on to all my dreams and prayed about them, asking for guidance, getting mad, getting impatient. When you’re angry and upset, don’t turn away from God. Take it to him and ask him to help you with it, even when you’re angry at him. He moved me through all that, and he will for you, too.
And as for meeting the right guy… I’ll just say this, it’s not easy. It would have been way easier to say yes to the first one that asked or to be with the ones who were wrong for me. I needed to be the person I really wanted to be first before I could attract the right guy to me. I needed to understand what my gifts were and the things I wanted to work on. I needed to forgive the past so I could embrace my purpose.
I’ve mentioned this poem in passing here when I talked about artwork I created from this poem or how Sabbath time has changed for me over the years, but I’ve never included the entire thing. This poem was published in my first book, The Difference Now, and written a very long time ago. But as I read it now, I’m really humbled that the meaning behind this work has come to fruition.
This poem is special to me because it was the one my dear friend and maid of honor decided to read at our wedding. It was the one that made my husband and me look at each other and say, “Wow” because we could see a blessing in progress, a prayer that was being answered right before our very eyes. As I think of my friend, now gone from this earth a month already, I am so grateful she decided to pull out this poem and read it. It adds completely new meaning to these words.
Real Life Princess
For just one day
of this life
filled with challenges and hurdles and dreams
let me be
house in the suburbs,
Let my biggest complaint
be that my husband works late
and “doesn’t help” with laundry.
Let me know
what it feels like
to share the burden of worries
to cut off a slice and hand it to my partner
when it gets overwhelming
“Here Honey, why don’t you take the last piece?
I couldn’t possibly stomach another bite.”
Let me have lunch with friends
not watching the clock
not thinking about what I have to do back in the office.
Let me enjoy
a cool glass of water
with a twist of lemon
a salad, low fat
Just for one day
let me lay my head down
next to a real life prince
not completing me
not making me whole
sharing this life of
taking a burden from my arms
like a bag of groceries
not to keep forever
but to take off my hands
just long enough
to let me rest my sore muscles
so I can pick them back up
and push on.
For just one day
let me wake up in the life of a real life princess.
Let me turn down the pace of this life
so I can finally hear what it is saying to me.
© Cherie Burbach, “Real Life Princess” The Difference Now, 2004