The mouse roared, the phoenix rose, and Cinderella snapped

Photo by Olga @

“Deadly and graceful, poised and ruthless. Quiet and cunning. A queen offers her hand to be kissed, and can form it into a fist while smiling the whole damn time.”

~ E. Acevedo

It happens.

And not when you’d expect. Not when enough is enough.

Because for many, the territory of enough-ness keeps being expanded by empathy and hope on steroids.

That unwavering certainty: if we do more and give more, surely things will be better. If we comply, all will be well. This and that, this one and that one, will change.

No. This and that, this one and that one do not change when given more of what didn’t work and wasn’t appreciated to begin with.

Still, the enough-ness keeps being expanded. Because empathy and hope.

And then come the betrayals. The lies. The nonsensical explanations. The projections. The blame. The ugly situations and uglier people doing their thing. Undaunted.

And then comes the guilt. And shame. And self-blame. And utter confusion.

And pain. A lot of it.

At the bottom of that deep, dark pit of misery, everything shatters. And everything must be made again.

With breath, with strain, with thought, with patience. With so much hard, hard work. With a different hope, and a different kind of humility.

One step. Up.

Another step. Up further.

Another step. A fall.

Then again. And again. Up. Up.

It’s exhausting. It’s miraculous.

Until finally, there is light. The climb is complete.

The mouse, limbs mended, emerges from hiding and roars.

The phoenix stands in bright sunlight on top of its ashes, spreads its wings and soars.

Cinderella snaps. In song, on Spotify and Instagram and everywhere where songs are heard.

And the women who endured and eventually remade themselves snapped too, and danced away from the pit of despair, into the freedom of a far, far better life.

What of empathy and hope you ask? What of romance and dedication? Respect, hard work and nurturing?

All there. With a disclaimer. In large, bold type. Very visible to communal harpies and patronizing snakes, and even self-absorbed knights in shining armor with nothing but themselves left to save.

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