This week’s prompt from Mumturnedmom is “Cinderella”. Many people, especially housekeepers and parents, feel like a Cinderella at some time because of having to do all the work. However, I want to focus on another theme from the fairytale for my post: belonging.
Cinderella is a stepchild. She doesn’t fit in with her evil stpmom and stepsisters. Then, when she is turned into a wonderfully-looking princess and goes to the party wearing princess shoes, she finds the prince she does end up fitting in with. Note that, at first, Cinderella has to put on a mask to be accepted by the prince, but once he knows she is the one fitting the shoe she dropped, he accepts her as she is.
How does this relate to my life? Well, in many ways, I don’t fit in. I wrote about my minority statuses on Tuesday and, though I don’t want to overemphasize their impact, I can be sure they make me stand out from the crowd.
I also sometimes have to put on a mask to be able to fit in somewhere. When, however, it’s midnight and I drop one of my shoes on my way out of the ballroom, someone will ultimately find me with the missing shoe. i will ultimately fit in somewhere. For example, I fit in with the autistic community. I have to show a particular aspect of myself, the autistic part, to be accepted at first, but ultimately the autistic community accepts me as I am.
I however don’t just wear one pair of shoes – I wear a dozen. For each community I fit in with, I wear a different pair of shoes. Each fit me, but each are not my whole shoe collection.
Sometimes, I end up meeting someone who discovers I fit more than just one shoe they found. These are people who sometimes have more than one distinctive characteristic in common with me. For example, a few months ago I met someone I’d known from the blindness rehabilitation center again through Facebook. We discovered that not only do we have blindness and premature birth in common, but autism as well.
Other people will find the shoes I dropped and, though they don’t fit them themselves, will like me for fitting these shoes. These are people who, though they may not belong to my tribe in many ways, accept me as I am. This is similar to how the prince accepts Cinderella, who is clearly not glamorous, because she fits the shoe.