Belle: The Girl From A Poor, Provincial Town

Disclaimer:

I’m sorry for the poor formatting after the lyrics.  I’m not entirely sure why WordPress is doing this, but for now, it is going to stay like that.

Growing up, many girls fall in love with Disney princesses and I am no exception.  I was in love with the idea of running around a castle, wearing a crown, and being the next in line for the throne.  I would walk around with books on my head to practice my posture and occasionally pretend I was having tea parties.  Admittedly, I was more of a Cinderella fan as a child; but, as I have grown up I have come to be extremely fond of Belle.

Belle starts off in a not so little french town (Paris), where she feels trapped.  She sings about how everyday looks the same as the last and how all she wants is an adventure.  She refuses to marry the best looking man in town and when her father goes missing she goes to search for him.  This is the start of her adventure in the story where she eventually meets the Beast and, over the course of the story, they learn to love each other.  For anyone who has not seen that movie, I am sorry for spoiling the predictable ending of a princess story.

Personally, I like Belle for a few different reasons.  She’s a reader who gets lost in the stories, she gets to dance with her prince in a ballroom all alone in the most beautiful, yellow dress, and she has a spark for adventure.  Recently, I connect with her on a slightly different level though.

In the opening song she sings:

Little town
It’s a quiet village
Every day
Like the one before
Little town
Full of little people

I want much more than this provincial life
I want adventure in the great wide somewhere
I want it more than I can tell
And for once it might be grand
To have someone understand
I want so much more than they’ve got planned
When I read these lyrics back, over and over again, I just find some of them absolutely hilarious because of how much I can see myself in them.  I started writing this post back in January.  It is currently the end of February and I still don’t know if I know how I want to write this.  I guess for now, I will start with what seems like the logical beginning for me.
For years, I have been complaining to my friends and family, just wanting to move away from the small little town I grew up in.  The town is predictable; I know what my role is at home, at work, at church, and at school.  I’m tired of being able to basically tell you what will happen to me and my family on a daily basis without knowing the actual schedule.  I’m tired of going to the same stores all the time.  I’m tired of traveling the same roads day in and day out.
I know what you’re probably thinking.  There are easy ways to fix that.  Change up your schedule, go to a store you don’t frequent as often, and find new routes to get to school, work, and home.  Now, I do that as often as I can.  Sometimes life isn’t as easy as just making simple changes though.  Sometimes you need to go on a grand adventure, just like Belle did.
Over the course of the past year, I have been very blessed to have a ton of opportunities to go and have adventures.  In the past 12 months I have been out of my home state at least 9 months of those 12.  Although that isn’t much compared to some people, that is the most I have traveled in one year. These adventures I have had have brought me to opposite coasts of the United States, across the ocean to Europe, to big cities, and to relaxing cottages in the country side.
Although all of these adventures were different from one another, they all had one thing in common.  I never wanted to go home.  You see, I don’t necessarily get the “it’s so good to be home” feeling when I come back from a vacation.  I always want to stay in the adventure longer than my storyline allows.
I love the freedom traveling allows.  You are in charge of your own schedule, where you stay, who you meet, and you get to learn so much more about the world.  When I go on adventures, I feel like I can finally breathe.  Specifically on road trips, I love the feeling of watching the pressure of everyday life get farther and farther away from me.  Beyond just leaving responsibilities behind, I get to experience new places.  I love finding the beauty in the big cities, the country side, up above the clouds, and out on the sea.
People often see traveling as one of two things:
1) A complete waste of time and money.
-OR-
2) A chance to learn.
For me, traveling is purely an escape.  It does cost a lot of money, but I work hard to make sure I can continue to travel.  I do learn a lot too.  Getting into a culture that is nothing like your own can be scary at first, but it is something that is most definitely worth it.  You learn to become a more open person, you figure out who you are, and you go back home and share that with your community.
In the case of Belle, she was completely terrified and upset when she was thrown into living in the Beast’s castle.  But she learned how to love the Beast and all of his peculiar staff.  She discovered facets about herself that she would not have known had she stayed home and just gone living her provincial life.  Finally, she did get to go back home and share what she learned with her community.  Unfortunately, she was too late and they were already hardened against the Beast.  When she went back to him, that is where her happily ever after finally began.
In my grand adventure called life, I’m not 100% positive where my castle and Beast are.  I know they have to be somewhere that gives me a healthy scare, somewhere that I can grow to love (if I don’t love it already), and somewhere where I can grow as a human being.  This castle may not be very easy to find, but the adventure that comes with this search is what makes it so exciting.
Until next time,
Aly
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