Happy Endings (not that kind)

We all love a happy ending – and no, not that kind of happy ending (minds out of the gutter please) – I’m talking about the kind of happy ending you’ll find in a movie or a book, where all the loose ends are tied, problems are resolved, the guy kisses the girl and everyone lives happily ever after.

Of course, not all stories end this way, but often when they don’t we are left feeling cheated, as though we just invested our time into something that did not leave us feeling satisfied. I for one prefer a story with a happy ending.

I like to see characters happy at the end of a book or movie because I like to think that we will all have our own happily ever after in real life. Perhaps being raised on a diet of Disney princesses and good triumphing over evil has something to do with it, but I’ve got to wonder what kind of expectations these happy endings instill in us.

Happy endings make us forget that life goes on after the credits roll and the final chapter ends. It makes us think that we’ll be blissfully happy forevermore once we’ve won over the guy, gotten the job, lost the weight or beaten the enemy.

I consider myself a very optimistic person – more of an idealist than a realist (not always a good thing) but after thinking about the happy endings, I’ve decided that perhaps the ol’ heartwarming, tear jerking, warm and fuzzy finale does more harm than good.

I’d like to know what happens to the characters after the big happy ending. Life goes on, I’d say.

After waking from her slumber, I’m sure it wasn’t all roses for Snow White and Prince Charming. Surely she eventually tires of the Seven Dwarves antics. Perhaps the Prince feels threatened that Snow White has so many guy friends and she’d totally get sick of explaining herself – clearly she gets along better with men because she had issues with her stepmother.

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FINDS ABANDONED COTTAGE. CLEANS IT.

Movies and books often sell the idea that life is a fairytale and once you’ve found true love or solved the problem at hand, someone hits the pause button, leaving you in a state of eternal happiness. We all know that’s not the case but I guess since reality isn’t like that, it’s nice to think happy endings exist somewhere.

As another year draws to a close, we approach an ending of sorts. I’m not a fan of the period between Boxing Day and New Years. It’s like limbo, a time when you aren’t doing a whole lot and you’re just waiting for the next year to hurry up and arrive.

Unlike the endings in movies and books, we know that something else follows this particular ending, whether the finale is happy or not. And that’s exactly how life is. We know that whatever happens there will be something else after it.

So no matter how the final scene of 2015 is shaping up for you, don’t forget that there’s more to come. Although another 365 days have ticked over, it’s not the end of your story, it’s simply the beginning of another chapter and there’s always room for a sequel.

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