I remember turning thirty like it was yesterday. I had the time of my life celebrating and I was so hopeful, so happy to be starting this portion of my life. But all that faded away as a few years passed and I realized I was still making the same bad dating decisions. The majority of my friends are married, they have children; some of my friends are divorced. Some of them have had two marriages. And then there’s me. I am Peter Pan. I have never grown up, I live in Never-Never-Land. I am surrounded by failed relationships and Lost Boys fall around me like rain. I am not sure how it’s happened, but while everyone else grew up around me, I was left behind.

It’s easy to lose sight of yourself when it seems like everyone else is moving forward and creating the fairy tale life that you can only dream of. I have always believed in one thing: That the one human for me will never let me down. The one person for me is dependable. I have spent my life trusting that the person I care about will be there for me, that they will walk through the door when they say they will. I am thirty-four years old, and I am forever watching the door for that human. I am forever being let down because the person who says they’re coming has somewhere else they would rather be.

In the meantime, I hope. I hate myself for hoping, I hate that I continue to keep my eyes towards the door, pretending to laugh, pretending to be doing anything but looking for you. But I am. I am, because I know that true love exists. I am because I’ve had it, I’ve felt it, I’ve known it, and I know that for as many times as I’ve been disappointed, for some reason my heart always repairs and I have the strength to try again.

There is no shame in being a hopeless romantic, in believing in fairy tales and believing that you deserve one. Every girl is a princess in her own mind and she deserves to be treated like one by her own version of Prince Charming. She shouldn’t settle, she should be proud to let some pass; she should be proud to stand solo as she watches friend after friend marry. An open mind and an open heart serve to create a perfect fairy tale with or without Prince Charming. Be proud to stand alone in moments of strength and weakness and create your own happily every after.