Article by Phyl Pangilinan
“Real-Life Fairytales,” an original play of the Ateneo Blue Repertory, was a big step for the organization in tackling relevant issues such as depression, harassment, body image, and self-identity. The play spread awareness about these issues that we often don’t talk about, and it finally gets acknowledged that these things do happen. Through the use of magic realism, all six vignettes from the play tugged on the hearts of the audience.
5 Things I Learned from Ateneo Blue Repertory’s Real-Life Fairytales
5. There are no easy, “quick-fix” solutions in life.
Your dreams and passions are worth all the time you spend on them. If you really love doing the things you claim to love, then you must persevere, endure, and be prepared to take on any challenge that will eventually lead to your self-growth. Besides, things can and will go wrong when you only try to speed things up.
4. We are not our traumas.
It is inevitable that we find ourselves in dark places once in a while. These experiences, as unpleasant or terrifying as they may seem, however, can serve as turning points in our lives. What’s more important is that we learn to get back up from these moments of turmoil. Accepting that these things happen is part of the healing process. At the end of the day, our actions in response to those moments will define who we are.
3. Self-acceptance is hard, but it really goes a long way.
“Be yourself” is a piece of advice most of us are probably tired of hearing by now. We all know how important it is to stay true to ourselves; and later on, we also find out how incredibly hard it is. It is definitely easier said than done, but baby steps to self-acceptance and self-love are still steps, and the journey will be worth it. Here’s something simple to start with: say “thank you” for every compliment you receive. It also helps to say it instead of apologizing over and over for something that you didn’t really do (i.e. from “I’m sorry for making you do this.” to “Thank you for allotting your time for this.”).
2. We have the power of choice.
It takes time and great difficulty to making life decisions, especially when we are heavily influenced by the things and people around us, and fear often takes the form of upsetting the society we grew up in. However, influencing is the only thing they could do; we cannot let them decide for us all the time. In the end we really just need to learn to think beyond our circumstances because we are ultimately the only ones who can make things happen.
1. You are not alone in your struggles.
Ejay Yatco, the composer himself, revealed that the songs he made are based on stories he’s heard from his friends. He wanted to help voice out these matters through song. He was successful in doing so, as a lot of audience members have thanked him and the organization for the reassurance that there are others who have been through these situations, that it’s not shameful to have experienced these things, and there are people out there who are willing to listen.
In fairytales, we see the main characters go through a series of struggles before they reach their happily ever afters, but we all know life isn’t as easy as fairytales make it out to be, and most of us are still unsure of the ending we’ll get. Perhaps if we “play life by ear,” we’ll find that maybe, “there are no endings, just beginnings” of new chapters in our own books of life.