you & me

I’ll Be My Own Hero.


I was brought up in the era of fairy tales that were full of princes rescuing princesses and everyone always living happily ever after.

And how could they not live happily ever after? The princesses were always so beautiful, good at everything, and had fantastic characters to boot. They were depicted as perfect. The princes were handsome, dashing, and ready to go rescue a poor princess from the clutches of a wicked witch, troll or tower.

All these make-believe tales told the same story — and I loved them, and even dreamed of my own prince on his white horse rescuing me one day from some kind of calamity.

To further complicate things for me, I was brought up in a conservative house, and the idea that a man should be the leader and do the chasing of the girl, got fixed in my being quite unshakably. I believed that my hero was out there somewhere, just waiting for the right moment to sweep me up and take me away from all my troubles.

Then reality slowly settled in. Very few heroes appeared in my life. My father and my brother, who were supposed to fill these roles until the right one came along, didn’t help much in setting a good example.

I slowly woke up to the reality that if I wanted to get things done, I would have to do it myself, because if I kept waiting for a hero to show up, nothing would ever get fixed or changed. This made me realize that I am capable of more than just be a lady in waiting. I started ditching my princess clothes, expected behaviors and roles.

I discovered I was so much more than a mere princess, and that I was strong. Even as strong as a man. It was a sobering thought. I’ve always seen men as strong, not just physically, but also emotionally.

But through all my adventures of fixing leaky pipes, replacing light bulbs and moving house a couple of times, I discovered I had great strength. Not physically, but emotionally. This made me grow and become more independent — I was not a princess anymore, but someone in transition.

At an age where most of my high school classmates where happily married with two or three kids, I set out to see more of the world and try my hand at teaching. What a transformative act of heroism it was. There was a lot of strength in my veins. I was able to go it alone, and come out on the other side unscathed and more confident.

It was good, and the sleeping hero in me awoke. As I got stronger, I finally reached a point where I believed enough in myself to know that I don’t need rescuing by anyone, anymore. I could be my own hero, because only I could save me from what held me back in my past.

I was reluctant to don my hero suit at first, but now I wear it with pride. I don’t need a prince on a white horse — I just need me, and I don’t need to wait for myself to show up — I will always be just here with my suit to remind me of the journey that has brought me here. Forever and always, I’ll be my own hero.


HanlieRobbertseHanlie Robbertse is a budding writer and journey-discoverer. She loves to travel, and likes to explore the human mind through mindful conversations and interesting books. She is a highly sensitive soul, who has set out on a joyful unearthing of her forgotten and hidden talents. She experiences things in heightened senses and loves breathtaking scenery, soulful music, divine scents or tantalizing aromas. For her, to live her life in a positive way, and to make the lives of others better by sharing her learned wisdom and life lessons, is the ultimate way to make her voice heard. Teacher and eternal student, she always learns, applies lessons learned and learns again. She is just now starting to share her love of words and writing with a wider audience.


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