Dear Emma Swan,
I can’t regale the immense impact you have had on my life; words alone cannot express the intricacies of what you have done for myself and many others, but I will try. I have always made jokes about how I live vicariously through the stories I read or watch, but in most ways, it’s not a joke, it’s all true. I have always lived through the strong female characters in stories because they were strong and brave. Most of them have always been smart and beautiful and courageous, clever, funny, badass, sweet and more. The issue with all this is that I have never met a character who owned all of those qualities and even more, that is, until I met you. When I met you, you were all the qualities mentioned; you were a tough lass who could brave the world all on her own. You were fierce and determined and that was incredible for me to see. What was even more incredible for me to see and learn through your story was that another quality you had that made you stronger than any other character I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, you made vulnerability a strength, proving that letting down your walls was not a weakness. Once upon a time Emma Swan, we were afraid, but now we know…
All my life I have always wanted to be me, who I really am and not pretend, however, the outside world has always constricted by path. I have been told that I can be overly enthusiastic; too passionate. I was never an orphan like you, but I have always felt alone in the shell that is my mind. I have been used and abused, I have been shut down when I’ve gotten excited, I have been forgotten until I am needed. I have even been too afraid to sing because people would say I tried too hard, even though it was just who I was. I have always felt like a lost girl, but I guess I never realized it until you came into my life. Before you, I always thought bravery was beyond my reach. I thought brave people were just brave and that cowards were just cowards. I thought that I had to temper the song that was always inside me. Because of you, I know different now.
Before I thought I lived through stories to escape from my reality, but now I realize I do this because people like you encourage me to be better. You taught me that you can be absolutely gorgeous while rocking a red leather jacket as armor, as well as being vulnerable in a wedding gown. You showed me where true strength lies. You showed me that strength is looking at a book and seeing family. You showed me to look at a curse and see hope. Emma Swan, you showed me that I can go into battle by singing a song.
I love God and I believe he created stories to inspire people with truth and truth is everywhere, if you look for it. You exemplified this idea in a way that inspired me to believe this. No matter what world or reality you were in, no matter whether you were amongst villains or heroes, Dark Ones or Saviors, pirates or princes, orphans or families, you always saw the truth and never judged anyone for it. Whether or not someone did you wrong, you saw the truth for what it was and dealt with it. As all human beings, you were not perfect, but that’s what made you perfect and understand people. Emma Swan, you proved that you can’t change people, you can only bring out what was already there. You proved that a giant doesn’t have to be a beast, you proved that heroes aren’t always heroic, you proved that a villain isn’t always evil, you proved that a pirate can be a hero and you proved that a lost girl can be found. Emma Swan, you proved that people don’t change, they just discover the song that was within them the entire time.
Emma Swan, you have inspired me to be brave by accepting my fear and by breaking down the walls that held me back. Because of you, I know there’s a fire within me that cannot be contained, and I will no longer try. You were my first beanstalk, and as Killian Jones said, “you never forget your first”. You will always be remembered in my heart of hearts. You helped me learn that living in a world of dragons, whether they are good, bad or in between, is just amazing in itself. One thing I will always remember about you was that you were always ready for a fight, but now you know what you’re fighting for and that encourages me so much. I still feel like friends come and go and that family doesn’t always understand, but you have always been there for me. I have truly been inspired by your story and now I know that it’s not about a happy ending, but a happy beginning. I now know that like you, who used to believe that you braved the world alone, there was always a song inside your heart and now you have your happy beginning, and I truly believe that I will fight for mine.
Emma Swan, you have truly forever changed my life and I will never forget you! Once upon a time I felt alone, but now I have a song.