Princessa Through The Looking Glass
Dreams Come True:
“Mamma can you take me to England to see the Queen? I want to be a Princess”
“One day you’ll go to England darling and you will see the queens and castles and you will be a Princess. Dreams come true if you wish really, really hard”
A couple of months later, my grandmother reminded me of her words while she was finishing my Queen’s costume. “You see sweetie, you are now the Spring Queen”. I smiled and kissed her. She was right, I had wished so hard to be a Princess that when my third grade class at school had to choose a Queen for the Spring Parade, they all voted for me.
From a very early age I dreamt about castles, charming Princes, fairies and magic worlds. I suppose every little girl does. But thanks to my grandma, I knew that I was not only dreaming and one day I would walk the castles that I had dreamt about so much. Almost 30 years later I can say I have walked all the innumerable Castles and Palaces where I had played in my fantasies so many times.
Wendy aged 9 Years Old
The Princessa: Machiavelli for Women
There's a sidelong sensibility at work in this post-feminist analog to the Renaissance's great work of strategy. Harriet Rubin urges women to triumph by turning their enemies into allies and their fear into power; by enlarging their sphere rather than defending it; and by learning to best instead of win.
A couple of years ago when I was waiting at London’s Heathrow I bought a book called “The Princessa, Machiavelli for women” by Harriet Rubin. At the time I was feeling a bit low and this book just opened a new world to me. Rubin’s philosophy in the book is simple: settle for nothing less than greatness. Like she says, “take what you want out of life (…) each day is yours for the taking”. From the first page it was like the book had been aimed at me and only me “I have written this book for you Princessa. Like Machiavellis Prince, you might be sitting alone somewhere safe, wanting to take control of your life, your loves, your problems (…)”. Rubin was talking to me, and she wanted to show me how to become a Princessa combining the tactics of love and war. That was a very simple book, less than 200 pages that encouraged me to follow my path.
That is why when I had to create a screen name for HubPages I choose Princessa. Because a Princessa is powerful in her own right. A Princessa is a woman who feels that she wants and deserves more than what she has already gained, but she is also a woman of love and tenderness.
I Was Born...
I was born in Peru during a dictatorship, which forced my mom to deliver me at home with my granny’s aid. For some reason my parents chose a fairy tale name for me, a story teller who believed in fairies. I suppose our names influence who we are and who we want to be and maybe that is why I do believe in magic and dreams coming true and I try to transmit that to my children.
Only 30 days after I was born, my mom took me to the jungle as she was desperate to join my father who was working there. I grew up between the sporadic trips to the coast and the jungle. My mom believed in following my dad to the ends of the Earth. So that is how I ended up talking my first words in some Indian tribe dialect that my nanny spoke and stumbling my first steps at the shores of the Amazon River. Crossing log bridges, bathing in the Amazon, temperatures of 40°C, endless insects, snakes and spiders didn’t scare my mom, but when she heard me talking a jungle dialect and my poor Spanish with an Indian accent she was horrified and decided to move back to Lima to start my formal education. Still, we spent a large amount of time travelling around the country so my mom could see my dad more often. Even after my two brothers were born, we continued travelling and spending long periods of time in the oil producing provinces.
My First Years In The Amazon Jungle
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In 1990 with the start of the Fujimori government and one of the biggest economic crises I started a course in Communication Sciences at a private all-girl University. The University was run by nuns from the Sacred Heart congregation. Their pitiless attitude and money making schemes started a rejection to Catholicism in me that has only become worse with the years. With the economic crisis my parents were ruined and in less than a year they lost 3 restaurants and decided to move to New York. I did not fancy going to America so I stayed behind finishing my university degree and working for a Radio Station at the same time.
In May 1994, I took one of the most difficult decisions for a young girl. I decided to follow a dream, left everything behind and started a new life in the UK. I arrived in London’s Heathrow on a cold morning. I did not speak the language very well and I only knew one friend over there who I had met only a few months before. As soon as I arrived in London I left my bursting suitcase in the hotel and literally ran to see BuckinghamPalace. My first impression was disappointing. Not only was the city dull, cold and wet, but BuckinghamPalace was not any prettier or more impressive than the Government Palaces I had seen in South America!
I spent my early twenties in Britain, between Scotland and England. A couple of days before my 21st birthday I got married and re-started university. This time I was after a Psychology degree. I don’t remember much of my wedding day; except a feeling of solitude and cold fear running through my body. My family couldn’t come at such short notice so I married among strangers. Every year I went to spend Christmas with my family in New York but I never fancied settling there. America was not for me. To be fair, I was not very happy in Britain either; the weather was always awful and I found the people polite to the point of being hypocrites. I changed a lot to fit into my new world; I lowered my voice and calmed my manners. I became obsessed with body image.
Spain, Marocco, Paris and pregnancy...Click thumbnail to view full-size
Spain, The Good Life And Pregnancy...
After I gained my university degree I had nothing really tying me to Britain so we soon moved to Spain where I had the time of my life. For a couple of years I just enjoyed the beach and nightlife in Marbella, without any other worry in my little world. I travelled to Morocco and Paris quite often and always continued spending the Christmas holidays in America. It was a great time living in front of the beach and finally being myself again. Suddenly my world changed and one day when I had thought I had the “hangover of my life” I discovered that I was pregnant. Can you imagine that? I thought I could not have children and all of a sudden there I was pregnant! The birth of my little Princess did not change things too much and I continued taking extended vacations with her to America and Europe. And just when I thought that miracles do not happen twice, without trying for it, I found myself pregnant again. The second time I came out with a “little hooligan” and I think that is the last of the surprises I am having in that department.
Italy, Dominican Republic and France:Click thumbnail to view full-size
When time came to start formal education for my little ones we decided to move away from Spain to a more quiet part of the world. Six months after the birth of my hooligan, we took an extended holiday to look for our ideal place in the world.
Our house hunting took us to the Caribbean but despite having ideal weather we chose against it. We also looked in Scotland and Italy but only to come back to my ideal place: France. I had already been in France and I had loved it. I was convinced that it would be the ideal place to raise a family. A few months later we moved to France. We travelled the country until we found our ideal spot in the countryside. Four years later I still love it here. Who knows where life will take us in a couple of years.
More about my Italian travels:
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If France has its Carcassonne, Italy has nothing to envy with its mediaeval town of Lucca in Tuscany. We were travelling along the coast of Italy, when attracted by the word "mediaeval town" we decided to...
- Tuscany: Saturnia
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- Scalea, Italy
Scalea is a picturesque town situated in the Calabria region of southern Italy, on the Tyrrhenian coast. It is one of the most visited summer resorts in Italy. There, surrounded by sea and mountains you...
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- French seaside: Capbreton
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