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Who is You? On the Quest for Your True Self

Ariana Allen

I started watching Once Upon A Time in Wonderland to entertain myself during my morning workouts on the treadmill. The show is about Alice, who is lured back to Wonderland when she learns that Cyrus, a genie, and love of her life, who she thought was dead, is actually alive, but has been captured by Jafar (yes, Jafar from Aladdin) and the Red Queen.  There are many obstacles and life threatening situations on her journey, but her love and determination to be reunited with Cyrus gets her past each one.

I didn’t think the show was that great until one day, I was watching Episode 6, “Alice Who?” This episode struck me because, at this point, she is so close to finding Cyrus. She has to get through the Dark Forest first. She is told that many have ventured in but none have come out, but we know better. Alice survives the Dark Forest and enters, Boro Grove. It’s a beautiful place where birds sing, perfume fills the air and all her troubles melt away. The longer she stays in the grove, the more she forgets her mission and eventually, who she is. That is until, Will, aka the Knave of Hearts, her companion, and friend, finds her. He tries in vain to remind her about Cyrus, but it’s no use. She asks, “Who is Alice?” He tells her, “I can’t force you to leave. The only way out of this place is wanting to leave.”  Watch the scene below:

It’s a beautiful place where birds sing, perfume fills the air and all her troubles melt away. The longer she stays in the grove, the more she forgets her mission and eventually, who she is. That is until, Will, aka the Knave of Hearts, her companion, and friend, finds her. He tries in vain to remind her about Cyrus, but it’s no use. She asks, “Who is Alice?” He tells her, “I can’t force you to leave. The only way out of this place is wanting to leave.”  Watch the scene below:

Will gets her out, with the help of the necklace that Cyrus gave her. It reminds Alice of her love, her mission to save him and most importantly who she is. She cuts herself out of the vines that hold her back. She continues, with the Knave, on her journey, to find Cyrus.

What Boro Grove Really Represents

Don’t we all face challenges on our journey as adults? Maybe not life-threatening ones, like Alice, but scary ones that require faith, courage, and persistence in your dreams. The journey gets hard and sometimes you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

You settle, in your comfort zone,  like Boro Grove. It’s comfortable, beautiful, and easy. You are happy not to face anything for a while. The horror of the grove is that the trees were once people who got stuck. It’s so tempting to stay, but unlike Alice, there is no perfume to keep us under the illusion. One day we will wake up in our comfort zone in pain. We realize we are not happy. That’s when we need to get back on the path in pursuit of our Cyrus.

What Alice Teaches Us

We need to stay focused on our Cyrus. We will be scared. We will be thrown off course.  Like Alice, we need to be determined to find him no matter what. In other words, what are you trying to accomplish in life? Big or small, stay on the path. It will pay off.

You need someone, like Will, to keep you in check. I’m blessed to have supportive family and friends to encourage me. They do their best to give good advice and remind me of my dreams. Sometimes, it’s hard to hear them when I’m stuck in my comfort zone. At the end of the day, I have to want to leave that place. That’s why you need a symbol, like the necklace, that serves as a reminder of your mission.

What do you do when you’re stuck in Boro Grove?

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