12/24/2014 01:58 pm ET Updated Feb 23, 2015

I'm Not a Disney Princess

Dave Nagel via Getty Images

We like to think we write our own stories, but most times, that's not the case.

I found out along my journey that we're kind of programmed to think a certain way based upon how we were brought up & our external surroundings. What's my programming look like? It consists of a broken family and Disney movies.

Like a lot of girls, I wanted my happily ever after. I wanted to be saved. But when I was having these thoughts, nothing bad was happening. I didn't need saving.

Until life happened, and my 'I need saving' programming got kicked into overdrive.

My story sums itself up like this: My mom died, my dad remarried, I got handed an evil stepmom, my life consisted of cleaning and not being heard for a decade, I moved out, tried to find love in broken men, didn't want to listen to anybody's rules or be confined, I quit my stable job...

And the list goes on. I defined myself as a victim all of the time. I didn't know how to write my own story. So I found myself in predicaments like a lot of my favorite Disney princesses and I looked for the only way out I knew of: love.

As a kid, my life looked like Cinderella's. I remember not having friends, growing up with a half-brother, cleaning the house all weekend, always in the basement doing laundry & if things weren't done just right, I was verbally scolded by my stepmother.

I wanted a way out, but there was no magical ball, fairy godmother or prince waiting for me.

So I did what any kid did, I went away to college. And for the first time, my Disney persona started to shift, and I became a little more like Belle. It was the first time I was away from home and allowed to date. And as luck would have it, I found myself drawn to the first cold and lazy beast I saw.

I thought I could change him. I thought he loved me. But there was never any love there.

So I decided to try on yet another persona. Towards the end of college (I was back home at this point), I moved out and went out on my own. I graduated, got myself a full-time job, and found myself in a similar predicament to when I was a kid. I was in a verbally abusive job that I felt tied down to. My coworkers hated it, but were so afraid of losing their 401K's that they never left.

I was the one to rebel & I looked a lot like Ariel. I quit because I wanted to explore the real world.

But this is when everything shifted. For the first time, I wasn't looking for a prince again. I wasn't seeking out love to save me. I went to explore the real world myself and what I discovered was a completely new terrain. I decided to explore the unknown world of online business.

I wanted to make a name for myself and understand the part I could play in the world.

I wanted to build up an online business of my own and serve others. I wanted to give out love to those who couldn't find it like me. To those who never had a voice. And I found love in building up an online community.

But the story doesn't end there. In the midst of discovering who I was and starting to find success on my terms, love found me. Real love this time.

I didn't follow a storybook procedure to find it. I navigated my own way, and I wasn't even looking for it. Love found me because I wasn't hiding my identity inside of a Disney princess persona anymore.

I wasn't missing anything. I wasn't seeking anything. I was whole for the first time. And love found me.

The point here is that I learned to define my own story and ended up getting what I was looking for all along. I sought love, but was originally looking in all of the wrong places.

So now I'm back to building my business & being a representation for women. To show them that when you learn to rewrite your story, you can find what you're looking for. And you can have it all.

You don't have to have a thriving career, but sacrifice love. You don't have to have thriving love, but sacrifice success.

I'm finding that second part to especially ring true for me. You don't have to sacrifice success for love. I chose love first. But I'm still discovering my worth, finding my voice, piping up and declaring my independence online every day.

The more pieces of my story that come together, the more whole I become, and my relationship gets stronger. And I'm constantly learning how to find success on my terms as a woman in love.

To think, it all started the day I discarded the identities of Cinderella, Belle and Ariel.