Am I living in an Austen novel? Sometimes I feel like Fanny from Mansfield Park - the best friend and confidant who is overlooked as Edmund is looking for his "dream girl", someone sweet and virtuous. "I'm right in front of your face, STUPID." Other times, I feel like Emma, trying to be smarter than I am, and sometimes making messes along the way. Or, I find myself in Elizabeth's place, from Pride and Prejudice. I think I've figured someone out, and then *POOF!* they do something totally opposite of what I thought them capable of. That can be exciting, to see someone be better than you imagined they were, (like discovering Mr. Darcy was actually a sweet guy), and it can also be disappointing, (like when Elizabeth learns that Wickham has run off with Lydia, even though he made advances toward her, or Emma discovering Frank Churchill has been secretly engaged and STILL flirty).
I've learned that Jane Austen is an incredible novelist. I've always enjoyed her works, but she is truly insightful. That she was able to write books that are applicable now too, is amazing. There is one theme that she discussed often in her books, and that is this: passing judgements.
All the SGA kids know I say often: "we don't judge people here." I must say though, I'm human, and have recently caught myself in a few judgments I have passed on people that did not deserve it. There have been a few young men I know who I have thought as obnoxious and full of themselves because of a friend's recounting of some stories. As I've gotten to know them better, I've realized that yes, they are teenage boys, but they are good people. I feel bad that I didn't let myself give them a chance. I am changing my ways, and I hope we can be friends in future. New Years is a great time to think about this. :)
Also, sometimes you'll think you know someone well, and then they change. This isn't meant to sound cynical, but people are fluid. They are constantly changing and growing and evolving. It's what we are suppose to do - work on making ourselves better people. Sometimes people change for the better, and sometimes for the worse. It's very interesting. But that's the root of drama and conflict - when people believe they know something, and then get swept off their feet by the rapids of change. Rapids are created when water flows over something constant. All friends have their times of smooth sailing, and their times of rafting class 5 runs. Good luck.
But, with every shocking reveal, there is a resolution of another relationship. Thank heavens for that! Although one person may disappoint you, there will always be another someone who makes you smile. Thank you Jane Austen for teaching me that! I want most of all is to avoid being Anne from Persuasion. I will not let people talk me out of being friends with people. I want my Captain Wentworth, but why should I make the mistake of rejecting him initially because of other people's judgements? I will take advice, but not will not allow others to press their judgements on me. I'm getting older, and I have to be able to make decisions for myself. This is one of those things I have to learn. (Yay.) I'm grateful for my Janes, Bingleys, Mr. Knightleys, Mrs. Westons, and my Edmund. I know I'll have to meet my Mary Crawfords, Henry Crawfords, Caroline Bingleys, Mr. Eltons, and Frank Churchhills (Hopefully I'll meet very few Mrs. Bennetts.), but I pray I will be able to assess people justly and fairly, and cultivate those relationships that will uplift and better myself and those around me.
I love you, Jane Austen. Thanks for your books - reading them is the ultimate girl talk.