For the first time in my life, I am reading the classic book “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austin. I’ve watched a few different movie versions of this story, but admittedly I’ve never read the book. …until now. I love this story and it’s characters. I often feel that it interprets something of life for me, as well as a few of the “characters” I meet in this life. For me, this story has something highly relateable, and yet it’s still so whimsy that I get pulled into the suspense of a whole another story (the story of Pride & Prejudice, instead of my own story, that is). But there’s one thing I always find, whether watching the movie versions, or now in reading the book, I always wish I was Jane Bennett.
Not that I should become the actual character Jane Bennett, but to have the characteristic of Jane Bennett. Alas, I’m not. The outstandingly beautiful, claim & composed, thoughtful, poised, well-guarded but still intimate friend & companion Jane Bennett, I am not and I do not share these wonderful characteristics. I think there was a time where I was something close… or closer, but alas… I admit I notice myself being a lot more like Elizabeth Bennett. Sharp, witty, a little snarky, hardly intimidated or backing down, not so subtly or poised (as Jane is), playful but sassy, protective of loved ones, …a bit of a raw jagged edge at times, and this just so much closer to being true to who I tend to be than the lady-like character of Jane.
It’s not so bad. Jane and Elizabeth (or Lizzy) are my two favorite female characters in this story. I guess I could find myself being more like that younger sisters, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia. Yet somehow, there’s still a ting of disappointment that lingers in my soul, knowing I am naturally a little less lady-like and a little more rough and tumble -ish.
And about this point I think of the “The Chronicles of Narnia: the Voyage of the Dawn Treader” and the part where Lucy is wishing herself to be more like her older sister Susan, until she has a vision/dream that she’s actually wished herself out of existence. It’s very scary, and yet very real!
Many of us do think about “if we were just a little more ___ …” fill in the blank as you might secretly confuse to your own mirror, but yet at the same time sometimes we miss what we are already. Just because we don’t know our importance, power, or potential, or just how to use these things for good, doesn’t mean it nullifies who we are.
I do want to wish myself out of existence nor to be someone who I am not created to be. But yet, there are these hard times like the present day where I am not able to fully be all I can be either, and feel a little worth-less. You know what I’m saying?
I try to remember the times of encouragement, but I do have the aching wonder if days of fully being me will ever come so consecutively that it’ll really, really be worth it. I know, it’d just a little bit of discouragement that comes to us all at sometime or another, but maybe the point isn’t even whether those days will come in mass, maybe the point is that I consider it at all.
I found this quote the other day by Jane Goodall that says, “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” and it struck me that even the most passionate people in life, if they let some other scheme lead them around, won’t ever fully be who they are, and therefore won’t fully have made a difference on this planet like they should have/could have. I hate that thought. I hate the possibility that any of us could get so caught up in some other “good purpose” that we miss out on Truth. I hate thinking someone might be choosing something “good” right now, and missing out on the best.
I don’t mean “the best” like the name-it-and-claim-it professional motivators tell you to go after, but a truly authentic best, like choosing your favorite flavor of ice cream and really truly enjoying that flavor combo which your tastebuds are rejoicing over. Not everyone will have the same favorite ice cream, not even close. There’s well over 100 different flavors of ice cream and maybe even over 1,000! I don’t know. Yet the point is there is something so satisfactory in finding that one particular thing that fits with who you are. …and of course I do mean even beyond ice cream choices.
Although I feel many years removed from my teenage years and all it’s awkwardness, but even today/tonight I found myself praying God would help me to (continue to) be comfortable in my own skin, metaphorically speaking of course. Upon reflection, I realize it isn’t only about me being comfortable in my skin for my sake, but because when I am not I can actually do damage around me. Being who I am and not wishing to be someone/something else is important not only for my own sake, but because there are others with will benefit or some who may become damage/hurt if I don’t be who I am created to be.
My husband and I were driving to meet friends for a few days, and my husband looked at me and out-of-the-blue says, “What have you been praying for, for this trip?” and with a small sigh, I confessed that I’d simply been praying that we would be who God has created and taught us to be up to this point. …Can I just say, it was beautiful visit! Being simply who we are was exactly what to place and a beautifully freeing way. So much so that I was surprised at the freedom and power of influence simply being me had upon the people we talked with and meet in those few days.
It’s beautiful when we see who we are, and it’s beautiful when we realize that we have a choice in who we are and what we do with who we. Our character is a powerful thing. It will share itself with the people around us even if we do not intend to play our cards, in a matter of speaking. What other people then do with that truth and influence, then becomes part of who they are and who they choose to be.
Each of us make a difference simply by being here alive and therein influential in this moment of history. It’s beautiful thing to notice we’re are something important, and we’re part of something that is once-in-a-lifetime. Although, everyday may not be fully expansive, it’s still worth being here and being alive for today, because this is amazing. Because this is life.