Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Relating to Mr. Darcy...

By the title of this post, anyone familiar with Jane Austen's work should easily deduce that I am a fan of "Pride and Prejudice". 

I have read and re-read the novel countless times in its entirety and skipping through to my favorite parts. My sweet spouse has endured countless versions of the movies - to the point that he has finally drawn the line, and I can only watch the "blithering females" when he's not at home.  He despises Mrs. Bennett and the younger Bennett sisters that much! 

It's interesting how some cinematic versions take very little creative license, while others use broad brushes with their spin (the Bollywood version "Bride and Prejudice" comes directly to mind).

Through it all, the depth and personalities of the characters remain true to Ms. Austen's original version.  This is what pulls me in every single time - I can relate to what the characters are experiencing at an emotional level...  Well, that and my hopeless romantic side enjoying the journey to Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth's happily ever after.

Specifically I feel akin to Mr. Darcy - not in the I'm wealthy and the world is my oyster kind of way, but to the aspect of his personality portrayed in his admittance of his inability to talk with strangers:

"I certainly have not the talent which some people possess," said Darcy, "of conversing easily with those I have never seen before.  I cannot catch their tone of conversation, or appear interested in their concerns, as I often see done."

There are a few people with whom I feel a kindred spirit and can chat with as though we'd been friends for ages; however, most of the time I get tongue tied and suspect I appear aloof and uninterested to the people around me.  I can assure you that in most cases I am interested, and usually a few hours after the event my brain has come up with something that I could have introduced into the conversation. 

On the flip side of this coin, are the people I am comfortable enough around to show my true self.  A recent trip north (with Joel in tow) to reunite with high school classmates allowed the more relaxed version of myself come out to play. 

I had no idea who would be there, but the car was filled with my excitement to meet up with classmates I haven't seen in years.  It turns out there were a half dozen of us and several spouses.  Despite the small turn out we laughed, caught up on what each other had been up to since our lives' post-graduation chapter had begun and reminisced. 

Our three hour long dinner proved to me that I can carry on full, in depth - sometimes thoughtful, sometimes flighty, sometimes frivolous - conversation.  When you spend nearly all of your first 18 years with the same core group of people (there were 66 of us in that group), they become a form of family.  Sometimes you get along.  Sometimes you don't.  The bond is still there. 

My post high school years has yielded several close friends, but I still freeze at the prospect of striking up conversations with strangers.

Perhaps I need to take a bit of Elizabeth's advice to Darcy - practice...

I'm certain my life will be filled with more color when I learn to get out of my own way...


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Finding My Voice

It has been quite a while since this blog has seen any action.  It has been patiently waiting for me to return.  Looking back through the existing posts I see snippets of me peeking through the projects that I was interested in at that time.  As is typical for me, my interest peaked and then waned off to nothing.  It's a regular cycle for me - I think I get it from my mom...  Something new and shiny, lots of fun for a time, then less fun or interesting, then off to something new and shiny.

It strikes me as amusing to see this trait in myself.  I prefer routine, knowing what's coming and being prepared for it.  My furniture rarely if ever moves (unless it's time to vacuum the dog fur from beneath);  I've had the same career for twenty years - the exact same career - and despite not being enamored by the work, I have found the routine / ritual of it comforting.  Until recently. 

I began taking Tara Mohr's "Playing Big" leadership program in May.  Working through the course, and with my small breakout group I am starting to find my voice.  I am learning how to share my voice with others.

One thing that has remained constant for as far back as I can remember, is my love of words and writing to express myself. 
  • The early elementary days of drawing a picture and writing a story to go along with it.  The tale was endless.  Words spilled onto page after page. 
  • The notes I would leave on my parent's pillows, like a chocolate at a fancy hotel, when I could not find a way to express my thoughts with my voice.
  • The journals we were required to keep in our 5th (or was it 6th) grade English class.
  • The journals I have scattered throughout my home in various stages of use.
  • The few dozen fiction stories that are also in various stages of creation. 

My hope for the future of this blog is that it will be my companion as I continue to find my voice, and my conduit for sharing some of that voice with the world.