a certain kind of brave and quiet grace



firstly, please don't take this picture to mean that i think this rendition of pride and prejudice is my favourite. it isn't, i just like rosamund pike, she's pretty.

last night, my friend sara jane and i curled up in bed to watch the first two episodes of bbc's pride and prejudice. it's something that we've always loved to do since we were really little, and we'll probably be doing it when we're 110.

before i pressed play, i asked sara jane "who is your favourite character in pride and prejudice?" and when she naturally said "elizabeth, you?", i replied "well actually, mine's jane." it's a bit controversial, i know. everyone loves jane, there's no doubt about that, but lizzie is the real heroine, right? i'll explain my preferences in a minute, but before i do, here's what i said next:

"sure elizabeth is great and was a revolutionary character in her time, but don't you think that in this day and age it's harder to be a jane than it is to be an elizabeth?"

ever since i can remember, jane bennet has been one of those fictional characters i've aspired to be more like. not because i think she's perfect, some of her choices and actions are definitely too meek and mild for me, and she doesn't often seem to lift a finger to help herself, but i think she has a certain kind of unusual courage that i don't see a lot of today - especially in myself. i call it courage, because i think it's very brave to be a good and kind person all the time, to think well of everybody all the time, and to behave yourself all the time.

i admire a lot of her traits because for me it is a lot harder to keep my mouth shut like a jane, than it is to speak my mind like an elizabeth. it is even harder for me to be patient with my family and love and support them despite their failings (more specifically the ones that impact on my life), like a jane, rather than role my eyes and get annoyed like an elizabeth.

for me, it's easy to open my mouth and start talking usually in a sassy kind of way, never yelling though, i'm not a yeller back to my family, or bitching about them to my friends, than it is to just quietly accept and support them anyway.

i feel like we, especially me, have lost the ability to pick our battles. to be good and loving, and to allow that good and loving-ness to rise above our overwhelming desire to fight ruthlessly, all the time, against being trampled on - even when we're not being trampled on. i've been raised to be a "strong woman", never to take any rubbish from anyone, to stand up for myself. this is something i've struggled to live up to all my life, being naturally a bit shy and quiet. but as i've gotten older i've gotten stronger and i can hold my own against any bully now, i feel. so i hear myself on the odd occasion, giving it as good as i'm getting it, and i think "this doesn't feel natural to me." but it's just become the automatic reaction. if someone wrongs you, you let them know about it!

i think there is a certain kind of brave and quiet grace to be so at peace with yourself and the world that you don't feel the need to launch into a tirade of foul-mouthed bitterness about how rubbish so-and-so has been acting lately. i know i'm referring to a sort of old-fashioned and out-dated purity, and maybe i'm being naive, but i do wish i could be a bit more naturally soft and kind in my thoughts and actions.

is that silly?