Becoming the Heroine of My Own Story
I’m not a scholar. I’m not a teacher. I’m not a professional, or a mother, or a scientist. I don’t own a business, or work in a store. I don’t write stories or music or make art or crafts. I’m not an avid “appreciator” of anything in particular, despite finding a lot of things compelling – no one activity, concern, or interest especially consumes me. I think this might not have always been the case – in college I was passionate about conservation, but I found myself getting a degree that wasn’t all that useful for procuring a position in the fields I was most interested in. I went to graduate school because it was the next step and at the time I couldn’t imagine another alternative for myself.
These days, finding myself in extraordinary situations while I myself feel entirely ordinary makes me uncomfortable to say the least. And yet I have attached myself wholeheartedly to a most extraordinary, passionate and imaginative star.
I want to be the heroine of my own story. I want to live my own unique life. Perhaps a quietly miraculous life with the people who matter most to me, enjoying the simple pleasures around me, not afraid of hard work and able to get things done simply because they are part of my life. I don’t want to feel that the people in my life are disappointed in me, or judging me for not being more active in “fighting the good fight” or being unable to find that one thing that I’m supposed to be able to find to be passionate about. I want to be like the heroines in the books I read – driven, passionate, even luminescent. But I also know that it’s okay to be ordinary. It’s okay to not have a miraculous talent for something. It’s okay to be disappointed if you don’t have such a talent, but it’s important not to let that disappointment stymie you.
I think of the life Anne Shirley (and later, Anne Blythe) lived (the life L.M Montgomery wrote for her) – a simple, dedicated life.The mature Anne finds pleasure and inspiration in the world around her – her close world, her friends and acquaintances. The very trees and woods in her neighborhood become players in the story she writes for herself. Although she enjoys and values the company of “kindred spirits” and other friends and family, Anne is also content to spend time with herself, with her own thoughts and dreams. She is not afraid of what she will find inside her head. Anne inspires me in ways no other heroine does.She takes the life she has been given, and using the skills she has carefully tended and cultivated, grows her own story from it. I admire her courage and grace, her artless poise. If I had a tenth of the self-possession Anne has, I would count myself lucky.
I would try to be content.