Sense and Sensibility
Posted by paulafod on Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Do I think with my mind or with my heart?
I would like to think of myself as a romantic: I love the pursuit of truth and honor. I believe in love despite the mysteries that surround it. I cheer for the little guy (including our David!). I want the happy ending for everyone. I believe that there are a million little things that make up a great day, and that I should be grateful for every one of them. I’m a romantic, right?
But, do I think with my mind or with my heart?
I’m struggling with this….because as much as I would like to believe that I am a romantic, I may instead be an Elinor. In the novel, Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austin wrote a beautiful account of two sisters, Elinor and Marianne. Elinor listens to her head; Marianne listens to her heart. Rationalism is the basis on which Elinor conducts her life; romanticism is the driving force in Marianne’s.
It is a beautiful story; I love Jane Austin’s work. This quote has come to me often over the past couple of months; Marianne the romantic is speaking to Elinor the realist:
“Always resignation and acceptance. Always prudence and honor and duty. Elinor, where is your heart?”
In December, my mind and my heart were in conflict. I wanted to go to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performance in Salt Lake City, but I did not win tickets. I tried again on the MoTab Facebook page, but still no tickets. I accepted the fact that I could not go, and truthfully, felt a little relieved since I was not sure how I could work out logistics and finances. Two weeks prior to the event, a kind soul offered me one ticket to the Sunday performance. Instead of staying in my chest, my heart took up residence in my throat. Could I go? Could I really go? As a romantic, I could leap at the opportunity. As a romantic, I could rejoice with so many others that would be there. As a romantic, I could just be happy that I had the opportunity of a lifetime.
But Elinor was there, whispering in my ear. The voice of realism reminded me of things that I knew were true. I won’t go into details as to why I felt I should not go, but they had to do with budgets, money, and obligations…. resignation and acceptance, prudence and honor and duty.
Jane Austin knew that it is best to think with both your head and your heart instead of just one or the other. In the end, each sister learned to be a little more like the other.
And, in the end, I want to live with the rationality of my head, and with the passion of my heart. Although I cannot explain it, I ache to know those of you reading this. I know that I am supposed to be here. I am a full-fledged, card-carrying Archie and I want to be with others like me. I want to support David in person, instead of just in spirit. In every aspect of my life, my heart must learn to speak with confidence and my mind must be willing to listen. I want to be reasonable, yet do what does not seem reasonable. I want my mind to give my heart permission to let go of some things and take hold of other things. I want to allow myself some privileges while still giving to others. Courage is needed to step out of the boundaries of my inner Elinor. I want to be the best of Elinor and the best of Marianne. I want sense and sensibility.
It’s the first month in a brand new year. In my first step out of my comfort zone this year, I am getting braces on my teeth. I am not a teenager, or a young person, and it won’t be comfortable physically or financially, but it’s something I’ve wanted for a long time. The next item on my “heart list” is to attend a nice, big, David Archuleta event this year…maybe even two. Look for me…I’ll be the middle-aged lady with braces.