20/20 Hindsight


Everything I have written so far this morning, and I have drafted four posts, sounds stupid. I think it’s because yesterday someone sent me a text that summed up a blog post I had written and it freaked me out. He made me think about all of the past blog posts and journal entries, and I realized, one day I’m going to look back on this and cringe.

Have you ever read Charlotte Brontë’s letters? A professor once made my class read a few. It showed the change in her attitude towards love. In a letter she wrote to her best friend, Ellen Nussey, she said that one should not fall in love until you’ve been married for a year. She acted like you could control that feeling, like love was something you allow yourself to do.

 

Five years later, Charlotte Brontë wrote a love letter to her married French tutor, Constantine Heger. She wrote him many love letters until it is assumed that his wife ended the correspondence. Her tutor did not love her back. It was unrequited. There’s nothing that hurts quite like unrequited love, and I’m sure if Brontë had taken her own advice from years earlier, she would have controlled her feelings. But, in reality, she couldn’t.

 

The point of that story wasn’t to call attention to love letters, it was to point out that we are all fickle. We are all hypocrites at heart.

 

Sometimes I look back on my old poetry notebooks and roll my eyes. Why was I so obsessed with rhyming poems? I’m terrible at rhyming.

 

But it’s just like old fashion faux pas and musical phases. Maybe you regret wearing overalls in middle school or listening to The Rolling Stones when everyone else was listening to Ke$ha, but in the moment you probably really enjoyed those things. So, when we wrote in those notebooks about love or feeling alone, we probably really felt that way.

 

Charlotte Brontë couldn’t control her feelings in practice, but why would she want to?

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