Sorry to use such a cliché hashtag for today’s post, but I really think the whole Throwback Thursday trend is relevant to what I have to say this evening. I’ve been wanting to discuss a particular quote from my second favourite Charlotte Brontë novel for a long time, but I realized that I posted it to my Twitter page last week and never got a chance to talk about it in my weekly #JNGReads entry. So, what better day to return to the past than on a Throwback Thursday? #tooperfectforwords
Mainly because I continue to live with my parents in the small suburban town I grew up in, there is no end to the reminiscing that occurs for me on a daily basis. Let’s take a tour around this small town for a minute, so I can illustrate my point.
*ding* Travelling down the main street here in this lovely and quaint little township, if you all turn your heads to the right, you’ll see the spot where JNG had her first kiss, right there in front of that shabby and dingy bar. Quite the romantic spot for an aspiring Victorianist, wouldn’t you all agree?
*ding* And if we just make a smooth right hand turn in this particularly residential area, and you look to your left, you’ll see JNG’s elementary school and the school yard where her first crush asked some other girl to be his girlfriend, leaving JNG in tears for weeks.
*ding* And finally, as we venture out of the town a little, and you gaze off the highway to your right, you’ll see the spot where JNG attended her high school prom…the same prom that her crush attended with some other girl.
Now, I’m not trying to play my tiny violin for you all, because every human experiences heartache at some point or another and although every romantic story has its share of lows, it also has some ridiculously breathtaking highs. I’m more than happy (quite ecstatic really) with my boyfriend, and I don’t feel “things” for my elementary school or high school or university crushes anymore. But that doesn’t mean that I’m impervious to dwelling on the past (I mean, if Gatsby can do it, why can’t I?!), and every now and then those feelings of rejection and self-consciousness creep back in.
And I don’t think that’s an uncommon thing. Speaking to my three best female friends on a regular basis, we seem to spend a good amount of time thinking about the romantic successes and (many more) failures we’ve had in our pasts. I have no doubt that guys probably do the same thing, and I’ve had multiple similar conversations with my boyfriend. And what seems to come out of them most of the time is a pity party, where we all just feel sorry for each other and wonder what WE did wrong and how WE made things fall apart or fizzle.
And then, last Friday I was scrolling through my Goodreads page, spending some time with friends from novels past, and I stumbled upon this quote from Charlotte’s second novel Shirley (a review of which you can read on this very blog, from my first ever entry!):
“‘And I ask in what sense that young man is worthy of me?’”
Now isn’t that just the exact right question to be asking? Obviously people are allowed not to reciprocate feelings, so I’m not saying that every crush that doesn’t like us should be deemed unworthy of our attentions. I just think it’s important to start flipping the age old questions “What did I do wrong?” or “Why am I not good enough?” on their heads and maybe consider that we aren’t entirely or only to blame for failed romance, and maybe those romances never would’ve been as good as we thought they would be anyway.
In any case, this quote made me feel better in a week of thinking about my high school days a bit more often than I would’ve liked. And it reminds me, every time I read it, that one of the most important things to look for in the pursuit of True Love is someone who is worthy of you…meaning someone who respects, loves and idolizes you enough to feel lucky to be in your presence every single day.
With much love for all you gorgeous people,
Girl with a Green Heart