Image credit: @myazanatta
“I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me.”
This line is spoken by Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice when Lady Catherine De Bourgh confronts Lizzie about a rumour that she intends to marry Mr. Darcy. This rumour is not true, however Lizzie is not going to give the arrogant Lady the satisfaction of hearing her promise to never marry Darcy, even though she has no intention of doing so. The 2005 movie adaptation starring Keira Knightly does not include this passage, though I believe that the 1995 TV series with Jennifer Ehle does.
I watched the movie last week and became upset about the fact that it did not include such an amazing bit of dialogue which so eloquently shows Lizzie’s character, while I remember being so pleased when the series did include it. Ironically, I couldn’t actually remember what the line was, I just remembered that it was brilliant and should not be left out. Since then I have memorized it, so that I can properly complain about its absence.
Also last week, I was in the throes of thinking about two different jobs which I had the opportunity to work in. Oh, also trying to keep up with school, but that’s irrelevant (and also I wasn’t doing a great job of that so we’re not gonna talk about it). Instead we’re gonna talk about how I was offered two jobs and have decided to quit/decline both.
Job One is a computer job. It’s sort of repetitive and boring, but takes no training and is easy. Job Two hasn’t been properly defined, is way more fun but requires way more training.
I kinda have to choose one because I have to do schoolwork too.
I don’t like Job One very much, but it’s not bad and it’s good for a first job.
When I spoke to the people at Job Two I left with the impression that we had differing expectations, but there are some real perks to this option.
And then I remembered that there was a second reason I have been consistently reciting a line of Austen/Bennet’s brilliance. Well, there’s really only one reason for reciting it, which is to memorize it, but there are two reasons for wanting to memorize it. The first is because I’m a smartass and the idea of being able to recite a quote like that within context is very appealing. The second is because I chose that particular line because it speaks to me, and I would like to remember those words in my life.
Part of memorizing something is to repeat it until you don’t have to think about it any more. So I have been mentally reciting this quote, but if you hit the point where you don’t have to think about it, it takes you longer than it should to pay attention.
So I have this decision to make. But what’s the best way to make it? I could do pros and cons, I could figure out which pays me better. But on the other hand, I am sixteen and while having a job would be a good thing for me, it is not a necessary thing. Which means that it comes down to this question: what will make me happy?
I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me. And the truth is that what makes me happy is writing. I never intended to be in either of these jobs long-term. Partly that is because I don’t know what my life will look like in the future, but partly it is because the thing that I want to do is write, and eventually I want that to be my job. But I don’t write because I don’t have time.
At some point it occurred to me that I am currently spending two days a week working on Job One, and was ready to dedicate at least ten hours a week to Job Two if I quit the first one. Where did I get that time? I’m working with the same one hundred and sixty eight hours in a week, and yet I have time for a job when I don’t have time to write. Is it different because it pays me? But if my time is worth that much to me, shouldn’t I be working on something that is worth that time? And if I spend the time to write something good, won’t it pay me back for my time, in experience if not in dollars?
This is how I have come to the conclusion that I think I should try writing more like a job than a hobby, and actually spend a day a week dedicated to it.
I would rather spend my time doing something I want to do, something I like to do, and put some effort into taking that seriously. I would rather put my effort into doing something that will help me turn my future into what I want it to be.
And I would rather act in a manner which will constitute my happiness.