I'm going to spoil a movie if you haven't seen it. But don't worry. When you watch it you'll see that I've really done nothing wrong.
Why can't I have both? Must I choose between love and the pen? This feeds the hate side of my relationship with pop culture. I just finished watching Becoming Jane and I will say it was not a bad movie. The only problem was that I kept seeing Anne Hathaway instead of Jane Austen in it. But other than that issue, I was pleased with the overall production.
As for the actual message of the movie, though, I was saddened. Jane couldn't marry the man she loved because they were both too poor and he had to support his family. She left him so he could marry someone with more money to provide for his parents and siblings. And she would "live by her pen." It is a rather encouraging message on one hand, it proves that no matter how desirable a lover may be, he is not necessary. She made it just fine by her career. However, when she was making plans to run away with her love (though they were both engaged to other people at the time) her sister pleads, "How will you write?"
What the heck? Is that supposed to mean she can't pursue her other dreams and desires because she's married?!? I'm sorry, but I thought we lived in a world where having both is entirely possible. Certainly not easy, but having each individually isn't easy either. And I don't want to hear how the times were different then. It's easy to say that because of Emily Dickinson, Phillis Wheatley, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Louisa May Alcott. And then we have those of the 20th century, Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath, whose lives were downright tragic.
Guess what? I don't want anyone telling me what I can have and how much I can have. I'm not unaware that most of those things will be sacrificed at times, but I'm getting what I want and you better understand that. I will work and I will love. I've never had trouble with priorities. I'll make it. And I'll prove that to you.
But the dilemma is, if some things will have to be sacrificed at times, how will I know which one to sacrifice and when? am I being too selfish if I say no to love so I can build up my career? Am I making the biggest mistake of my life if I give up my dreams so I can have a husband? Either way, I'm going to look back and wonder what could have been if...
No. If I want both, I'm getting both. If he doesn't support me and my aspirations, then he doesn't deserve me. I know there IS someone out there who understands that if he wants a woman to support him and what he wants, than he BETTER be expecting to offer the same. And he better realize that if she doesn't expect that from him, he deserves better. And that's when I will introduce myself, "Hello, my name is Better, and you are?... Oh, well it's nice to meet you Mr. I've Been Waiting For You My Whole Life. I'm so glad to be making your acquaintance and your life worth it."
Hmmm... it does sound nice in my head. But we can't all live in a Jane Austen novel. Let's just be thankful we don't live in a Jane Austen biography. That would suck. Although, if she did marry for love, would we still have those novels? It was, after all, a different time. And the ending was satisfactory.