An Understanding: The Impact of Story

In November 2012, I found a webseries called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. It’s a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, with Lizzie as a 24 year old grad student. I happened to tune in for the first episode to feature Darcy (the proposal scene in the book) and was so impressed that I kept watching…and fell in love.

One year ago today, a video called An Understanding went up. It’s a really touching scene between Lizzie and her youngest sister Lydia, showing depth into the character of Lydia and the strain that separated the sisters. (If you follow the book, they adapted Lydia and made some different choices, but grew her into a fully fleshed character, while remaining faithful to her book counterpart. Someone I loved and cared for, rather than misunderstood and pitied) In this part of the story, Lydia is dealing with profound hurt and the way she talks about it connected with me instantly. I’m trying to avoid spoilers in my description, so bear with some of the vague description.

I remember, I was sitting in the quiet computer lab that day, just finishing up my homework and eager to watch the video before grabbing lunch with friends. Halfway through my eyes filled up with tears and at the end, I couldn’t push them away anymore. Initially I had been excited because at eight minutes, it was one of the longest videos to date. But those eight minutes were filled with some of the best acting and storytelling I’ve seen. The last lines of Lizzie and Lydia connect with me, through the heart and emotion given. Rachel Kiley wrote most of the Lydia arc and I have to give credit, her writing made Lydia beautiful. She wrote An Understanding and it definitely showcases her talent.

I’ve only been able to watch this episode a few times since it aired. One time, I made the mistake of watching it when I was early to an event and I wept in the hallway of a church (those last lines y’all, they do me in). Ultimately, I love what it shows me about the value of love, that there is no mistake too large for love to not hold us.

Mary Kate Wiles, the actress who plays Lydia wrote up a reflection about that day which you can read here.

When We Were Young

{When I was in freshman in high school, there was a woman who was a senior who I really looked up to. She was really cool, smart, and wise. I really wanted to be like her and I hoped that when I was her age (or older), I’d have the opportunity to give back, to have kind of impact on others that she had on me. Writing with that in mind is where that piece comes from. I hope you enjoy it.}

my dear precious girl,

i still remember you when you were young. the image of that bright shining girl, who was full of life and enthusiasm. she sparkled and held onto dreams. most of all, she was filled with possibility.

i remember as you began to grow. still filled with life and enthusiasm. still holding onto dreams. but you battled hard with the voices of doubt. voices that told you that you didn’t measure up.

the voices were wrong–are wrong. you do measure up. you are a part of something beautiful. and you are beautiful. i love you just the way you are. you don’t have to prove it, you just have to live it.

you don’t have to try, so please stop striving. live in who you are. because who you are is beautiful. who you are is loved. who you are is a blessing to those around her.

i hope you don’t go chasing contentment, thinking that if you gain enough, if you become enough, then you will finally find it. no, beautiful one, contentment is with you. contentment is accepting yourself. contentment is learning to love yourself, learning to care for yourself and silence the voices. contentment is growing in grace and in God. contentment is peace and trust when you’re not where you want to be.

things might not be what you want them to be. those dreams of yours, they are still good, even if they might not come true. or even if they are filled with so much pain because it seems as through they will never happen. and just thinking about them brings tears. God walks through those moments with you. God has given you the heart of a dream for a reason. you are exactly where you are supposed to be. you are shining a light. and when you find contentment between here and the future, you are providing a beacon of hope for other followers of God. we all need encouragement in the hard times. the ones who love you will always be there to pray with you, laugh with you, and speak words of truth into you.

remember two things: i believe in you. and i love you. always.

What I’m Into – January

Welcome to my first What I’m Into linkup! Check out a gilmpse of what I’ve loved this month and feel free to share what you’ve loved in the comments. I hope January has been kind to you and that February brings new joys.

Reads:
Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey. I’m not done with it yet but I love it. I’ve been reading Sarah’s blog for about a year and a half now. Her graceful speech never fails to impress me.
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. I’m a HUGE fan of her blog, so I could not wait to read her book. It made me laugh aloud. And her chapters on depression were poignant and still funny. I’d highly recommend.
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. I’d had the book on my kindle account for more than a year but never read the book. I’d grown up on the Canadian mini-series, so I knew what to expect. But my kindred spirit was so beautiful in print, too. I’m glad I picked it up and read it.

I have a book challenge on goodreads for 2014, 50 books for the year, and I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it or not. But it’s fun to try out! Right now, I’ve read six of fifty with three books in [serious] progress. I think I’m going to take up Leigh’s challenge of reading books I own this month.

TV:
-Sherlock: I’m so glad the series is back! I’ve missed it so. I really like the character development, too. It’s been two years in canon and real life, and they’re portraying that very well within the characters. I think I might like it now better than I did when it premiered. I’m going to be re-watching soon.
-How I Met Your Mother: I love The Mother so much. I wasn’t sure what to expect but her presence has been a bright spot in this season. How Your Mother Met Me blew me away this week. I’m still not over that rendition of La Vie En Rose.

Music:
Not much on the music front this month. I’ve been listening to a lot of old favorites. I need to find some new music.
-The Frozen soundtrack, because of reasons. Let It Go is my power jam.
Colony House has an ep on noisetrade right now. I have one of their older eps (when they were Caleb) and I love it. They have a lot of talent. I highly recommend.

Webseries/Youtube:
Jane Eyre (for those of you who don’t know, Autobiography of Jane Eyre is a modern adaptation webseries of Jane Eyre. And it’s awesome). This month the team brought it, tackling one of the hardest parts of the storyline. One week brought three episodes (one was a surprise twenty minute ep).
The Fault in our Stars trailer: I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. This book is one of my favorites. But every time I get to the part where Gus says, “You can’t choose who you hurt in this world…” I begin to tear up. I’m going to be a hot mess when the movie comes out.

Things I Loved:
-having a nice relaxing birthday with my family
-relaxed fit t-shirts. I got one for Christmas and two from TWLOHA for my birthday. So comfy, so awesome.
-getting surprise gifts in the mail from long distance friends
-falling in love with pumpkin tea
-January is one of my favorite months. I love the newness and refreshing that it always seems to bring me. I’m always sad when it seems to go so quickly. I love my birth-month dearly.

Favorite instagram:
ImageThanks to Leigh for hosting! I’m glad to take part for the first time. Let’s see what February brings me to love. And if next month’s post has its own category for the chocolate I’ve found on clearance. 😀