I often see myself in fictional characters, especially older, timeless ones. Most prominently, I see myself as Jo March from Little Women (which I know is a common sentiment among young girls, but for me it’s true). However, in the recent months, I’ve also recognized myself in another character: Elinor Dashwood.
It has been almost a year since I listened to Sense and Sensibility, and I don’t remember if I felt any particular similarities to this character at the time. I do know, however, that I am sensible and logical, nearly to a fault.
In the same way that Marianne Dashwood is quite emotionally driven, many of my friends are engaged in relationships and are incredibly emotional. They process with their hearts and feelings, jumping into situations that make me ponder whether they were thinking at all.
On the other hand, I don’t even know what to say to them when they describe their situations to me. I have no ability to comfort them in their distress. My brain simply tells me that this shouldn’t be a problem in the first place.
I think through things logically. I use reason to understand feelings, and am sensible enough to know when I’m not truly being reasonable. In matters of the heart, when my friends are sighing over haircuts and eyes, I’m cataloging memories and evaluating them.
It makes me sound heartless when I am not. I am a very emotional creature. When someone upsets me, it may take me hours…days…weeks…months to speak to them again. However, these grudges usually dissolve when I reason with myself.
It is a strange battle I strike in myself as my heart sometimes aches, and my brain chides its shortcomings. A fight between deep emotions and “You know better.”
I can’t imagine what it would be like to operate fully in my emotions. I don’t know what I would do without my logical reasoning. Is this why so many teenagers are engaged in silly, thoughtless relationships? Is this why they claim to love each other? Is this why hearts are broken when these bonds inevitably break?
It seems that sensibility needs a slap of reality every now and then. Then again, nothing but logical evaluation is no way to live.