I know it has been kind of "crazy" around here lately. First I had a messy blog while I was attempting to code a new template and then, I've realized that I've not shared many reviews with you all this past week. Unfortunately, as for the first distraction, I am still working with it and getting used to this layout so it may still look kind of messy at times but I can promise you that I'll have a couple of all-new reviews next week! Until then, here is one of my rambling "opinion" blog posts.
Judgments are a part of one’s life – we make them every single day. Snap judgments, grievous judgments… and sometimes we pass judgment on people when in reality we should be looking at ourselves instead of those around us. As human beings, we are flawed; no matter our strive for “perfection,” our drive for betterment, we will stumble and make mistakes – it is what we do with those mistakes, how we turn them into something better that is going to make the difference in tomorrow.
Thinking of the masterpieces created by Jane Austen, many of her heroines are kept on the edge of insanity by their relations. Fanny Price was taken in by her wealthy uncle but always held at arms length when it came to feeling as if she was a part of a loving family. Lizzie Bennett mistook Mr. Darcy for someone he was not at their first meeting. The nosey, well-meaning Emma Woodhouse thought she knew best how to secure the happiness of those around her while studious, neglected daughter Anne Elliott assumes the tasks the rest of her family loathes to see to – and is often “forgotten.” Other authors have created such heroines by the likes of Charlotte Bronte’s mousey, orphaned heroine Jane Eyre. Or even in today’s 21st century, heroine Charlotte Charles from Pushing Daisies was given a second chance at happiness but resulting from that, she was asked to live on the outside of the only life she’d previously known. What each of these examples calls to mind are characters who have been belittled or asked to do things that might have been against their conscious – and in some cases they were “judge and jury” towards people whose stories they did not really know. Perhaps none of these examples so aptly – or beautifully demonstrate this point as much as an ABC Family Channel series.
In the past month I watched the first half of season one of Switched at Birth. In it, two families discover after one mistake that their daughters were switched and they have raised a child that is not biologically theirs for sixteen years. Although both deal with it differently, the two girls – Daphne and Bay have to overcome their jealousy and teenage emotions when they realize that they can relate to what the other is going through. They realize, essentially, they have lived each other’s lives. Daphne has an even bigger hurdle to overcome because she is deaf and feels like she cannot comprehend the overwhelming love and excitement that her new family wants to show her because they are unaccustomed to her limitations – she is literally living on the outside of relationships she desires to be a part of. Bay feels the outcast for different reasons – as if now her suspicions are confirmed: she really isn't part of the family she never truly felt a part of even as a child… and now she knows why. Growing up, I wasn’t a very out-going person and after I became a teenager, I knew I needed to give myself that “extra” nudge to step outside of my comfort zone and push myself to be more conversational, otherwise I tend to blend into the wallpaper. By definition, I am more an observer than participator and sometimes my extended family comments on how well I “know” them whether it be through the gifts I may have picked out for them or recalling conversations I may have had with them. In family, I don’t think it “unusual” that we know each others preferences and dislikes; strengths and weaknesses, and in fact, I find it really sad if we don’t even know family and friends because that demonstrates that we may be a part of a group but care little for what is going on around us and are more concerned with our own little world. That is the struggle Daphne and Bay are forced to navigate.
Life is going to throw us some curveballs. Some of them we might be anticipating and prepared for, others might take us completely by surprise, but its what we do with them, how we react that will determine the kind of human being we are. Sometimes being on the outside of relationships is lonely. Sometimes it spells “safety,” but then, burying ourselves away means we aren’t really living life to its fullest potential. Making decisions is part and parcel of daily life, but that doesn’t mean that we’re always right. Examining our motives and hearts is always on the line… and sometimes even the most insignificant decision can change lives.