20 August 2010

Home to Tara

As today is my last full day of work at InfoTrax (a few hours next week are yet to be determined) I had planned this great post about how I learned basically nothing from my job but so much from my commute this summer. I really appreciate that every job I've had in the last three years has included a half hour (at least) commute. I know most people hate commuting, but I like the time to listen to music or read or think while I either attempt to wake up or unwind from the day.

This post is only marginally related to that topic.

Gone With the Wind is hands down my all-time favorite fiction book. I get this from my mother. And, for the record, it is NOT over done romanticism. (I had an outburst in my Sophomore Advanced English class when Mr. Malone referred to it as such. I think that solidified our friendship.) Because of this, I was very hesitant for a very long time to read the sequel by Alexandra Ripley (Alexandra Ripley is not Margaret Mitchell). But I did once.

I like Scarlett O'Hara because she is so real. She has huge character flaws, but also some great qualities. And even though half the time I don't agree with her, I can absolutely relate to her. And with all of her selfishness and greediness and scorn you have to admire her strength.

While I love the ending and think it is perfect, every once in a while I want to see Scarlett win. Usually these times come after I have been mentally/emotionally/spiritually (because when would I ever do this physically?) climbing a mountain akin to Timpanogos and then something akin to a wind knocks me over and I slide down the glacier and maybe even break my leg (depending on the strength of the wind), losing all progression that I had made up the stupid mountain I didn't really want to climb in the first place. When this happens, I read Scarlett.  

I have been reading it again on my way to and from work and I've discovered some things. Usually I just read the book for the ending and her love of the Irish. But this time I found something else. She doesn't let herself wallow. She refuses to give up on her dreams, but when her dreams don't work she immediately plans another way to be happy:
That night in the frightening darkness of an unseen hotel room in a country thousands of miles from her homeland, Scarlett O'Hara did the most courageous thing she had ever been called on to do. She faced up to failure. . . . Then her hands clenched and her jaw hardened and she stiffened her spine. She would not wallow in picking at the past and feeling sorry for herself. She would not whine---not to anyone else, and not to herself. . . . I can't give in to regrets or revenge, that's a waste when what I have to do is make a new life from scratch. I've got to find something fresh, something important, something to live for. I can do it if I put my mind to it.
And she does.

So apparently I did get what I learned in the commute worked in here. A few more things I've realized this summer:

1) I want a girl named Scarlett so I can call her Scarlettdarling.
2) I love my friends. Especially the ones that call me A-Dawg.
3) I can do hard things.

Unrelated Post Script: I figured out why I don't make up 2/3 of my titles. I can't write headlines. That's a page editor's job, not a writer or copy editor. I am not, nor do I have a strong desire to be, a page editor.

1 comment:

  1. Allie - not only is it your mother's favorite, it is your grandmother's too! I love your thoughts - I also have read the sequel and agree with you - but it is fun to read the possibilities! You are a strong woman!