For the amount of time that I do and have spent writing, I struggle with words. Perhaps it’s the ‘stiff upper lip’ philosophy that, whilst not often acknowledged, seems to seep its way into the lives of so many Brits. Or maybe it’s just something particular to my personality. Where I can usually find the words to talk about tangible and concrete subjects – people, events, books etc. – discussing emotions and feelings is something with which I have always struggled.
Meeting my husband threw this particular challenge into sharp focus. When you’re getting to know someone, especially over a long distance (which we were for near enough the first year of our relationship), communication and honesty are essential. I had to teach myself how discuss feelings in a way that didn’t provoke extreme anxiety or fear, and I did this through books. I was lucky enough to meet someone with whom I share an intense love for reading, so he didn’t find it strange (I don’t think, but we may need confirmation from him on this!) that I talked or wrote in book quotes. If it was hard for me to say, I let books do the talking. And we’ve never fallen out of this habit. Our wedding was replete with quotes from Pride and Prejudice (unoriginal maybe, but meaningful all the same) and our marriage is a pretty continuous citation of our favourite literature.
Since this week marks our 5th first date anniversary, I thought I would feature one of my favourite quotes on love from my favourite book – Jane Eyre. Whether you’re still looking or have already found it, this quote summarises what I spent a long time imagining didn’t really exist. I’m beyond lucky that I stumbled upon it and can understand that this quote isn’t aspirational, it’s what we all deserve to find.