Striving to be a Rachel when you’re born a Darcy

There’s something cozy about walking around in a big warm coat in the winter air with your headphones in, tuning out the world with your favorite emo tunes, and just thinking about life. And then there’s those times when you do this and you have a totally strange revelation.

Am I actually quite similar to one of the characters I found SO annoying in one of my favorite books??

Lets back up a bit…

Shortly after high school I read this book called Something Borrowed (and for the record I read it long before the movie came out, just sayin’!). It’s about a relationship between two best friends, Darcy and Rachel, and the events that unfold in their lives. As they grew up together from childhood Darcy was always the shining star. Er, attention whore. Always looked for the easy road, flip flopping through life, using her charm to propel herself into a well paying job to support her happy hours and shopping sprees. Her best friend Rachel played the sweet, modest, supportive role, always in the background, working dutifully in college to obtain her degree as an attorney. She was the kinder, smarter one, loyal and compassionate, and always outshone by Darcy.

My best friend at the time had read the book too, we both loved it. And one day she joked that I was Darcy. WHAT! I was so offended! Hello! I had read the book!! Darcy was self-centered, dense, lazy (However, I prefer the word ‘resourceful’), and flittered through life without a care in the world (part of this sound familiar yet?). ‘No way am I Darcy, I’m definitely Rachel.’ I quickly dismissed her ludicrous observation and never paid it a thought again.

Until now.

Almost ten years later, headphones in my ears, be-bopin’ down the street pondering the universe, it donned on me. Oh god, maybe I am a Darcy after all? Not that I’m a horrible person, I know I have some good qualities in there somewhere, but I know I can show Darcy traits too. I can be selfish, dense at times, and look for the easy route. Charm people into giving me a job, I’m great at interviews! (Watch now I’ll fail at them miserably just because I said this.) I’m also very much a people pleaser, because god dammit, I like to be liked! Is that such a crime!? I think deep down I’ve always known this about myself, and despite being a Darcy in ways, I’ve always wanted to be a Rachel.

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It’s funny how you see yourself, versus what you really are. Of course we’ll never be able to see ourselves from the outside. We’ll never have that perspective. However I’m aware that while I have a strong work ethic, a lot of things scare me. I don’t always have the strongest confidence in trying new things and putting myself out there. I don’t like rejection. Who does? It’s hard. Some people are better at it than others. Having the people pleasing nature that I do, while it’s great to do nice things can also prove to be consistent setbacks regarding personal goals. And sure the pleasure of pleasing those close to me feels good for the moment, but what good does that do me in the long run?

It also doesn’t help that I have the attention span of a 4 year old. I get bored quickly. My roommate starting teaching me guitar and I was all excited about it at first, but when he started teaching me this really hard part, I got fed up and stopped playing. I kept telling him I was on “hiatus”. Only today, when no one was home, did I pick up the guitar and try it again.

So back to the story. I’ve thought about this for a bit, not just the story, but myself as a person (how self-centeredly “Darcy” of me… But really, isn’t everyone their own star of the show?), and since pondering my oh so deep thoughts I’ve sorta come to peace with the fact that I am this way. I think I’m okay with it because I finally did something different with my life, something that I wanted. Something that wasn’t done just to please other people so everyone will like me. I can be a semi-Darcy and still be good. I can still be overly optimistic, bubbly, selfish- yes, and “resourceful,” while also being dynamic, inquisitive, and evolving. I know have this flitter-y attitude towards life where I think everything will somehow work out. I WISH I could be satisfied with what I had at home, and I hope one day I will. I want to live close to my friends and family. I had a fantastic life back home and I am blessed in many ways, I was happy. But I always new deep down I was made for something different. There’s this huge enormous world waiting to be inhaled. And I want to taste as much of it as I can.

The story continues as Darcy has a nervous breakdown after she learns she’s pregnant, and choses to not only change as a person but move to another country. (Ha! Ohhh the parrallels!) She writes a little list titled, “Steps to becomming a better Darcy.” And well, I haven’t made a list, but this is kind of my year of growth, my “Step to becoming a better Darcy” moment, if you will. As totally overthought as this seems, this is how I feel. I’ve only been here 4 short months and while I am still very much the same, I feel like a different person at the same time. Just a more calm, more peaceful person. And hopefully a little less materialistic. I want to travel and I can’t do that comfortably with a 1000 pound pack on my back full of outfit changes. While I changed a lot in the year or two before I arrived in Spain, being here brings me even more clarity. I think I may have even found something I want to do in life that I love, am passionate about, and that excites me. Education is for me (at least for now) and I’m sticking to it. Por fin, parents, you can exhale 🙂

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