Second Chances - guest post by Sarah Price
Oh Anne! How could you possibly have let so many people persuade you to deny Frederick’s proposal and commit yourself to a future devoid of your true love?
Isn’t that the question we ask ourselves while reading Jane Austen’s Persuasion?
First loves do not often evolve into life time partnerships. If they did, I’d be married to Jimmy Cline, the little blond hair boy that I “dated” in fourth grade. He kissed me by the mailbox after carrying my books from the bus stop. That’s what happens when you date “older” men (he was in sixth grade).
But hearts are meant to be broken.
When he broke up with me for Beth Whatever-Her-Last-Name-Was, I thought the world would end. It didn’t.
I cannot imagine my life today if I had pined for him over the years, denying myself other experiences in life and love. Would I have traveled? Would I have my two children? Would I be a successful author?
Each broken heart adds character to our own stories, helping us learn to love in a way that is stronger and better each time around.
For Anne, however, her story has a different ending.
She did pine for Frederick and denied herself future courtships. When Frederick returned, her heart broke all over again only to be rewarded in the end for her steadfast devotion to the memory of their relationship from her youth.