As I’ve grown older, I see more and more of Justice Lawrence Wargrave within myself. For those who do not know, Justice Wargrave is a character out of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. His confession found in a bottle sums up how I’ve been feeling as of late. It is a contradiction within myself that I’ve known about for a long time, but now the conflict has become more apparent. This contradiction has always been of great interest to me. Like Wargrave, I have come to question my beliefs on a philosophical level and in particular to more closely examine my morality. My primary concern is with the morality of acting on my belief especially when it is contrary to what society condones. However, unlike Wargrave, my actions are not projections of violent fantasies to exact justice, mine are far more mild but no less important.
As a child I lived a very sheltered life. Even now I can call the life I lead sheltered. Education was the most highly valued institution in my house. But despite its importance, there were aspects of education that were inaccessible to me and others aspects that made me inaccessible as a result. In essence, due to the fact I was so focus on my academic education, I lacked “street smarts” and have a greatly limited understanding of the slang of my generation compared to my peers. This disconnect was further exacerbated by the fact that I had underdeveloped social skills and therefore was unable to connect with my peers on more than an intellectual level. I was always the one they came to for a nice academic conversation, but not so much for a party or night out. I was essentially the one people came to when they needed help with school work. For this I felt inadequate and at times I still do. However, though I can no longer be considered an introvert, I still prefer to be alone with a good book and a cup of jasmine green tea even if a conversation is more stimulating. I do not actively seek out conversations, rather I sit back and wait to be invited into a conversation.
In essence, I’ve lived a privileged life; everything and anything I wanted came to me. There was very little I had to go out, look for, and procure for myself. This hindered my ability to be independent and even though I have been granted permission, as though it is something that requires permission, to venture out on my own without having to first ask. Even so, my parents require that I tell them who I’m going out with, duration, and location, but for the most part I must arrange for my own transportation there and back. Ironically, they pushed me to get my driver’s licence this summer and I did so in hopes that it would give me some independence, but after I got my licence, I was essential and effectively prevented from driving. A part of me doesn’t even care. It was the part that didn’t want to even get my licence. In learning how to drive another reason to stay off the roads surfaced: Calgary drivers. They are nuts. They are the stupidest drivers I have ever seen. They cut people who are doing the speed limit off, illegal turns, don’t yield to pedestrians, almost run pedestrians over because they’re not looking at where they’re going, dumb cyclists, in other words intolerable. There was only one person I enjoyed driving with and it is highly unlikely I will ever see him again.
This lack of independence has led me to a very limited social life. Oftentimes I’m too afraid to approach someone, especially a guy to announce my intentions of friendship or interest in courtship. Despite being a feminist through and through, I’m still held back by what others will think of me. On the surface I blend in perfectly with society and abide by all its norms. Only in my writing is it revealed “who I really am.” Writing is the only place where I have a voice, where I can express myself clearly. Though I’m not writing treaties in my spare time, my short stories, poetry, and novels deal with feminist issues and opposition feminism faces, at times covertly, but a feminist theme always underlies my work.
Let’s put it this way, if I was a character in a Shakespearean tragedy, one of my flaws would be overanalysing a situation to the point of inactivity. For example, I am by nature a social butterfly and I have the ability to learn things about people without ever having to speak to them. Yes, it can be called gossiping, but I prefer to call it research. This often leads to the formulation of a character sketch and an assessment as to whether or not they would be compatible with my values enough so that I would be willing to maintain an acquaintanceship and/or if proceeding past that level would be worth it. Overanalysis also leads to fear. In my analysis logic controls my passion. I can do nothing under its power but tremble. I would never give in to pleasure to destroy what I’ve already built. My reputation is everything to me. All a woman has, beyond her beauty, is her reputation. This is an instance upon which I fall back on tradition. I would rather live my life in solitude than lose my virtue to someone who doesn’t deserve it. As mentioned earlier, words are my strength, but as with everything, it is also my greatest weakness. Too often have I read into a meaning that was not there or glazed over something that was important or worse yet responded callously. Too often have a attributed anger to a situation in which it was unwarranted. Perhaps this is also telling of another flaw of mine: oversensitivity. I feel everything so much that anything and everything will hurt me. I don’t mean for it to, but it does because I live so intensely. I’m sure the hormones in my blood stream right now aren’t so good for my body, especially since there’s so much of it all the time. To live under the stress of such passion is a price I must pay for the lifestyle I’ve chosen based on the upbringing I’ve had.