I Love Jane Austen's Work, But Sometimes It Is A Little Overwhelming
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I Love Jane Austen's Work, But Sometimes It Is A Little Overwhelming

The more I read or watch the stories of Jane Austen, the more I become disillusioned with my own life.

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I Love Jane Austen's Work, But Sometimes It Is A Little Overwhelming
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I have been a fan of Jane Austen from the moment I first read "Pride and Prejudice." It has honestly been so long that I can’t remember when that was, but it has been many years. Since then, I have read everything from Austen that I could get my hands on and watched as many movie adaptations of her work as I could. The world of Jane Austen became something that I escaped to. I dreamed of someday traveling to the annual Jane Austen festival, putting on Regency era clothing, and seeing the places from the books and movies. And yes, I even dreamed of someday meeting my own Mr.Darcy.

All these things are still experiences I would love to have someday, but I have since had to limit my exposure to Austen. I love her work and it has meant so much to me personally over the years, but it was making me discontent with my current situation. I could not quite explain it, but every time I read a Jane Austen novel or watched a movie adaptation, I would have a rush of happiness and admiration, but that would soon turn to sadness. The world of Austen looked so perfect in comparison to what I was living. Why could I not find my own kind Edward? Where was my fantastically rich Mr. Darcy? What happened to my wise Colonel Brandon?

I have had this feeling for quite some time and have since limited how much Austen I consume. It was not until recently that I came upon a term for it. After posting several hopelessly romantic quotes from Austen to my Pinterest board, a post popped up that definitely caught my attention. It was a diagram labeled the “Austen-Induced Disillusionment Cycle,” and it perfectly explained my situation.

The first step on the cycle said, “Read Austen novel or watch a movie”. As a result, you “fall in love with country houses, English landscapes, and ideal gentleman” then “suddenly realize that your life and male prospects look nothing like an Austen novel”. The last part is becoming “discouraged and unhappy” and the solution is drowning your sorrows by returning to step 1.

The diagram was probably one of the most accurate representations of what my experience with Jane Austen novels has been in the recent years. As someone who is single and currently has no prospects, the world of Jane Austen has become a fairy tale to me. The books are filled with worthwhile themes and social commentary, but I have a hard time overlooking how seemingly perfectly everything works out. I am constantly drawn in by the world of Austen, but it reminds me of how dismal my romantic life looks in comparison.

I recognize that this is probably a little selfish because I am extremely blessed with so many opportunities and friends, but it still hurts knowing that I am the last of my friends to not have a relationship or have been in a relationship. I have learned to mitigate that hurt by avoiding romance novels like Jane Austen. I am thankful for all I have and the opportunities that I have been blessed with, I just wish I had someone special to share it with.

But in the meantime, I am having to learn to trust God in it all and try to pull myself out of an Austen-induced disillusionment cycle.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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