That was my daughter's suggestion when I was trying to pick a topic for a blog post. She suggested I write about her and her activities in the yard and that I follow her around outside and photograph her for my blog.
Needless to say, I am not doing that but it did get me thinking. When do we all lose that absolute self-confidence? When do we lose the belief that we are interesting? When do we lose the ability to say "here I am. I am a fascinating person in my own way."? Because we are fascinating and we are interesting and really, I just want to be ten again and be totally convinced that a blog post about me is a worthy topic.
Right now I am reading Jane Austen A Life by Claire Tomalin and it is fascinating. I have loved Jane Austen for as long as I can remember and I enjoy reading about the little details of her life and personality. Now, of course, Jane Austen went on to become a famous author and that isn't going to happen to most of us. And of course, the fact that she became famous and her books are beloved makes her more interesting. However, we like reading about her, not just because she became famous, but also because we like having a window into someone else's life and thoughts.
I wonder how many of us are just as interesting inside, we simply aren't as good at expressing it in our letters as Jane Austen was. I so wish more of them had survived. Because really, Jane Austen was a woman just like us. She had friends and family and flirtations and a social life. She got annoyed with people and found people amusing. There were tragedies and disappointments in her life and there were moments of happiness and fun. That is what the letters do for us. They turn Jane Austen into a real person instead of only a famous author. She becomes not only the woman who had to fit her writing in around her life but also the woman who had a life to fit in around her writing. She was real. She was interesting. She was hugely talented but also normal.
Wouldn't you like to know a woman who says such things as
We met not a creature at Mrs Lillingsone's, & yet were not so very stupid as I expected, which I attribute to my wearing my new bonnet & being in good looks."
Or this quote, which is quite well known.
How horrible it is to have so many people killed! And what a blessing that one cares for none of them!
Sometimes I think we can lose the real person in the icon. Jane Austen is justly famous. Her novels stand the test of time as few others do. They are supremely readable and still as fresh and sparkling as when they were written years and years ago. But Jane Austen wasn't an icon, she was a friend, a daughter, a sister.
I bet you anything that at ten years old she would have cried "write about me!" because she would have known she was interesting. She would have been right. It is too bad so many of us lose that conviction.