A varied and sometimes erratic record of what I'm learning inside and outside of the classroom

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Romantic Confessions/Reflections

I've fought the label for a long time, considering some present-day connotations of the term, but I might as well admit it; maybe I am a romantic. In some of the literary romanticism movement senses of the word, at least. A few self-observations have led me to this conclusion, among which are:

  1. I find meaning and solace in nature and the physical world. Of course, this may have something to do with the fact that I feel technology is against me lately--my laptop is in the shop (not fun, especially with this class), and the screen of this library computer I'm on has been blacking out randomly ("Display driver stopped responding and has successfully recovered"). At least I'm not the one paying to fix the problem. Anyway, I believe that the internet and digital world provide amazing possibilities in so many ways, but sometimes I just want to sit down and read a book with a hard cover and paper pages. Is that so much to ask sometimes? I also keep a handwritten journal; short of misplacing it or losing it in a fire or something, I always have a hard copy and will never have to worry about not being able to read/convert the formatting. As far as nature goes, I love looking up at the mountains every day as I walk to school, watching a good thunderstorm from a dry place, and looking at the reflections of the trees in the puddles afterward. Nature, as the romantics discovered, is conducive to quiet introspection and evokes a sense of being closer to the divine. Sometimes I get tired of all the technological intricacies and feel like walking away from it all and just sitting underneath a tree for awhile. And then I remember that I have to keep my grades up for my scholarship and turn back to the computer screen with a sigh. Ah well. Life goes on.
  2. I have an artistic/aesthetic sense, both in literary and art form--I have always been drawn more to the arts than to the sciences, though I did enjoy biology back in high school. Give me a witty pun or a masterfully crafted art piece over a calculus problem any day. Although calculus does at times have sort of an aesthetic appeal as well... Maybe I'm just weird.
  3. I am a very emotionally based person; though I value logic, I operate primarily on an emotional level. I saw myself a little bit in the romantic sense of self--the isolated, sensitive individual that Dr. Burton described in class today. Sometimes I need a little solitude to sit quietly and think, sometimes about deeper things and sometimes about nothing at all.
"Yeah," you're thinking, "she's a romantic. It's even evident in the ambiguity she shows in parts of what she just wrote." Maybe so. But if I truly am a romantic, I think I'm in good company: Hawthorne, Shelley, Wordsworth--I can deal with that.


  1. You admit to being a romantic like it is a bad thing. Yes you are in good company among all of us romantics. I think we might be hard stretched to find somebody who didn't exhibit some romantic qualities. Hmm... that almost sounds like a challenge... So who today wouldn't be considered a romantic?

  2. I am proud to admit that, beyond the classic definitions from "Romanticism", I am a romantic. A romantic in the sense that I believe that love is a powerful force. I believe in love stories. I love sappy chick flicks, love letters, and love quotes.

  3. i for one can agree to the need for nature as an escape of sorts. i served my mish in toronto and i was in the city the whole time thus never seeing good nature. but then more than a year and a half into my mission i went on one exchange in the "country" part of our mission. our meeting spot was in a forest. i got out of the car and just ran into the forest (with my companion of course) and it just felt so good. so there is my romantic side...

  4. If I may clarify I a bit, being a romantic is by no means a bad thing--it's just generally not the way I think of myself. There I went again with more ambiguity... :)

  5. Being at BYU, I don't think the majority of this audience can think of themselves as an anti-romantic like what Andrew is looking for. Provo is beautiful. I think you'd have to search the dark holes in huge, urbanized cities to find someone who doesn't hold any romantic views. I met people on my mission in some dark holes in North Dublin that didn't seem to have much of that romantic light that a peaceful nature-goer has.

  6. I had to come to grips with being a romantic as well! It's not so bad, but it was a different classification than I would have given myself. I did have to classify myself as neo-romantic. . .