Jane Austen (1775–1817) is responsible for two of my fondest memories in this long life I’ve led so far. The first memory, over a decade-old at this point, is when I lived in New York. Back then, I was in my twenties, single, making good money, and didn’t have a care in the world. Life was good. When I reflect on those years, that version of me definitely feels foreign, as if he was a completely different Wobble who I wouldn’t recognize today. Heck, I don’t even know if I’d befriend that person nowadays. That Wobble was conceited as hell and had enough confidence to power a medium-sized rocket ship. 🚀🚀🚀
Anyway, I was twenty-something and totally free on the weekends with no obligations whatsoever. No girlfriend (or even friends, really), no family, nothing. So I often spent my free time on weekends just wandering alone around New York City, roaming the streets. It was a blast and totally deserves its own post that I’ll probably write one day.
That particular weekend, I found my way to the The Morgan Library Museum on Madison Ave between East 36th and 37th St. There was a collection of Jane Austen’s letters that was on special exhibit which I wanted to check out! Since I worked at the bank back then, all employees got free passes to all of the major museums in the city. So entry was free, though I do remember getting the ol’ stink eye from the woman behind the counter when I presented my bank badge for my free ticket– we were then in the throes of the financial crisis and had just gotten bailed out by American taxpayers while everyone else on Main Street was losing their homes. Zuccotti Park had become ground zero for civil unrest. Ah, the memories…
Anyhow, I happily spent that entire afternoon reading Austen’s old letters. I honestly don’t remember much about the letters now, thinking back on the memory. But in my mind’s eye, when I think back on that afternoon (and maybe I’m inventing this, I have no way of knowing) but I remember some of the letters possessing a constant undercurrent of anxiety. Austen wrote about feeling alone and uncertain if her stories were any good. And wandered aloud if anyone else would ever think anything of them. Many of the letters, especially those to her sister, Cassandra, were just pedestrian though. Mundane, everyday affairs.
I wonder if one day archaeologists/anthropologists from the future will find this blog buried on some USB stick or server rack somewhere in a mountainside. Ha, that’s funny to think about. I was about to cue up Memory #2 but see that I’ve actually reached my word count for the day! So Memory #2 will need to wait for another 26 days. Tune in next time! That one’s definitely one of my favorites. 🙂