Musings About Outlander And Marriage

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As I stood in my kitchen today making my lunch, I began to think about what Outlander means to me, which is a lot, I mean a lot, and why it means so much. I thought about the fandoms I’m a part of and what the community of these fandoms means to me as well.

I realized one very important thing, Outlander represents what I view as an almost perfect marriage.

In Outlander, our main characters, Claire and Jamie, have fallen in love, and its timeless, yes timeless, and yet it grew out of nothing but an acquaintance. Claire is forced to marry Jamie, knowing little more than the fact that he’s been the nicest person to her besides Mrs. Fitzgibbons, and outside of Castle Leoch, he’s the only nice character who seems to care about what happens to her. The beautiful thing is, Jamie already cares deeply for Claire, as we find out later on in the books. Anyway, there love blossoms from their intense attraction towards each other that pulls them closer as friends, and their desires grow from there.

That’s only one point about their marriage I want to make. Another far more important bit to note is the list of wonderful aspects to their marriage that they set as rules and bounds to follow from the very early days:

They are honest with each other, they ask of each other to always either be honest or be clear they don’t want to tell the other person something, as long as it doesn’t cause a bigger conflict later on, of course they learn pretty much every secret about each other eventually.

They are supportive of each other, and see each other as equals, yes equals. Jamie believes the way that society has raised him to believe in all its 18th century customs, and yet, when he realizes how important Claire’s independence is to her, he respects her, choosing to love her the way she is, instead of forcing her to obey him like any other wife. He is kind to her, and she in turn, does not force all of her 1940’s sensibilities onto him either.

They protect each other. Jamie offers her the protection of his body, and yet Claire saves him time and again using her medical knowledge, as well as smarts and cunning. They are pretty much even for how many times they’ve had to rescue each other.

They apologize through other means as well as sex after an argument. They have a lot of make up sex, but it only happens after they have apologized or talked through the conflict, and gradually find each other again.

They don’t talk awfully to each other in a real sense. Yes there’s the famous moment when they curse and spit at each other after he rescues her from Black Jack’s clutches, but even in that moment, they instantly regret it and show that to each other.

I’ve pretty much implied it already, but they compromise and try to find the best way to go forward with each other. When Jamie realizes Claire is not a typical female of that time, instead of ultimately forcing her to be subjected to his punishments in the future, he discusses the fact that maybe they should go a different way in their relationship than he’s ever known anyone going before. When Claire realizes that Jamie loves her already, she doesn’t push herself away from him, but resolves to care for him the way she does, and allow for the possibility of love to come into her someday, but isn’t set on it happening immediately.

These traits as well as many more I could list are the things that make Claire and Jamie so wonderful together.

As far as the fandoms, I realized that the women who are a part of these communities are much older than I for the most part and therefore have spouses of their own. They love to brag at how wonderful and supportive their loved ones are of their obsessions. One woman shared how she was fearful of an upcoming surgery, and her husband held her and whispered “Nothing will happen to ye as long as I’m with ye, Sassenach.” She ended the post with, “Well played husband, well played.” I smile to myself when I read these things, but I feel an ache pull at my heart strings. It’s a painful ache, but it’s not all bad.

I realized two very important things from these women:

That I firmly believe Outlander helped shape who they are, and therefore the type of man they wanted to spend their lives with.

That I want to find my own obsession supporting/genuinely good person husband of my own when my time comes.

In reference to the first, I believe that these women were forever changed by these books, and whether it was Diana Gabaldon’s intention or not, she created a man better than any we’ve seen in literature up to this point at least. Jamie is the most human and yet most understanding and good man in literature that (I at least) have ever come across. The fans of this series were shaped by that, and whether they realized it or not, changed how they responded to men and what they sought in a man.

In reference to the second, I just want a man who gets me. I want a man who doesn’t meanly tease me about my obsessions but understands their importance to me. I want a man who actually wants to watch my shows and movies with me. I want a man who understands how I can cry during every single episode of Call the Midwife, or never admit the cliche of Titanic that everybody else apparently sees and therefore will never stop loving it no matter how many times I think about how Jack could have survived, we all know he could have, that’s not the point, the point is she was supposed to live on for him. I digress. Sorry.

I hope Outlander continues to show people the kind of love that is not only worth holding out for, its actually attainable. It frustrates me when girls hold out for a love like twilight, which I think is beautiful, but it’s not realistic, if it was, since vampires don’t exist, you would be holding out for a sociopath. Just saying. The love that Claire and Jamie have is timeless and its attainable, and its beautiful. My advice to all the readers of this post, go read and watch the love story in action, you won’t regret it.

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Inspired? Or Too Much Caffeine?

Do you ever have those moments when everything feels like its moving super fast inside of you, and you can’t tell whether its physically like the blood is flowing at warp speed, and sugar is racing through your body, or your soul feels like its on fire? I feel like that right now. I think it’s the caffeine, but I also think it is the way I respond to the caffeine mentally that turns on my creative flow.

I am an artist, and a writer, so for me, when I’m hyped up on caffeine, I want to be productive in every way imaginable. I want to finish that pastel piece I started weeks ago that’s been sitting in the corner of my room since I decided it messed with my organization sensibilities for it to be in the middle of the floor any longer. I want to finish that sketch I started of Jamie and Claire from Outlander, that sketch that I had to find just the right picture for, a picture that inspired me to recreate it, one where I could really feel the love and intensity between them, yet also didn’t have them making weird faces at each other. I want to add more to my fan fiction stories, the stories I really don’t want people to know I write because they’ll think I’m either really weird or really geeky, which if I’m being honest, I’m totally both of those things. I want to watch disney movies and yet I’m too wired to just sit and do nothing. I want to do homework, do my two errands I’ve been putting off all week, etc.

And yet, the problem is, I’m so wired that I’m afraid if I do any of these things, my heart will race and my blood will pump even faster than it already is and give me a heart attack. I know deep down that’s ridiculous, but I usually do everything except read at a slow rate, I fully exemplify my southern heritage in that regard. I do everything at a Scarlett O’Hara pace, just usually with half the motivation.

I’m inspired, and yet physically all I can do is sit here and think about all the things I love to do. I feel vain, and yet I feel special. How can I feel both of these things at once. My ADD is driving me up a wall. I’m making less and less sense. I just want to create something that shows how I feel, that’s a piece of myself on the outside for people to look at or read and appreciate for what it is. I need to breathe. Maybe if I just sit here and breathe for a while I’ll feel better. Breathe.

Inspiration is like magic, it always comes with a price. I feel dark saying that. Maybe that’s way too negative an approach. What I mean is, you have to push yourself to follow the muse, the inspiration, the creative flow, or you’ll miss your opportunity and you’ll find yourself once again staring at another half-completed work. You swore to yourself you would make some brilliant piece that would impress people and yet you can’t even finish it to present it to the world. So it goes back to the corner of the room, where you draw a petal at a time on your pastel flower. This is what the price is. This is what they mean when the greats talk about being a slave to their muses. I need to figure out how to get my muse to listen to me.

Of course this is all figurative. I’m a good PCUSA member and don’t believe in mystical spirits which follow me around and help me make beautiful works of art, but I do believe that the holy spirit inspires me to be creative, and it’s not always at a convenient time for me. I need to learn how to channel the deep emotions that I feel into a more productive form. A lot of the time, well most of the time actually, I just end up sitting on my bed and crying or thinking to myself about the beautiful or tragic movie ending I just watched. Or I feel the goosebumps when I hear a good song and then I move on to the next one. Sometimes I don’t even acknowledge that I feel it. But I always do. I always feel it.

Spiritually Searching

Why is it that when I look for articles and blogs about women who understand what it’s like to be young and spiritually searching, I can never find any about college age women?¬†All of my favorites that I’ve come across are always women who have already started their lives, with a spouse and lots of babies. They write articles that make my heart sing and my spirit soar and yet they don’t connect with me exactly where I am. I feel the comfort and warm blanket that is the beginning of their young lives, but they are not where I am. I am in college, and am still trying to figure things out, based on where I am in my spiritual journey. I want to talk to women who understand the way that I want to talk to my sorority sisters about faith. I swear if I read one more article to them about a mother seeing God in her children their going to think something very untrue about me. I don’t want to scare them with talk of strong women who are also mothers, but how mothers, daughters, and especially sisters help each other grow in their faith. I love Sarah Bessey, and I love her book Jesus Feminist, but she’s a mom and her college years are behind her. She talks about things that apply to my life, but what about the struggles of navigating friendships that I have with other women for other reasons than because we’re both moms. Which I’m not. A mom I mean. I love grown up world, and I have always been able to navigate it ahead of the curve, but I don’t have a fully grown up faith yet, and I, along with my sisters, are still working on getting there.