A Duchess’s Tale | Living A Life of Purpose

Here I am back from a long reprieve from writing. And now that I am back I’ve realized how much I missed it. On occasion a writer must go on the impulse of a thought. Thoughts are fleeting and so they might escape unless they be written down. So this is not what I usually write about, but I hope you’ll find it relevant nonetheless.

Late last week I was struck by the dedication of two women in history. Naturally, not being able to get it off the brain, I had to write about it. On a Friday evening I found myself watching The Duchess, staring Kiera Knightley. Instead of escaping into the great abyss that is the television, I found myself thinking about important issues. Great way to unwind on a Friday, huh?

The duchess is a true account (with some embellishments) of the life of the duchess of Devonshire, England. She marries at a very young age the duke of Devonshire; who, despite his great wealth and want of connection, seems to only care about securing his heir to the throne. After several failed attempts to have a boy, the duke begins to look elsewhere. He ends up marrying the duchess’s best friend and the three of them live together until her death.

It’s tempting for a girl alone and with a bottle of wine in hand to scream at the TV because of this nonsense. But my words would fall on deaf ears. There is no happy ending, no justice done. Times were different then. Women were utterly and completely dependent on men, and men could do whatever they wanted.

Now, is this some feminist rant? Hardly. What struck me was her determination and resilience despite the culture in which she lived. The duchess was smart, opinionated, she was a fashion icon, and she was involved in politics. I was also reminded of Jane Austen throughout this movie. She is not only one of the classics that inspired me to write, but she saw way beyond her time and became a woman’s rights activist in her own way.

Today, women don’t suffer as much from what I would call blatant discrimination. Although one could argue there’s discrimination against women in the workplace but that is not for me to discuss. No, we suffer more within. Insecurity, fear, and doubt are our vices. Even now as I write this, I realize I’ve gotten off the writing horse for a while and it’s hard to get back on again. Back to being vulnerable. But at the end of the day, I would rather be vulnerable than live in a safe bubble and never experience the world.

There’s a twinge of excitement within my bones when I realize my potential and that it’s within my grasp. The only person holding me back is myself. So whether you are man or woman, here’s to living a life of purpose.

– Adele