All of my goals seem to be in hopes of making myself a perfect ideal, an ideal much like the Accomplished Lady of the 19th century, an ideal which nowadays seems to exist only in the minds of ambitious young women like myself. I know for me, it’s an ideal built up hidden inside me, maybe from reading Jane Austen novels or from my parents.
So this is the task I’d like to share on this site: update these definitions to a modern standard so they continue to be qualities worth attaining, and chronicle the experience of struggling towards becoming the modern Accomplished Lady. This means failure and success, pushing myself into uncomfortable tasks, seeing where I’m falling short. The first part of the task: to accept that I am not an Accomplished Lady, and in fact, that if anything I am The Unaccomplished Lady.
So why do this? I realized there’s a problem with holding an ideal from days long past: it’s a dead ideal, not engaged with modern living or the challenges it brings, and therefore that goal of achievement is repressed and hidden away. I began to realize that when hidden and subconscious, this ideal could come at me in subtle ways, turning negative, affecting how I valued myself, undermining the clarity of my intentions. When not dealt with, a hidden ideal is fixed, inflexible, and impractical: neither alive nor engaged with the struggles of real, modern life.
We’re not in the time of Jane Austen, so the ideal has to be updated, the basic qualities are still relevant but in need of clarity and expansion. An Accomplished Lady has poise and grace, mastery of several languages and performance, social etiquette, skill in arts and crafts, is both genteel and engaging in conversation, a loving daughter/sister/wife/mother, and more. But an even more basic characteristic is that she struggles towards achievement and self-reliance, or in other words: accomplishment.
Through this journey, my specific goals may change. In fact, that’s the whole point: refining and clarifying. What you’re reading is the beginnings of a record of me: the person taking on this ideal. In reality, I think this is something many people are going through, holding an ideal just out of reach, and seeking a kind of objectivity in that pursuit. My hope is this blog can provide that for them and for myself.
Please check out my first post here to see what I’ll be aiming to accomplish on my journey!
Jocelyn lives in Los Angeles with her boyfriend, Rene. She works as a media entrepreneur, with a background in film, advertising, and new media. She would also like you to know that she was a valedictorian in high school and graduated from college with high honors and Phi Beta Kappa, but keeps it real by being an avid video gamer, cooking real food, and spilling her guts on a blog.