What’s the most out-of-character choice you’ve ever made?
Running for Student Council President in high school.
I even won.
Back then, I wasn’t as anti-social as I am now. I loved school and it was good for me. I was one of the ‘smart kids‘, so to some, a nerd. But I was kind of not a total introvert back then. [But I did have the beginnings of an endless battle with depression.]
Despite my somewhat more outgoing nature at the time, ‘running the school‘ was never something I thought I could or would do. But I did have a lot of support at the time. I had a lot of friends in high school. Four very close ones and lots of others. Although I was a part of a few different friend groups so I often felt like I didn’t truly, completely fit in with any one of them. Funny, my son says the same thing now. But he has friends. And I had friends. I miss that. I don’t have a support system anymore. Just this blog, I guess. But that’s not the same as having friends in the flesh. Like I said, school was good for me. Really good.
Part of what drove me to run for the highest office in my school was knowing it would look good on my high school transcript. It was scary as hell, though. I had to put up campaign posters (the easy part) and make a speech in front of the whole school [about 500 kids plus teachers] (the hard part). I remember my hands and knees shaking so much that I couldn’t read my speech. I had to speak from memory. Good thing my memory was much better back then.
After I won, I had to lead the weekly meetings. Those got easier over time. And the entire student body didn’t come to the meetings. A lot of my friends did, though.
I’d love to also choose something from my life after school. Something from my adult life. But I think my in-character has changed over the years so it’s hard to pinpoint anything I did that was out-of-character. Something I did when I was 24, for instance, would definitely be out-of-character for me now, but at the time, it wasn’t.
I have a lot of trouble getting out of my comfort zone. Especially if it involves human contact. That’s probably why I can’t think of any out-of-character things from my recent past.
As I got older, I started to feel like I had no ‘character‘ to stray from. It’s like my life stopped being my own so how could I know what would be considered out-of-character if I don’t even know who I am? I have this sense that I’m watching my life from outside myself and I have no say in what’s happening. Like a movie… I am watching, waiting to see what happens next, but I have no power to influence the story. It’s already written. I’m just a pawn.
[I get that most of you, if not all of you, are thinking, ‘but you *can* influence your own story’. And I get where you’re coming from. That would likely be true for a healthy, ambitious person. But I’m neither healthy nor ambitious. I’m broken and weak.]
Well. That was deep. I think I learned a lot of that about myself just now. Who ever said writing doesn’t help you figure yourself out? Yeah, probably no one. It totally does that.
Here’s something. Maybe this counts…
As a true romantic [not in a cheesy way… in a more creative and inventive way], I always dreamt of finding the one. I do believe in soulmates. [Sometimes I question that belief, but I have never let it go. I think the issue I have is that while I believe I have a soulmate, I don’t believe I will ever find him… which is heartbreaking.] So… I did do something totally out-of-character years ago. I ‘settled‘. I know my husband’s not the one. He’s not my soulmate. But here I am.
Fear makes you do stupid things. Life-changing stupid things. But being a believer in true love and soulmates, settling for anything less was out-of-character for me. Like I told my fifteen year old self, “You deserve to find ‘the one‘ so don’t give up. Honestly, you’ll be happier searching forever than you will be with the wrong man.”
Oh wait… I’ve got another one!
I painted my fingernails grey last night. Usually I stick with subtle neutrals.
I am living on the edge, people.
p.s. — I must be on some kind of writing binge because I seriously did not think I’d write so much to answer a simple question. But… I don’t know that any questions are truly simple. That’s probably why I’m always so stressed. Nothing ever seems simple.