In Which I Analyze My Own Character by Means of Fictional Ones

Two orders of business: firstly, if my language sounds stiff it is because for the past week I’ve been studying St. Thomas More for school, and having both read a book by William Roper on the subject and finished watching A Man for All Seasons less than an hour ago, using contractions seems… odd.

Secondly, I am writing this in a notebook on the way to Algebra tutoring, as I have limited my computer time to an hour a day for Lent – because of which the blog has suffered. Suffice to say, it’s Holy Week now, so I should be back in the swing of things post-Easter. (Speaking of, I’m so excited!)

On Saturday I got into a discussion about my favorite characters in books and movies, and how they all tend to be grouchy or unpleasant. It’s not the case 100% of the time, but it seems that more often than not the characters I like the most are the endearingly (I think) cranky ones. I think it’s interesting to contrast the characters I most relate to with the ones I most admire – I think it says something about who I am.

When I was younger, I always loved the fiery characters: the ones with the bright red hair and the sizable tempers – usually in the form of princesses who refuse to marry and go off to be knights or something instead. I admired feistiness. (Still do.)

Aside from this, I’ve always had a love for the snarky and slightly cranky characters: Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street, Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh (funnily enough, I was never too fond of Rabbit – I liked Tigger too much, I guess: “T-I-double-guh-errrr…”), Lucy from Peanuts, Miss Piggy from the Muppets, Grumpy from Snow White, Constance, the sleepy, grouchy, hyper-intelligent three-year-old from The Mysterious Benedict Society…

I think I loved them because they were a little like me: sarcastic, a little bit pessimistic, and overly fond of scowling. (I like to pretend I’m more mature now, but as I routinely make displeased groaning noises, roll around on the floor in protest of things, bare all my teeth like an uneasy chimpanzee when someone pulls out a camera, and frequently use the word “Pooh!” as an expletive, well… I perjure myself if I deny the evidence.) As I’ve grown, this affinity for the characters everyone else thought were mean grew with me – I still have it.

I love Artemis Fowl and I have loved him from book 1, even when he was kind of a jerkface who, despite his genius, didn’t quite have any common sense. I love Holden Caulfield, who’s a little annoying. I love these characters not only because they personify my lack of patience with a good 90% of society, but also because they have hearts, and big ones – you just have to look for them. The crankiest people are really the biggest softies…. You just have to crack the shell. (But you knew that, I’m sure you’ve seen Up.) Artemis and Holden are scornful by nature, and big sissies inside. I love them.

Looking to literature, the characters I identify with speak volumes about me, but the characters I idealize speak just as much.

For example, in my favorite Shakespeare play, Much Ado About Nothing, I am very much like Beatrice – a little rude, witty, always looking for a laugh… and sometimes I can be unintentionally mean. However, as dear as Beatrice is to my heart (especially how she melts for Benedick), I long to be more like the Lady Hero. (You’re getting insight into my name, if you haven’t caught onto that yet.) Hero is cheerful, goodnatured, mild, and polite… She is liked by all, laughs a lot, but can pull off a wicked prank when she wants to.

This says nothing about myself that I didn’t already know; when asked what I would change about myself, I always say I wish I wasn’t quite so loud. Gentleness and a cheerful temperament are things with which I was not born, just a desire for them. I am not Snow White, I’m a bit like Alice – tripping over my own feet as I get lost in my insane Wonderland – shouting at things and being clumsy. It’s a bit of divine irony, that I was born as a Beatrice who wants desperately to be a Hero. (Though, if memory serves, the original Beatrice wants to be more like her cousin, too.)

At the same time, I do recognize that while this divine irony exists, God made me as I am for a reason. My mom told me once that when other homeschool moms said they wouldn’t let their daughters do this or that because they wanted them to have a “quiet soul”, she thought it was frankly ridiculous – some people are born with quiet souls, but others are not… After all, becoming a saint takes audacity as well as humility. That being said, let’s keep going with this analysis.

The next character is Jo March, from Little Women. I love Jo – I love how she’s tomboyish and loves to read and isn’t always a little ray of sunshine. She accidentally sets things on fire and isn’t afraid to scowl. She’s got a big heart and an even bigger personality. I relate to Jo very much, but I relate to Meg as well, in her love of pretty things and, well, her vanity. Of the “little women”, I most admire Beth – once again, for her quiet, cheerful gentleness.

I want to be a saint and I want to be meek and ladylike. I’m not – I try, but I’m not predisposed to it – so my track to sainthood looks more like the track of St. Athanasius, who used his stubborn and argumentative nature to debate and defeat heresy, or St. Thomas More, who stood true to the Church in difficult times. A Man for All Seasons portrays St. Thomas as stubborn, resolute, and a little bit of a crank. I am more like him than St. Therese of Liseaux or St. Bernadette – I’m loud, and I think I’m loud for a reason. I need to figure out how to be a saint in my own boisterous fashion.

The rest of this post is devoted to Jane Austen, as she’s been on my mind thanks to the Lizzie Bennet Diaries ending and the fact that I worked a quote from her into my Richard III paper and I am exceeding pleased by it. (“The Character of this Prince has been in general very severely treated by Historians, but as he was York, I am rather inclined to suppose him a very respectable Man.”) There are two Austen characters that I’ve been told I’m quite similar to: Emma, from the novel of the same name, and Lizzy from Pride and Prejudice (specifically in the incarnation of Lizzie from the Diaries –  Frankie once asked me if I’d gotten some of my mannerisms from her; I hadn’t.)

I’m like Emma & Lizzy both in my frequent inability to think before I speak. Emma likes to meddle – I’m kind of meddlesome. My friend Nick calls me a matchmaker: I don’t like to sit and watch things happen if I can help along the process. I am, as D says, a mite “pushy”. I also see a similarity to myself in the way Emma acts rashly and then bitterly regrets it. “It was badly done, Emma.” Boy, do I know the feeling. As for Lizzy, I am predisposed to judge – all too quickly, it seems – only to have my opinions change upon further inspection. Like Lizzy, I am sometimes injured by those of the male race – and have to cope by proclaiming them losers and laughing at them, vowing to become an old maid, like Lizzy does, because there’s not really anything else I can do unless I want to go mad. I also see myself in how Lizzy always has a snappy comeback and isn’t afraid to admit her shortcomings. I wish I was Jane, but I’m not, and that’s okay. In 16 years of life, if I’ve learned one thing, it’s to like who I am. If I don’t, everything becomes grey and miserable. In fact, there’s a St. Catherine of Siena quote that fits the situation quite well: “What is it you want to change? Your hair, your face, your body? Why? For God is in love with all those things and He might weep when they are gone.” Why do I want to change myself? Adopting virtue, growing in grace, those are good things to change about myself. But to throw myself over entirely and become someone else? Would God weep?

So I’m me: Emma/Jo/Lizzy/Meg/Alice/Thomas More/Mr. Frederickson/Holden/Oscar the Grouch. I am loud, stubborn, hardworking, snarky, outgoing, unabashed, meddlesome, clumsy, spirited, and I never shut up. But I have a heart so big it sometimes makes me wish I had otherwise, and like Lizzie, Jo, and Beatrice, I can see when I need to step back and strive for the virtue of Jane, Beth, and Hero.

Well.

I try, at least.

Best wishes and much love to you all,
Hero

Thoughts From Places: On Finding One’s Oasis

On Friday, we drove up to the beach. Generally, the beach irritates me: the water is overwhelmingly salty, the sand is gritty and it gets everywhere. On top of that, it’s always unbearably hot and I always get sunburned.

Needless to say, the beach is not my favorite place. But this time, I was determined to enjoy it. And I could tell as soon as I stepped out onto the sand that I would. For one, the weather was perfect: dark clouds covered the sun, so the weather was cool. Every time it got too hot, a sprinkling of rain would drop the temperature and then the sky would clear. From the beach, you could see rain on the horizon, passing by in sheets. The sight was beautiful.

The water was the perfect temperature, the sand wasn’t too hot to walk on, the sun wasn’t in my eyes, and there was a breeze.

But within thirty minutes, I was sick of the beach. So I took a nap.

I have trouble with the beach – besides the aforementioned reasons, I can’t help but seeing everything as a metaphor. The ocean, the beach, the shore, the tide, the people on the beach, beachcombing – even watching the weather pass along the horizon: all of it. It’s all a huge metaphor, for life, for human nature, society…

And as much as I love metaphors, they’re all overused and terrible metaphors. Which I can’t stand.

I wish I liked the beach. I wish I could lie in the sun with a book and my iPod and just relax. But I can’t.

Before we left the beach, I saw two women walk out across the sand and set down two chairs next to each other, immediately sitting down and chatting away. The beach is an escape for them: a nice place to go to get away from normal life, a place to relax, a place to be with friends.

Two days passed, and on Sunday morning, Papa and I went to the private airport of which he is the vice-chair. He showed me the Cessnas and the Beechcrafts, and then we toured the hangars and watched couple planes take off. He showered me a pilot’s lounge, where there were various screens showing radar and satellite imaging. After expressing my affinity for meteorology, we got in the car and drove away.

As we were driving, Papa talked about everything and anything. I was stuck by how much Papa knows. Sure, he can be annoying sometimes, and he’s a terrible driver (he has a complete and utter disregard for stop signs), but he’s so knowledgeable, and he’s a really hard worker. He does everything he does for the people he loves, and that’s pretty inspiring.

We stopped at Starbucks – which is on The List, I know, but Starbucks is my weakness. We do not throw stones here. At Starbucks, Papa read a financial newspaper (the literary equivalent of watching paint dry) and I wrote in my journal. I realized in Starbucks how much I love it there – not because of the coffee (or the hipsters), but because Starbucks is an oasis. The woman at the table next to us was painting. I was writing. A guy outside was working on his computer, and a girl behind us was studying – all things you can do at home, but we were doing them at Starbucks. Why?

Because Starbucks is an oasis. A place to get away from everyday life. A place to write, to draw, to study. A place to be by yourself without being alone.

After Starbucks, we drove over to Barnes and Noble (blowing through a few stop signs on the way). I glanced at some books, joked about learning Russian, and then noticed: Barnes and Noble is an oasis, too. Driving home, I realized that everyone has their oasis. The beach is an oasis for those two women. The airport is an oasis for Papa. Starbucks is an oasis for the artist I saw; for college students, hipsters, businessmen, stay-at-home moms. Barnes and Noble is an oasis for me.

I think our oasis shows insight into who we are. What do I love about Barnes and Noble? I love being surrounded by books. I love the idea of being able to open anything in the store and immerse myself in a story, or learn something new. I love that it has something for everyone, and everything for someone. New horizon, new opportunities – and motivation. As a writer, as a student, those shelves hold hope and inspiration.

I love how I can enjoy the place no matter who I’m with; whether I’m alone, with my dad or with my best friends. I love how if we split up, I know exactly where my friends and family will be hen I go to find them: my brother will be slipping through a Lego book in the Toys/Games section. Mom will be looking at educational or clearance stuff. Essie goes to cookbooks, or goes with Tanith to YA. Dad and Papa can both be counted on to be at the newsstand flipping through an aviation magazine.

And me? I could be anywhere. I could be looking at the knick-knacks, reading Shakespeare, poring over sheet music, meandering the Middle Grade fiction and wondering why it is that everything in MG is better than the stuff in YA. Because I’m multi-faceted. And so is my oasis.

What does that say about me? I’m not sure. But once I figure it out, I feel like I’ll be one step closer to answering my ultimate question: who am I?

~Hero

On Learning to Trust (or How VBS was Entirely Too Relevant to My Life This Year)

Here’s a fact about me: I am terrible at trust falls. Maybe it’s because I’m heavy – or at least perceive myself to be – and so don’t fully expect the person catching me to be able to, well… catch me. I always end up buckling my knees at the last second and catching myself. This is probably because every experience I’ve had with trust falls in which I actually trusted and fell, I knocked the other person over and we both went tumbling to the ground. Landon can attest that I have “trust issues” when dancing – when I’m dipped, it’s rather awkward because I won’t just relax and allow the guy to dip me. (Because I’m afraid he’ll drop me, or that I’ll knock him over – both have happened before. Grace is not my strong suit.)

It’s not that I’m afraid of falling, or of embarrassment. I fall over all the time: usually not intentionally, but there are times when I feel the need to demonstrate how to properly collapse. And I’m outgoing to the point at which nothing really embarrasses me. (At youth group our leader will give us motivation for gathering together quickly by saying, “The last one over here has to stand up in the front and sing ‘I’m a Little Teapot’.” I always linger back so I can run up to the front and show off my now-famous I’m a Little Teapot routine.)

So why do I have trouble with trust? Maybe it’s because of my temperament: I’m reading a book called The Four Temperaments, and I’m pretty sure I’m a choleric, which basically means that I’m motivated, strong-willed, stubborn, and outgoing. It also means I have a tendency to think I’m sufficient all by myself, and I don’t need others. I don’t need to trust people to get along in life. I’ve also always fancied myself like a spy… Trust no one, I work alone, etc.

The problem is, now I need to trust… Need to trust more than I ever have. And I can’t.

I mentioned a couple blog posts back that I’ve been having some issues (that I did not elaborate on). I’m not going to go into much detail, but I’ll just say that there was a boy I very very very much liked who recieved the call to the priesthood. I was heartbroken: really, actually heartbroken – not like my thirteen-year-old version of ‘heartbroken’, which seems laughable in retrospect. My whole world felt like it had been flipped on its head, and I alternated between crying and kicking myself for acting like such a Bella Swan.

This all happened about three weeks ago, and I’m still hurting, but I’m healing, too. My problem is the whole trust thing. I thought I had things under control. I had a plan. Things were going well. And then everything flipped and now I don’t know where I am or what to do.

I don’t even know who I am.

I’m not implying that my entire identity and life rested in this boy, because it didn’t. I’ve been troubled by not knowing myself for a really long time. In Marian Group (a sort of religious/youth-group-y/study group I’m in with some friends of mine), we’ve been talking about identity and discovering ourselves – who we are, truly. It’s a hard question answer: 2-4-6-0-1 doesn’t cut it, in this case.

So add to this whole situation the fact that I’m fifteen and hence overemotional and overdramatic, and you’ll see why I’m sort of a wreck. There are other factors at play besides everything I’ve listed that I am not going to go into, but for our purposes, just assume that nothing makes sense and I feel like I’m stumbling around a maze, blindfolded.

I am lost.

I should also mention that this all happened on the Friday night before VBS started. I woke up Monday morning to discover that the entire theme for VBS was ‘Trust God.’ I spent the entirety of VBS teaching kids about trusting God in every situation, the whole while I was finding it hard to trust God myself.

We sang this entirely-too-relevant song a lot.

That song is basically my life right now.

Everywhere I look, the world is screaming at me to trust God. I have a little plaque in my room that I got for my confirmation. Guess what Bible verse it has on it?

Basically the most accurate thing I’ve ever seen ever.

And this morning at Mass, the homily was all about trusting God despite your troubles. It’s ridiculous: is everyone inside my head right now? Like, living in there? (Hello population of the world. What are you doing inside my consciousness?)

So the solution seems simple, right? It’s being broadcast at me from every outlet – it’s not even trying to be subliminal. God has constructed a flashing billboard and planted it in front of my face: TRUST ME, HERO.

But it’s not simple! It’s not simple at all! I’m not one to sit by and be passive – I want to trust God, but I don’t know how! And I feel like I have to do something. I can’t just sit here and hope God brings about whatever’s supposed to happen to me… I mean, I need a plan, an idea of what’s going on so I can move forward in my life, so I know what action to take.

But like I said: I’m blindfolded. I’m lost. I don’t have a map.

I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what I’m here for. And I don’t know where to go. People try to offer me advice, and it’s not helpful. I’ve been taking lots of naps because when I’m asleep I can escape it all. Pretend I’m five years old, when life was easy: cheerios and Blue’s Clues. No problems.

I have to learn to trust Him. I have to remember something that Julia told me, something that really struck me: God doesn’t just have a plan for this boy – God has a plan for me. And I have to realize that trusting God doesn’t mean not doing anything and expecting my life and identity to just plop itself into my lap. After all, I’m in a maze and I’m blindfolded – I need someone to lead me out… But being led out requires effort on my part. I have to walk forward through the twists and turns and I have to trust God that I’m going the right way. And that’s really hard for me – to let go, to not have a game plan or a map. But I know He is leading me somewhere, and I just have to trust that it’s somewhere good.

I’m going to figure it out. Somehow. (Someday… Somewhere… What? You thought I could get through an entire blog post without referencing West Side Story?)

In the meantime, I’m going to be praying and journalling a lot to try and get a handle on things. I would really appreciate it if you guys would all pray for me. As much as the Slytherin in me says I can do it alone, I can’t, and I know that.

I’m falling backwards, but my knees are buckling before God can catch me. I’m not letting go, and I need to. No matter how I feel, I’ve got to trust God – I said that so many times at VBS. Now I have to start believing it.

~Hero

The Egyptian in Sherlock Holmes

This is the part of the show where I pretend that it’s not Thursday, but in fact Wednesday, and I am not blogging a day late. Pretend with me, readers! Pretend with me.

Anyway. Note that this blog post contains SPOILERS about the season 2 premiere of the BBC show, Sherlock. If you have not yet seen this episode and do not want to be spoiled, DO NOT READ THIS BLOG POST. Skip down until you see red text, at which point the danger has passed.

SPOILERS BEGIN NOW

On Tuesday I watched the newest episode of Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia. Follow this with yesterday beginning a paper on the warring natures of Mark Antony from Shakespeare’s play Antony and Cleopatra. The subject of my paper, as I mentioned, is how the two natures of Mark Antony are at war: his reason against his passion, or, as Shakespeare puts it, the Roman in him versus the Egyptian in him. Of course, the Roman leader does not take on his Egyptian nature by himself – no. Mark Antony is turned Egyptian by none other than Egypt herself: Cleopatra.

As I was writing my paper, I started to notice parallels between the interaction and situation of Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler (who, by the way, I didn’t enjoy – at all) compared to Mark Antony and Cleopatra (fun fact: I didn’t enjoy her, either). After all, both women use the seduction and manipulation to bring about the deterioration of the men opposite them, and I find that their situations mirror each other in more ways that you would think.

At the beginning of the episode, Sherlock is Mark Antony at the end of Julius Caesar (the play in which Antony is first introduced to us by Shakespeare). Actually, no, strike that. He is Antony in Act III, Scene II of Julius Caesar. He has not yet vanquished his enemy – in this comparison, Moriarti is Brutus, a comparison that doesn’t fit the individual characters (Moriarti doesn’t strike me as “the noblest Roman of them all,” but I digress), but works in the general scheme of things – but the crisis has, for now, been averted. He has rallied the support of his people (in Julius Caesar, having given his famous ‘I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him’ speech, in Sherlock, having risen to popularity thanks to Watson’s blog), and is pretty confident.

Enter the pretty woman. At this point it’s worth mentioning that while Irene Adler is very similar to Cleopatra, she is not a perfect clone. Cleopatra was completely ruled by her passions (as shown in the play by the fact that while Antony realizes their relationship is destroying them, Cleopatra doesn’t even think about it, she just wants Antony, pure and simple), and even though Irene Adler is ruled by her passions in one way (I mean, just look at what she calls her ‘career’), she does have some of the Roman in her. Not enough, in the end, as proven by the passcode to her phone. To quote Sherlock, “Sentiment is a chemical defect found in the losing side.” Irene’s passion, her sentiment, the Egyptian in her, got the best of her in the end.

But we’re not there yet. This is about Sherlock, and how Irene Adler could have brought about his downfall in much the same way that Cleopatra destroyed Antony – and how she almost did. It’s obvious from the first second of Sherlock and Irene’s interaction that Sherlock is not up to par around her. (To give him credit: she was completely naked and he was thrown. But still.) He’s not his usual self for a good minute and a half (which for Sherlock, is a long time), at which point he pulls himself together and goes back to operating at his normal level. That is, until things go awry and Sherlock is forced to give the men from the CIA a code that he does not have. It takes him too long, by Sherlock’s standards, to figure out the code, and once he does have the contents of the safe, it is taken from him by Irene (through the use of force and narcotics) and Sherlock is momentarily defeated. Defeat is not familiar to Sherlock, and this initial defeat is a foreshadowing of things to come.

To her credit, Irene plays the game well. (Despite being completely annoying and way too skanky for life, she does have a brain in her aggravating little skull.) And because she plays the game well, Sherlock is captivated – or as captivated as Sherlock can be. When Irene ‘dies’ (for the first of many times), he is, as Watson puts it, “Distraught.” It’s clear that Sherlock has some amount of feelings for The Woman. She, like Cleopatra, has introduced the Roman to Egypt.

At the end of the episode, in the scene on the plane, Sherlock realizes he has been played. It is Act IV, Scene XII of Antony and Cleopatra. “All is lost! This foul Egyptian hath betrayed me!” It is the end for Antony, and it is almost the end for Sherlock. He, like, Antony, sees his downfall – sees how this woman affected him, in the same way that Antony sees how he has been ruined by Cleopatra. This is the great tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra: Antony wants to be a true Roman – a man of reason and mind – but he’s too weak. He can’t control his passions and he knows it. He has been destroyed, and he wasn’t able to stop it.

Sherlock sees his downfall, but unlike Antony, he is not weak. He is not controlled by his passions – not anymore. He will not let this woman ruin him. “No.” “What did you say?” “I said, no.” This is where we see that even though Irene Adler gave Sherlock the taste of Egypt, he is still Roman. He is more Roman than Mark Antony will ever be. When it counts, he is able to use his reason and his mind, to return to rationality, and defeat the Egyptian parasite that has been dragging him down. It is the end for Irene Adler.

Or is it? We know that she’s alive at the end of th

e episode, because Sherlock saves her. This means she’s going to come back – an occurrence to which I’m not looking forward. All irritating personality traits aside, Irene Adler is not good for Sherlock. He barely made it out of this first encounter unscathed, and the fact that he rescued her shows that the Egypt in him is not entirely gone. I’m worried about Sherlock – after all, Antony and Cleopatra doesn’t lend itself to a sequel. A Scandal in Belgravia doesn’t either.

SPOILERS ARE OVER! IT’S SAFE – SOUND THE ALL CLEAR, ETC.

In other news, I’m really excited about Camp NaNoWriMo this year! I’ve already started my character bios and my rough outlines. I’m actually making a plot chart this year, so hopefully I won’t crash and burn (again).

One thing I’m psyched for in this novel is the magic – magic has been done so many times that it’s easy to be cliché, but I’ve got what I think are some cool ideas – I’m pulling things from philosophy and legend… I’m hoping to bring to it deeper meaning and simile and all of those things that I’ve always wanted to put into my writing but have never been able to. I’m taking a lot of inspiration from Tolkein, and of course C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling. I have high hopes for this year! 🙂

And here’s a treat for all of you for sticking with this blog post even if you couldn’t read/weren’t interested:

A little Loki for you. You’re welcome. (I’m sorry if you don’t appreciate the full glory of Loki. Your loss.) (And before you ask, NO, I have not seen the movie yet, so do not spoil me.) (LANDON I AM LOOKING AT YOU AHEMMM. Thanks for that, dude. Thanks.)

Well, I’m off to waste an inordinate amount of time on the internet finish cleaning the study and then get started on my plot chart/sketches of characters. Have a great week, everybody!

~Hero

Who Am I?

Guys, I do not want to write this post. I want to watch Leverage, or sleep, or pretend that I’m not wearing my broken glasses lopsidedly on my face. Maybe I would go eat an empty ice cream cone, since we have the cones but no ice cream. Or maybe I would take that 75% full tupperware of melon downstairs to put in the fridge before it turns to mush! (Actually, I am going to do that. One moment, please.)

Okay. Back from the melon endeavor.

The reason I’m kind of wiped out is because I told myself that I was not going to write this post until after I finished at least PART of this paper on Julius Caesar that’s due on Thursday. But I’m so tired, and cranky, and sick, and so easily distracted (having the internet back is both a blessing and a curse), that writing the small amount I finally wrote took me a good hour.

Hence it being almost 9 o’clock when I’m finally getting around to this. I almost pushed it forward another day, but that would be lazy – and since I just got back from my 46-day-long abandonment of you guys, I decided to make this post a labor of love and get over myself. (Speaking of love, that’s what Wednesday’s post is going to be about. Stay tuned!)

Before I go on, I wanted to mention a couple of things.

1. I just discovered this amazing thing on YouTube that Hank Green has started. It’s called the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and it’s basically a retelling of Pride and Prejudice in the modern day, in the form of a video blog. (Think Dr. Horrible’s.) I’m a huge P&P fan, so I saw this and kind of geeked out. It’s hilarious, and you should check it out.

2. I’M GOING TO PROM! I’m so excited. 🙂 I’m not going to talk about it at all, because I don’t want to sound like it’s all I’ve been thinking about (even if it is), but, yeah. It’s going to be so awesome – my dress is amazing and only cost me $25! (Which is a good thing, since we just had to drop $200 on restoring my vision.) (…Yeah.)

So, I was thinking about what I should write this post on, and the first thing that popped into my head is identity. I’ve kind of been having an identity crisis since Saturday when I realized that my glasses are finished. Caput. No longer with us. I’ve had these glasses for three years, and now they’re dead.

I know that seems really overdramatic – I mean, they’re only a pair of glasses, right? The thing is, these glasses feel like a part of me. I wear them all the time – my friends almost never see me without them. I’ve met people who legitimately do not recognize me when I’m not wearing them. And obviously they’re just glasses, but it’s been making me think: what is it that makes us who we are?

Obviously our personalities and our souls and all of that, but how much of our exterior appearance contributes to our identity? Is the Hero without glasses the same as the Hero with glasses? Not to those aforementioned people who don’t recognize her. Not to people on the street who maybe realize something about her because of the glasses.

It’s not just about glasses, either. Think about scars, for example. I have scars all over me – and they all have a story. I have a scar on my foot from where my friend Sunny accidentally opened a gate onto it. I have couple scars under my lip from when I fell off a bike when I was nine and almost bit through it. (My lip, not the bike.) Without these scars, I wouldn’t be the same person I am today. And I’m not saying that having a gate opened onto my foot or biting through my lip were experiences that were turning points in my life. No. I’m saying that everything that happens to us shapes us, forms us. We are who we are because of genetics, yes, but also because of environmental factors. The Hero with the scars on her knees and the glasses on her face is that way for a reason. Those scars and those glasses aren’t key parts of her being – but they are parts of it, nonetheless, and as a result, they’re important.

Basically what I’m trying to say is: I really like these glasses. I wish I hadn’t been stupid enough to break them. 😛

(By the way, in case you’re wondering, the correct response to the title of the post is: “I’M JEAN VALJEAN!” Feel free to add jazz hands.)

Thanks for reading. Talk soon.

Hero