Creating Our Character

Sometime in our life, we take on a character–just like in a novel. “I’m the black sheep of the family,” we explain. Or, “Yeah, I’m the family historian,” or even, “We’d never have family reunions without me. I love organizing them.” Those descriptions are true, in the moment. It gets a bit stickier if we believe them too much ourselves.

labelsIt’s a small step from having done some daring things in the past to thinking of ourselves as the black sheep of the family who will never amount to anything.

In the novel of our lives, the hero will come around and fix us and save us, generally just in time to live happily ever after.  In real life, we keep choosing ways to not amount to anything so we can continue to be the black sheep and. . . keep repeating the same mistakes, bad choices, and foiling anyone who wants to help us.

The trouble with living life as a novel is that a novel ends because everything is resolved. If we resolve our lives, there is nothing left to do. So we avoid resolving or changing, often waiting for the hero to do the job that is ours to do.

DesertbookAnd should the hero show up, well, we go to the beginning of the novel and start over, proving we are the black sheep. When the real life hero decides that life needs more balance than a one-way struggle to re-engineer a dedicated black sheep, it’s easy to decide it’s the wrong hero.

We can live an entire life making everyone else wrong while we dedicate ourselves to the label we don’t need. We all have a choice of the reality we want to live. We can create the reality that sheds labels and makes us. . .responsible for who we want to be. Yep. The hero you are waiting for is you.

It’s a big world. You don’t have to live the old reality. You can walk out of that novel and look where you want to go. Then head in that direction.

What if others try to stick that label back on you? That’s their reality. You are just walking through it. Choose your own reality. Live it to the fullest.

–Quinn McDonald is cheered by what she experienced last week on Madeline Island. She’s looking where she wants to go.

15 thoughts on “Creating Our Character

  1. You may have just put every psychologist in the country out of work. Or even the world, if we all diligently spread and share this important message. Thanks again Quinn for your insight and for sharing it.

  2. It was finding that hero within (although I didn’t call it that) that helped me reframe the label “Jack of all trades master of none” into a powerful echo of “I’m a versatile woman who is damn good at some” every time I hear the chant from down the memory-line. It was so empowering, like wearing armour!
    There are some labels we believe that are hard to shake . . . it’s just as well we can have ready access to a hero (and she’s getting stronger).

  3. Wow Quinn, were you reading my mind? I have decided to move back to Texas, and that involves in re-inventing the person that I want to be there (not the person that I was when I left Dallas 15 years ago…) I need to make a book review of my life and decide which character I want to be when I grow up!

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