Being Zoë

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Creating Personalities

 

My friend Janet characterizes herself as logical, reserved, and content in her comfort zone. She is lovely- I just can’t understand that bit about the comfort zone. Doesn’t it get boring to just stick to what you know?

I decided to give her the fantastic opportunity to step out of her comfort zone today. I’m caring like that.

I challenged Janet to choose a moment sometime during the day to be me, and then tell me how it went.

A couple of hours later, she came back with an uneasy look on her face. “I just ran around talking excitedly to a whole bunch of people,” she told me.

“Uh-huh… I probed.

“They all smiled and looked excited to stop and chat with me.”

“That’s a good thing…” I wasn’t quite getting the point.

“I was being you,” she told me.

The pieces were coming together.

“That’s great!” I exclaimed, “Out of your comfort zone! What was it like for you?”

“Well,” she stammered, “I liked it. It was fun. But I don’t want to like it. I just want to be me.”

I beamed. A small identity crisis is good for us every once in a while.

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer  

A Kid at Heart

He has a unique way of looking at the world. Marches to his own beat really. He’s kind, reflective.

He’s counting down the days to retirement when he can putter away on projects at home, spend time with his grandchildren, ponder how to build a better mouse trap. He’s a practical man, finds no use for abstract hypotheticals- what’s the point of wasting energy on things that don’t exist? He does have a point…

He told me once about a large family gathering he attended. The adults were busy discussing politics, their jobs, how their stocks were doing, and there he was, down on the floor playing with the kids. He was alive, energetic, teaching and learning, getting excited with them about small discoveries.

One of the adults pulled him aside. It wasn’t proper for him to spend all his time playing with the children, he was told. He needed to be among his own cohort.

“But what if,” he quipped, “the kids are more interesting than the grown-ups?”

Yesterday he showed up in a pair of cool Converse shoes, white with brown flaps. His plaid shirt accentuated the look. Here was this 62 year old man in hip teenage clothes. And you know what? They suited him just fine.

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11 Comments

Filed under Creativity, Writing

11 responses to “Being Zoë

  1. I love reading about your exploration of character. I suspect you would be a fantastic actress and while it’s probably not something you would quit your day job for, you might truly enjoy the experience of community theatre.

    • Funny you should say that. I did a brief stint in community theatre. It was a little nerve wracking so I stepped away from it. I’m realizing through these blog post experiments that I can use my life as a stage and choose my moments, audience, and parts I play.
      Thanks for your encouragement.

  2. I think it’s wonderful that none of us is a replica of another. Every one of us is different. Like snowflakes. We may act like one another, but at the end of the day, each of us is unique. There is only one Zoe, and she stands out in the crowd. This is the way she was made, possibly for the purpose of influencing others. We are all providentially engineered to please to our Maker in some way. Blessings to you, Zoe…

  3. I’m a kid at heart! I always gravitate to the kids . . . they ARE much more interesting than adults because . . . they are REAL.

    They don’t worry about comfort zones, and socially acceptable mores, and whether people are looking at them a bit oddly. They just dive into the moment and let the juice drip down their chin.

    Beautiful posts, Zoe. Thanks!

    • What would the world be like if we all grew older but never grew up? Would we have much more fun all the time? Would we ever get anything ‘productive’ done? Would we even care?
      Perhaps this could be an experiment some might be willing to try somewhere…

  4. Fabulous sense of fun you have, girl, and I’m not surprised everyone reacted differently to Janet when she ‘was’ you.
    But being someone else is like going on holiday: and it’s so nice to get home…

    • Holidays of the imagination are fun indeed. They’re a chance to see life from a different point of view and imagine possibilities not previously considered.
      Actual holidays are very nice too- hope things are falling into place as you prepare for yours.

  5. Chloe

    Well, your writing certainly gets me thrinking my friend! I’ve been in the same old comfort zone for ages now, and it’s not even a great place to be! Think it’s time for a change – thanks for the inspiration ! xx

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