We live our entire lives as ourselves, experiencing life from our own points of view, through the filter of our own personalities. What would it be like to experience life as someone else, even for just a moment?
That’s what I’m experimenting with this week. I’ll try to put another person/character in the foreground of my personality and myself in the background for a few moments each day.
Today I took on Nina, the overly cheery Corporate Accounts lady from the movie Office Space. You know the type, everything is always super-duper, make lemonade out of lemons, happy, happy, happy.
Nina stepped into a couple of interactions I had over the past 24 hours. First, I pulled her out while talking about a mundane topic with a couple of people I know. At the end of the conversation, Nina beamed from ear to ear and wished the two others a “Very joyous day!”. I was met with a sarcastic smile and slight eyeball rolling. Fully absorbed as the character of Nina, I felt my eyes go big, giving a “Who peed in your cornflakes?” look. I brushed off the reaction and continued on my merry way.
It was a new experience for me, not my usual way of ending a conversation or responding to sarcastic mockery.
Nina came back later in the day to interact with a fellow exuberantly happy lady. My cheer was met with corresponding cheer, escalated half a notch, to which I squealed back just a little louder- as did she. Pretty soon our interaction spiraled into a back-and-forth of stupendous glee and I just couldn’t take it anymore! I pushed Nina out of the way and took back control of myself. That was the end of that.
Like hats to match outfits, putting on and taking off various people may come in handy. If nothing else, it’ll contribute to my personal amusement. And that’s worth something- to me anyway.
Thanks to Ric at http://uphillwriting.org/ for inspiring the idea of getting inside a character.
Today’s 4 Minute Writer
I looked down the rabbit hole, down, down. It seemed endless, and yet, from somewhere down below, I saw what could have been someone who looked like me.
And there I was, at once at the bottom of the rabbit hole, and at the same time at the top.
“Is that you down there?”
“Is that you up there?”
Occupying space, standing there, me looking back at me, reflecting, pondering, puzzling. Stoic. Backlit against the desert sky, barely visible in the dark cavern, shades of time, shades of feelings. Same person, same time, alternate reactions to the same circumstance.
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