Tag Archives: Creating personalities

Observing Myself

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Creating Personalities

 

To finish off this week’s theme of putting on different personas, I decided to play myself today while at the same time sitting on the sidelines as observer. Granted, the observer’s perceptions were skewed by the player’s views, but all the same, I wanted to see what discoveries I would make.

As observer, I watched myself speak far too bluntly than one ought, sneak a taste of batter when no one was looking, and take much too much time fussing over words for a blog post.

As player, I felt the surge of adrenalin in an emotionally charged debate, the joy of shared laughter among friends, and the retreat into silence to collect my own thoughts.

I discovered that I liked myself better from the insider’s viewpoint than from that of observer. The observer often misunderstood my intentions and was black and white in her judgements. Not to say that the observer wasn’t correct in noticing my flaws, it’s just that she was quick to critique and slow to consider alternate interpretations.

It made me wonder if I, as observer of others, unfairly judge those I see from the outside. Perhaps taking a moment to jump into their skins will help me respond with more wisdom and fairness.

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer  

Emotions

Emotions are like women, some would say- can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em. Find out how to solve the problem of women and you’ll find out what to do with emotions.

You’re supposed to be smart about ’em. The EI Quotient- Emotional Intelligence. Made some author really rich, gave me a lifelong complex. Man, am I emotionally unintelligent- mostly for believing my feelings now have to have smarts to them.

In one of John Malkovich’s movies, his character played a man who impersonated the famous Director Stanley Kubrick. The impersonator went around behaving like he thought the Director acted. And people bought the act!

Maybe I should impersonate an Emotionally Intelligent person for the rest of my life and be ever calm, cool, and collected- and 100% contrived.

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I Wanna be a Rock Star

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Creating Personalities

 

Watch President Obama and you will see the embodiment of charisma. There is something about him that draws you in, makes you hang on every word he says.

Rock stars have it too, that very same something.

It’s hard to put a finger on what exactly it is, but whatever it is, I don’t have it. I have too many characteristics that get in the way and not enough of the magic.

Tonight, I wanted to capture charisma even for just one moment, even for just one song. That’s right, I played ‘charismatic karaoke rock star’.

The last time I did karaoke I did it as myself. This time, I did it as the original singer of the song I chose, watching him in my head as I sang, doing what he did, feeling what I imagined he felt. Mic in hand, I put on my slickest, smoothest voice, grabbed control of the stage, and invited the audience into the heart of the song.

Did I actually exude charisma? I don’t know. But I felt free, sure, strong, passionate as I imagined myself as a rock star.

It makes me wonder if charisma is something you’re born with or something you can learn. I wonder… What do you think?

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer  

The Tracks

She had been walking along the tracks for days. It was the only way she could maintain any sense of direction. She had no idea where they led, but there was nothing else to point her to any place other than here.

The noonday sun beat down. She reached into her bag and took out a shirt to shield her eyes. She could only see a few feet in front of her. Then again, there wasn’t much else to look at.

Track, track, more track. Her eyes grew heavy. Just a little farther and she would take a break.

In the midst of the brightness and her fading energy, she suddenly felt a different sensation beneath her feet. She stopped and looked down. Shoes. Sand. Tracks- no tracks, they had come to an end. She had arrived somewhere.

She looked around. Her surroundings were the same they had been the whole journey- sand, sand, more sand. One vast expanse.

Now what? No path, no tracks, no landmarks, or sign posts.

No time to waste on tears or analysis. She stepped into the vast, choosing a direction at random and carried on, one foot in front of the other.

If only she would have looked beyond the surface, she would have noticed the gilded steps within reach above, leading to life in another dimension.

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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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The Interrogation Room

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Creating Personalities

 

If I have to be stuck in the great indoors, I need to have windows. A windowless room cuts me off from the rest of the world, trapping me in a shoebox that’s running out of air.

I stepped into a shoebox today. A gentleman showed me in and then closed the door behind us. There we were in the sealed rectangle of four empty walls, an oblong table, and a few chairs. No windows. “Feels like an interrogation room,” I thought, sensing the walls closing in around me. I mustered all my energy to stop myself from bolting.

“Interrogation room.” The words echoed in my mind. “Just like on NCIS… Hey… Gibbs, the calm, wise team lead of few words- what would he be like on the receiving end in the NCIS interrogation room?”

A shield fell around me as I imagined myself as Gibbs, sitting down slowly, controlled. Like Gibbs would have done (in my mind), I nodded slightly as the gentleman spoke and gave him a look that showed I knew more than I said.

My heart rate stabilized, I was poised, focused, oblivious to the shoebox I was in. The rest of my time in the” interrogation room” went smoothly. Gibbs’s calm held.

How interesting that being able to imagine oneself as another person can open a much-needed window to let in a cool breeze in a moment of discomfort.

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer  

2012

2012- the end of the world. Of course they made a movie of it. They, them, the ones who run the world- according to the conspiracy theories. They pull the strings, we dance. We’ll flock to the theatres, buy the t-shirts, incorporate the anxiety of immanent doom into our psyches. That way we’ll go to more movies to escape our existential angst, buy more merchandise to soothe our souls, and so keep the economy humming along. How else did we think the world kept turning?

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Bazinga

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Creating Personalities

 

I hardly ever watch tv (why watch when you can blog?) but when I do, “The Big Bang Theory” is my show of choice. Of all the fabulous characters, my favourite is Sheldon Cooper, the endearing, comic book loving, geeky, socially oblivious germophobe genius.

Today, instead of watching him on a screen, I decided to watch him from the inside, choosing a few moments to try to experience life from his point of view.

The location had to be right to bring out the Sheldoness in me, so naturally, I placed myself in the heart of Sheldendom- a comic book store. You have to understand, this was way out of my comfort zone. The only way to pull it off was to turn into Sheldon.

I headed straight for the comic bin. “Got it, got it, got it, need it, got it, need it…”. I began to take pride in how many “Got it”s I came up with and started believing that I actually had an extensive comic book collection.

“Can I help you?” asked the owner.

“Yes,” I answered, impatient to have to speak to another human being. “Where are  your Green Lantern collectibles?” (As if I even knew what I was asking for!)

The lady showed me all kinds of things: part 2 of a multi-part Green Lantern statue (collect all three and you get a bonus Alan Scott figure), a Green Lantern Ring Prop Replica which included the rare Death Ring, a fabric poster… And then, the Holy Grail- behind the counter, up on the highest shelf, was a Green Lantern neon sign you could display in a window. It would herald to all the other comic geeks that a fellow knower of superhero lore lives in this place, and would leave the non-initiated oblivious to the elite status of the dweller. I had to have it. I reached for my credit card.

Pulling it out, my eyes fell to the name on the card and I remembered that I have no clue what the Green Lantern is and that I have no elite status. The boyhood excitement of Sheldon Cooper left me.

I returned, feeling guilty for wasting the store owner’s time. As penance, I bought an action figure of some character that was on sale. I’ll probably give it to one of those children’s charity drives. I hope it brings some kid a moment of boyhood excitement like I experienced today.

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer  

Creating Smiles Update

Just an update on how the week is going putting the Creating Smiles project into practice:

The action I was given today was to contact someone I hadn’t talked with in a while.

I emailed a semi-long-lost friend I haven’t spoken with in a few months: “How are you? What’s new? You ready for Christmas?”

She emailed back a short while later saying she was just thinking of emailing me. She attached a message sent three hours previously by our mutual friend who suggested that the three of us get together this weekend. How do you like that!

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Too Much Lemonade

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Creating Personalities
 

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.

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 Today’s 4 Minute Writer  

Rabbit Hole

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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