Sometimes I Wish I Lived In A Book So Someone Would Just Write Me As A Character Who Would Do This Stuff

A thing I like about books is that the characters in them all say exactly what they mean. In fact, in a lot of the novels I’ve read, the characters struggled to explain to each other what it was they were thinking and feeling. They make an effort to find the right words to describe and convey their thoughts and emotions. They try to make themselves clear. You know? Like they wouldn’t just go with something. They state their minds. What they’re comfortable with and what they’re not. They’re honest. They say things that they mean. And I find that very convenient. And beautiful. And brave. Very brave. Because saying what you’re thinking isn’t always an easy task. It sometimes means confronting someone, and I hate confrontation. I let things slide. But I’m tired of that! I’m so tired of it. I can’t let things slide anymore, because letting things slide doesn’t mean letting them go. The things that I let slide are all piled up one on top of the other behind me, and I’ve been unknowingly (more like subconsciously) dragging them everywhere. I can’t let things slide anymore. At least not the things that really bother me. It’s starting to get boring and tiresome. It’s starting to repeat itself on and on, like a sad gif. And I hate that. Because it’s not getting me to who and where I want to be.

It’s not as dramatic as I’ve made it all sound. But I couldn’t help making it sound the way it did because I have to do something about it. I have to grow some balls and start confronting people. And just thinking about that makes my stomach start flopping like a fish out of water. Also. I don’t mean that aggressively. The whole “confronting people” part. It’s not like I’m going to walk up to people and start acting all mean and macho. Like, look at me. I’m so tough. It’s just that I need to start saying what I’m thinking. Things that are simple to think but hard to say. Things that seem simple but feel more than that. Things you don’t mind mumbling to yourself but the minute you’re facing the someone you want to confront, your throat gets all tight. Things like: I really didn’t like it when you said so and so, or, why have you been ignoring me?, or, I’m sorry. I don’t know why I find confrontation hard. I wish I didn’t. I wish I was more like Anne Shirley, or Elizabeth Bennet, or my mom. But I’m not. Not yet. I’m not like them yet.

My friend, Sarah T, invited me and her other friends to her house once (she and I went to different schools). She asked me to come over and I told her I didn’t want to get in her and her friends’ way, but she kept on insisting, so I went. They kept on talking about things that I wasn’t a part of. Inside jokes and all. It wasn’t horrible, but it was a bit uncomfortable. Sarah could see that. So when the night was over and I had to go home, Sarah walked me to the door, hugged me, and then said, “I’m sorry for inviting you.” I was a bit dumbstruck when she said that, for two reasons: 1) When taken out of context, it can be perceived as rude or hurtful (or possibly just odd). But it was anything but (this sentence bothers me). It was honest and nice of her to admit. And, 2) I didn’t realize how her saying that would make me feel so much more better. It’s like I needed to hear it. I wasn’t enjoying myself much and she could see it. We were both thinking it. Hearing her say that made me feel like it wasn’t something to hide. Like it was okay that I didn’t feel comfortable with her friends. And that even though we didn’t have to talk about it specifically or get deep into it, she still felt like it was important to apologize about. It was a comforting feeling. It made me feel like I matter. And it is because of this memory that I know that I like it when people state things as they really are even if they aren’t what we want them to be, and I like it when they don’t ignore stuff and act like it doesn’t matter or that it isn’t there. I’d rather talk about things than ignore them. I’d rather we put everything on our metaphorical table instead of start building metaphorical walls around ourselves. I’d rather we say things despite the fact that they might not sound nice, because, sometimes, these things need to be said. And I’m kind of done with waiting for someone else to do and say all that. People are probably just as nervous about confrontation as I am. Or they’re careless. Whatever. The point is, I’m going to try (yes, try. Baby steps.) to not just let things slide. I’m going to put some effort into it.

To be honest, I started this post with the intention of talking about how people seem to be un-genuine with their words. I’m not sure how I got here. I’m not even sure if I have it in me to write about that. This post has sort of drained me. And I know once I start talking about that I won’t be able to stop. It’ll open a door that, tonight, is best left closed, so I’m going to leave it that way.

 

What do you think about confrontation?

 

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3 thoughts on “Sometimes I Wish I Lived In A Book So Someone Would Just Write Me As A Character Who Would Do This Stuff

  1. I agree with you about confrontation.Sometimes I have trouble saying exactly what I want to say because either I’m too shy or….yeah, I let it slide. It’s never caused me great distress (at least none that I can remember at this moment) but this topic does make me think. You mentioned books but it made me think of movies. I think that book characters are a lot more communicative than movie characters. I can’t count how many times I’ve been frustrated with a movie/tv character who just storms out at the slightest sign of a confrontation. It’s like “Come on, you idiot! Stay and have a proper discussion! Nothing is resolved by running away!” But in books the author can lay out every word and every thought a character has. It’s a lot clearer. I think we have it in us to want clarity but not all of us are brave enough to seek it. As a writer, I used to try my hand at short stories and novels. I used the most sincere words I could find in me to write the words of my characters. It was all the words I would want to say if I was in their situation. In one tentative novel I basically rewrote the story of me and this guy, but this time I said all the things I should have said and all the things I wanted to hear…the confrontations that never happened. I don’t know how that fits into all these but this is my two cents.
    Geez, I didn’t mean to write so much but this was a great post. And thank you for making me think 🙂

    • “I think we have it in us to want clarity but not all of us are brave enough to seek it.” that was nicely put. And I really like your idea of rewriting situations. That made me think. I mean, I think everyone constantly replays moments in their heads and edit in things they wished they said instead of what they actually did say (or didn’t). But the act of actually WRITING them down sounds very intriguing. I’ve replayed hundreds of moments in my head. And the idea of sitting down and writing down what I wish I had said in certain moments is kind of getting me excited. I think I’m going to try that out and see what I get. And I also agree with what you said about movie characters. They can be a bit hasty. I mean with books, you can spend pages and pages describing a single moment. There really isn’t a concept of time. But in movies, I believe, that isn’t easily done. Or done /as/ easily (as it is in books). Books are allowed to be long, movies? Not so much. There’s a standard time. And characters in books are more justified because we know they’re reasons for doing what they do. We’re with them constantly, in their heads. In movies, it’s like looking at somebody else. You don’t know what they’re really thinking. So I guess that’s why they probably come off a bit hasty in their decisions.
      I very much enjoyed your reply, as it made me think as well. I like discussing things. And you brought forth an interesting discussion. Thank you for that!

      • I agree with everything you said. I think your take on the concept of time in books and movies is exactly right. And on writing out those “do-over” moments…in can be therapeutic, for sure.

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