Thursday, January 04, 2007

New Year, New You! (Or Not) --Eve

Funny thing is that every New Year's Day, I make a bunch of silly resolutions that I think are supposed to make me a happier and better person, and every year on about January 6th I abruptly turn back into the pumpkin that I was meant to be. So this year, I took the realism route and on New Year's Day I slept in, watched football with my buddies, left the house a disaster after the previous night's raging party, stuffed myself with chocolate chip pancakes, pizza, fudge and coconut cake, and limited my exercise to walking out to the patio to fetch pitchers of beer from the keg (from the previous night's raging party).

In our culture, we're all about changing ourselves…diet, exercise, makeovers, hair extensions, plastic surgery. What ever happened to accepting ourselves for who we are and learning to love the skin we're in? Change doesn't always equal happier, folks! Anyway, after spending the first two days of 2007 shunning resolutions and embracing my inner gluttonous sloth, I finally got back to my writing routine today and met Robin at Linnea's CafĂ© to hammer out more of my YA novel.

Since I like to discuss what I'm going to write before I write, Robin had the unfortunate obligation of sitting and nodding while I babbled on about the “heart” of my book, the themes and challenges, and what it all means. And since I'm on this kick of accepting myself for who I am, refusing to “change” and “better” myself, just because society says I should, I asked Robin if my main character really has to change at all. I believe that our main characters are really just extensions of our true selves, or who we'd like to be, so…why can't my MC love who she is and refuse to change as well?

Seriously. Think about it. We're taught that our characters have to grow and learn something meaningful. So, why can't my MC learn that the way she lives her life totally kicks ass, and those around her who want her to change are the ones who need some attitude adjusting? Just saying.

I guess I just want to give my MC the luxury of learning what it took me 30 years to figure out, which is that living life the way others want us to will never make us happy. Much to the chagrin of my family and friends, I'm always going to be a little bit attention deficit girl, running late, forgetting stuff, never having a conventional job, spending my days being distracted and spontaneous. And I'm cool with that. Because I'm an exceptionally happy person. Probably has a lot to do with all that sleeping in and scarfing chocolate chip pancakes. Mmmm…chocolate chip pancakes… Now, what was I saying??

New Year, OLD ME!



Becky Levine said...

Okay, must my two cents here, BUT...if she does "learn that the way she lives her life totally kicks ass, and those around her who want her to change are the ones who need some attitude adjusting?" that IS change! She goes from NOT getting it to getting it! So, yay, you can do it!

Not much sleep last night, so, of course, this could be a totally invalid offering. :)

Becky Levine said...

"JUST," not "MUST"! Yipes. Too early for me, obviously.

alvina said...

I agree--that IS change. And I think the point is realizing that you're changing for yourself, not for others. I'm a HUGE believer in constant self-improvement, not because of society or others, but because I think no matter who you are, there's always another challenge, always something more to learn. For me, it's all about the striving. But it's loving who you are, and loving who you will become. Gawd, I sound cheesy, don't I? Cue the music.

Debby G. said...

Accepting yourself for who you are was the theme of my first novel. At least, that's what I was trying to get across.

And I do think that acceptance of self is a big change and shows growth of a character.

Who accepts she'll never be 110 pounds again, but still would like to lose ten pounds (in a way that doesn't involve much dieting, exercise, giving up of chocolate, wine, mindless net-surfing, or anything taking much effort on my part).

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the old Evie! Don't go changin'. Lamy

Disco Mermaids said...

Wow! Great comments, guys! So I guess my MC is actually learning something if she realizes that she can make her own decisions, and be who she is, and everyone else is lame for trying to force her to be a certain way. Yay! Thanks for helping me figure that out. Seriously. I worried that she wasn't "changing" enough. But how much do any of us REALLY change after about age 13 anyway?

Hi Alvina, Debby and Becky! My new computer won't let me leave comments on other peoples' blogs, so I've been reading your stuff, but haven't said "Hi" in a while. So...Hi!! And "Hi" Amy...even though I talk to you 10 times a day! :)