Story Time, Thoughts of the Day

How a Single Meme Caused My Existential Crisis…

The most recent meme going around the internet is to describe yourself in 3 Fictional Characters.

Initially, I thought it would be a fun exercise and saw it to be a good way to revisit those characters that I’ve grown to love so much.

By no means did I think this task would be easy, but I didn’t think it would actually be this hard. I’d like to think that I know myself fairly well. But as it turns out, that may not be the case.

When a flood of characters first came to mind, my immediate thought was, “Wow, this is easy! I know myself so well!”

I have never been so wrong.

When I actually thought about it, I realized that many of those initial characters were nothing like me. Instead, they were who I wanted to be.

Take Tina Belcher for example: She’s a smart, strong, sensual woman. She knows who she is, what she wants, and she’s not afraid to go after it. She’s not ashamed to tell other people how she feels, even if it could some else uncomfortable. Those are all things that I admire and love about her. But, unfortunately, I am not her.

Take Rory Gilmore as another example: She’s smart, dedicated, and reads more books than anyone else. Those are all things that I believe to be true about myself. And yet, at times, I find myself at odds with Rory. There have even been several occasions in which I’ve found myself hating her. But that begs the real question: If I see myself in her, does that mean I also hate myself? That’s something I still don’t have a definitive answer to. And maybe I never will.

But until then, take Felicity Porter as a last example. Felicity is so outspoken and unapologetic about who she is that it almost makes me sick. She always speaks her mind and she always goes after what she wants. I’d love more than anything to say that I’m like her. But having insanely curly hair that doesn’t know how to handle humidity is where our comparisons begin and end. I am, unfortunately, also not Felicity.

So, if I’m not a Tina or a Rory or a Felicity, then who am I?

I know one immediate answer to that.

I am Liz Lemon. I am Liz Lemon in all her night cheese glory. In all her desire for a guy at a bar to buy her mozzarella sticks instead of a drink. I’d rather sit on the couch and watch tv by myself in my pajamas than go out and party. I’d rather eat things that are terrible for me instead of torturing myself by eating a salad. You’d find me flipping a table simply because someone stole my mac and cheese.

The first one wasn’t hard. In fact, it was blindingly obvious.

The second one wasn’t too hard either.

I am Liz Lemon and I am also Chandler Bing.

I am sarcastic and pride myself on my ability to lighten the mood with a joke. I’m unlucky in love and have a hard time always knowing what I want. And like Chandler, my humor is my defense.

But if I already know these things about myself, why is it so hard to come up with another character who I believe to be like me?

I thought about this for a very long time. And I mean, a long time. So long, in fact, that I started feeling a crisis coming on. Maybe I don’t really know myself as well as I had hoped.

When I finally did come up with a third character, I was hesitant (and still am) to place this person in comparison to myself. Am I actually like this person or do I just wish I were?

The person I ended up choosing was Peter Petrelli from Heroes. Peter is a good person. He’s kind and wants to help others. He is one of those people who truly cares. Now, you may be wondering why I would be hesitant to put such an inherently good person on my level.

But that’s just it. Peter is inherently good. But am I a good person? I could have just as easily gone the route of self-deprecation and put a bag of trash as my third character and it would have described me fairly well. But instead, I chose a person who wants to change the world.

I suppose this is where my crisis truly came into play. And I guess, even as I’m writing this, it’s still playing out.

I’d like to think of myself as a good person. I want to be a good person. I want to make a change in the world and I want to be happy. Maybe I just have to keep reminding myself that those are things that I can choose to be.