Tuesday, October 23, 2007

All the World's a Stage

I was thinking today about roles.

As post-modern as society likes to think it is, we still all love our absolutes and slapping labels onto people.

When I got to school, I was the innocent. I'd have been the ingenue, but I wasn't blonde enough and I had braces. Ingenues are just out of braces.

Over the past two years, while I am still considered The Innocent, I've also built up a reputation. I am now The Scholar. The intelligent, unintelligible one who inherits the drive toward grad school from her professors' encouragement.

What do I do if I don't want to be that? What if I want to, just for a day, be The Slacker, or The Arachnophobe, or The Narcoleptic?

I was talking about being pigeonholed into being the Smart One (even though, in the words of Leaf Coneybear from the musical "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," I'm NOT THAT SMART) with this guy who'd just told me that I talk above his head in Theatre History class. He said, "Well, I think it would be a bad thing to want to be less intelligent than you are," which I guess is right.

But can't I be the Nice One? The girl who makes everyone feel like a million bucks?

How about the Organized One? I used to be SO GOOD about making my bed but now I just want to sleep in it.

Why can't I think of myself outside of labels? Why can't I process all the idiosyncratic facets of my personality, which I happen to like a lot, and let myself be a 3-dimensional character?

We codify too much.

We are all bad actors, offering a simplistic view of ourselves to ourselves and the rest of the world. It's not fair to me, it's not fair to you, it's not fair to a God who made us in color and with idiosyncratic facets.

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