The past few weeks have been somewhat trying for me. My oven doesn't work. We were without gas for three and a half days (read: no hot water), the ac wasn't working, the children were cranky, and everything else that could go wrong, did.
There were times I broke down and sobbed. Not because of one particular thing but because it all added up to a lot of stress.
I like to think of stress as a glass and water. You can hold a glass without any trouble. You can turn it over and toss it in the air. You can spin in on your finger tips. But stress is like water being poured into the glass. Now you can't spin the glass. You can't toss it into the air. But still, it's just a glass of water. But then more water gets poured into the glass until it's full. You can hold that glass for a minute without any problems. But after two minutes your arm starts to ache a little. After five minutes you're looking around for a place to set it down or longing to switch hands. But you can't. No, you have to hold the glass of water in the one hand with no where to put it and keep it from spilling. After an hour your arm starts to twitch and what was just a little glass of water suddenly feels like the weight of the world. Gosh that's a really long explanation, but it's simple in my head.
Book characters don't deal with no heat or air conditioning and hot water. They deal with murder and mayhem and mysteries of life and death. But they're all challenges and these challenges and how we deal with them add up to our character.
So I thought to myself, if I'm going to be the heroine in my own story (as is Catherine Morland's quest in Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen) what kind of character am I? I don't want to be the whiny character that can't do anything for themselves. I want to be that strong character that goes out and solves the problems all by herself, well, maybe with the help of a few friends along the way. Now, I'll be honest, I did whine a little bit. I've already admitted to crying as well. But I kept my head on my shoulders. I tried not to pass blame on to anyone else as my problems were no ones fault except my own. And now that I'm through the worst of it I look back and think, it wasn't so bad.
So, what's your character like? Do you find yourself wishing you could change something about your character? It's ok if you do, that's called character growth and is needed in any good novel (or I guess we could even say movie, tv series, etc). I like to think as a character I'm growing. And someday I will be the heroine of my story!