My Character Development

The title might be a little misleading because I’m not going to talk about characters much in this post. I’m back in Colorado for Winter Break and like I’ve been bringing up in other posts, it’s just different here now. I started thinking about what was happening with me and my life and the things I’m feeling right now and because of how my mind works, I started relating it to other things in my life. In this specific case, I was scrolling through my Facebook timeline and seeing all my posts. There are Instagram pictures, status updates, other peoples’ updates I’m tagged in, and blog posts primarily, but simply scrolling down through my profile was like watching a movie in rewind. This semester I just finished included an English class with a semester long project of researching and writing papers that would eventually culminate in a final research paper. I got my grade back a week ago and it was 194/200 (97%). The professor tells me I should try to get it published, but that’s besides the point. I wrote my paper about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in particular my favorite character Anya. The subject was why she was such a well written character because of flaws and how flaws make characters good/better. All of this ties into this idea of character development (a primary reason for character flaws). I know I toss around the phrase character development for characters in TV shows, movies, and books a lot, but I never really thought of character development as something real people go through. Writing about my favorite character’s development in Buffy combined with rewinding through my past few months of college has really set my scopes on the fact that I’ve developed. This really long intro is all to say I’ve developed and I want to share some of that experience in realizing the process.

I shared this with someone recently, but the part of me that feels displaced from being back in Colorado really wants to go back to Utah. I can’t believe I’m anxious to leave Colorado, but I kind of am. I can’t really tell you why, but I would say some of it comes down to simple development. I’ve broken out of this mold I’ve been living in for 18 years and I’m finally reaping the rewards of my own choices. I chose Utah and all that’s happened there is a result of my one choice; it feels more personal. I’m also at a point in my life where I want to be around people like me. In Utah, with the exception of my professors, the oldest people I associate with on a daily basis are at the most somewhere around 24, but most people are in the 18-22 range. I really miss the friends I’ve made in Utah and I’m actually looking forward to getting back to them. I hesitate my friends in Colorado are behind me, but every time I see them it feels almost bland or fake, like we’re just trying to reclaim what was instead of moving forward with what is. It’s like when Ted gets back together with Victoria briefly and he thinks that they have to re-adapt to each other and tries to reclaim a love he had years and years ago. Maybe that’s a bad example, but right now I don’t want to relive old times, I want to make new memories and try new stuff and move forward. None of that is to say I don’t want to see my old friends or that I’ve stopped caring for them, but I feel like under the current circumstances it feels to retroactive in my character. I want to move forward with them, but that’s not going to happen if I’m just visiting them here.

Development is also a lot slower in real life. Kind of a “duh” statement, but it’s true. Watching Buffy, I see the characters grow comparatively fast because I can watch the entire show in a couple weeks and get seven years worth of changes. In my life, I have to go about it day by day. Development is MUCH slower, but if I look far enough back I can see its trail. Even over the past semester I see it a little bit. I think it’s easier to look at other people’s changes than your own, but I can try. My temperament hasn’t changed a ton, but I’m really exploring myself and my position in the world. Temperaments never fully change (if you ask me), but opinions and knowledge are always changing. I’ve met a few people who have expanded my world view and challenged my thinking about the world. What I loved so much about Anya’s development  is how complete it was. She started in a position of hating men and hating humanity and lacking a sense of self but finished the series embracing humanity, herself, and even uncovers herself. Even more so, she doesn’t discover it, she creates it. That’s an interesting notion. We don’t have necessarily have something we have to figure out, we get to choose what we stand for. That freedom is beautiful. Nothing is set in stone and we have the power to decide who we become. I wish I could tell you more about how I’ve changed through this first semester, but I don’t think I can. It’s still too soon to figure that out and I won’t ever be able to provide a completely unbiased viewpoint of it. I’m definitely not the same person I was four months ago, but I can’t tell you why.

I’ll just leave it at that. Not one of my best posts I don’t think, but hey, this post is sort of a landmark one. It’s my last post of the year and my 52nd post this year, which means I successfully averaged one post per week. It’s also post #99, which means my next post is my hundredth post and first of the year! Woo hoo! I’ve certainly developed since my first post all the way back in February of 2014. Feels like a million years ago I started this thing. Anyhow, thanks for reading, and dare I ask for any of you readers, whether I know you or not, to comment to me how I’ve changed in your eyes? I’d be interested to see how others perceive my character development. Have a great New Years and see you in the next year.

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