Being The Protagonist

Dear Reader,

This all seems familiar. I’m up much later than I should be and I have to wake up much earlier than I’d like to tomorrow. And I’m feeling the urge to write. To bring some clarity into my life. To ramble on until I find my point.

Yes, this same situation happened on one of the first days of my summer, June 16, when I wrote my first blogpost about “my story.” And now, on one of the last days of my summer, I am experiencing an epiphany.

I mentioned in said post that I see all people as characters. And because it is in my human nature to be narcissistic and self-centered, I see myself as the main character of a story. My story.

But oh my WORD would that be an awful story. I’ve had, what, maybe two love interests in my seventeen years of life. I’ve spent countless Friday nights skipping football games and social events to stay home and kill my weekend either on the internet or simply daydreaming. And I’ve had an embarrassing number of awkward encounters and situations that I cringe when I look back.

And I looked at all of this–all of these reasons why my story sucks–and I thought, why? And then I realized the common problematic factor is me. Maybe it’s because I’m too young to have truly lived, but I think I’ve mostly just missed opportunities to grow. To learn and to live.

So my plan was to cram it all in this summer… but that didn’t happen.

The main reason why is because I completely over scheduled myself with two jobs and I underestimated how much time and effort it takes to prepare for college. The other reason, though, is something that was obvious but I chose to ignore.

It is hard to change. Not impossible (I haven’t given up yet), but really damn hard.

I had this idea at the beginning of summer of the “character” that I wanted to turn into. I wanted to be intelligent and healthy and beautiful and funny and charming and maybe a bit introverted and shy, but altogether a good time and a good friend. The true list was much longer, but those are some of the main points.

So I was going to become this character–this ideal person that I’ve always wanted to be–and then my story would start. I would attract all the right supporting characters (don’t worry, I wasn’t planning on ditching my current friends and family or anything, I’m just looking to expand as I move onto college) and go on these novel-worthy adventures. Or, at the very least, live adventures that are worth telling my children some day.

But here’s what I forgot: the best characters are dynamic. They change and grow as the story reveals itself. Look at A Tale of Two Cities! This is a favorite book of mine so I’ll skip any major spoilers, but Sydney Carton is basically a loser turned hero. But it’s because of the plot, the adventure, the characters, that this happened.

So I may not have all of the qualities that I want, and I’m not going to stop working on my own to get smarter and healthier and all that, but I’m going to stop letting the qualities that I don’t possess stop me from doing, well, anything. Because maybe stepping out of my comfort zone every once in a while and partaking in adventures that I would have once declined for various reasons, maybe that will help. Maybe those experiences will make me funnier or more interesting.

At the very least, I’ll have more stories to tell.

In other news, I am moving into my dorm in exactly two weeks and plan to keep up with “Sincerely Sammy” by writing once a week. With five classes, club tennis, a job, and the desire to have a social life and live these adventures that I have talked so fondly about, I may not have a ton of spare time. But this is something I really like doing and I feel bad for neglecting it.

Thank you if you’ve made it this far–I know it’s been a while since I’ve rambled on like this. You can look forward to a review of the book Paper Towns, a recap of my July/end-of-summer bucket list, and possibly a letter to incoming high school freshmen. Or you can not look forward to them. They’ll be on my blog regardless.




4 thoughts on “Being The Protagonist

  1. anotherwayfaringstranger says:

    Hey Sammy,
    I just wanted to say that i have a similar thought process too, but I’ve always thought of myself as the scientist and all the people in my life as subjects and though i try my level best not to get caught in their drama, i like to closely observe and access and wonder why.

    I had a similarly rough year but im glad i lost what i did because it made me realize my priorities and filter what mattered to me the most. What im saying is that its never too late for an Adventure, keep your eye out and you’ll find it.

    Good luck 🙂

    • sammyneiswander says:

      What an interesting perspective! I’ve never thought of people like that but it makes sense. What a refreshing way to look at things. Thank you for your advice and I’m glad you can relate and have made it through stronger than before. I will definitely keep me eye on the adventure. 🙂
      Thanks for your comment!

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