Last night, I finished reading the Percy Jackson series. All in all, I loved them and I’m really looking forward to reading the Heroes of Olympus series. They’ve also really inspired me to get back into drawing. I used to draw all the time. When I was younger, I really thought I was going to grow up to be an artist.
Now, for the record, I am nowhere near talented enough to actually become an artist. A photographer? I’d like to think maybe. But as much as I love to draw and paint, I’m not stellar. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it, however. Thanks to Percy Jackson, I really want to paint some Greek Mythology.
The books also got me thinking about the ideas of Tragic Flaws, the characteristic that could potentially be a hero’s downfall. In Percy Jackson, Annabeth’s tragic flaw is pride. Percy’s is his willingness to sacrifice the entire world in order to save one of his friends. The concept of tragic flaws does not strictly apply to the Percy Jackson. In Shakespeare’s tragedies, you find Othello’s jealousy, Hamlet’s unwillingness to act, and MacBeth’s ambition. This afternoon at work, I started thinking about what my tragic flaw might be. I came up with several possibilities, which, now that I think about it, might not be something to brag about, but I thought I’d share anyway.
I am stubborn. Like, to a pigheaded degree. If I think I need to do something, I’m going to do it no matter what anyone else tells me. I very rarely change my opinions on anything and I am very loathe to admit I was wrong. I will admit it, but it’s VERY difficult. Still, I almost always think that I’m right and I’m very opinionated.
Along those same lines, I am also very defensive. I hate being wrong or mistaken and I take criticism very personally (which is a TERRIBLE trait for an author). I blame this compulsive need to be correct on my time spent in a private elementary school where even the slightest lapse in perfection would result in a yellow card, three of which added up to a detention.
I, like several girls, overanalyze EVERYTHING. A person could send me a simple text message like, “Okay,” and I’d immediately think, “Okay?! What does that mean? Are they mad at me? Are they happy? Are they simply settling to appease me? Do they think I’m a huge loser? Oh gosh, they must think I’m the most annoying person in the world!” It’s awful.
4) I Never Give Anyone the Benefit of the Doubt
This is one that I’m trying to work on, but I have a bad habit of assuming the worst. I think I can read people, so I am likely to believe that I know their thoughts, their motivations, and every bad intention that they have.
I have no patience for anything. I hate waiting. It drives me crazy. I barely have the patience to write out this paragraph right now.
6) Self Pity
I’m not sure why, but there are times when my self esteem just plummets. It happened a lot more when I was in graduate school, but I still have my off days every now and then. Publishing my book helped a lot, but every now and then, I’ll be struck by that little voice in the back of my head screaming, “You’re so weird, you’re so useless, no one is going to like you the way that you are, you better get cool NOW.” Again, that has been happening less and less, but my self-esteem could still use a bit of improvement.
8) Compulsive Need to Make Lists of 10, or at Least Even Numbers
I think this one kind of speaks for itself.
I know everyone has flaws and I know that this list doesn’t even come close to describing all of mine. However, I don’t think that focusing on the negative is a good idea (add Hypocrisy to the list). I’d much rather look for the good and the beauty in people, places, and things, than for the things that might not be so perfect. I say I’d rather do this because it’s very difficult for me. That another thing I’d like to start working on. My mom has the remarkable gift to see goodness in everybody. It’s something I really envy about her, because I’m simply not like that. I’m more like my dad, personality wise. The only personality traits I share with my mom are that I love cats and will tell anyone who will listen pretty much anything.
I hope spelling out all of my tragic flaws has not made you like me any less. I value honesty above pretty much any other virtue (If we lived in the world of Divergent, I’d be a Candor for sure). I guess sometimes, it’s easier for me to understand life when I think of it like one big storybook. Characters are easy to understand, but real people? I think to even begin to understand ourselves would take a lifetime.