Yes And: On Being ALL The Things
"Yes, and?" aka rule one of improv. Improv is about expanding, being open to your partner, to the scene, to the character you've assumed. You go with it, build, let everything get crazier and crazier, while still keeping it all in check. In life, we're constantly being told "yes/no." You can be this but not that, if you choose A you cannot have B, you can't have your cake and eat it too.
There are tons of scenarios in which it is an either/or situation, but when it comes to who we are, I say we have some re-thinking to do. Teen movies are full of cliques but almost always, the main character isn't in one and it's this character that we relate to. Why? Well because we see the story from her perspective but... because she, like us, is many things and can't be defined.
This is a struggle I often have.
- I can curse like a sailor but I love spreading joy and smiles
- I love having deep, philosophical conversations but I can find a Sex and the City episode that relates to just about any life experience
- I enjoy political news shows but I also love all things Disney
- I often buy more conservative clothing pieces but my favorite color is pink and if it sparkles, I want it (Note: I'm actively working to achieve more balance here, tips on where to get more pink/colorful clothing that won't make me look like a clown welcome!)
- I hate needles but I have a tattoo
- I love working out but don't go a day without dessert
Sometimes it feels like I can't be all of these things and yet, whenever I try to be more column A than B, I don't feel like myself, not to mention all the parts of me in columns C, D, and E.
What I've realized is that it's ok to be many things and most of us are. Not everyone will see all parts of you and that's ok too. I don't see all parts of others, and I bet that there are things about many of my friends and family members that I don't get to see or see but don't automatically think of when I think of them. It's natural, there's only so much information we can process so at a certain point we have to make some generalizations. I think the key is to be mindful that we're doing this and remember to be open to everything, all aspects of ourselves and all aspects of each other.
Anyone with me? What are your seemingly oxymoronic traits?