There’s work you and home you, café you and hospital you, friends you and strangers you. In this week’s writing challenge, tell us about a time when two or more of your “yous” ran into each other.
Do you ever notice how many different versions of you exist? We slip in and out of our different personas without even noticing.
We’re the impatient smartphone fumbler waiting for our coffee, the generous stranger offering our seat on the bus, and the annoying partner/parent/roommate who forgot that one errand we were supposed to run — sometimes in the span of ten minutes. Each of these comes with its own set of gestures, its own voice, its own language.
Sometimes, our personas depend on location. Other times it’s what we’re wearing, who we’re talking to, or what we’re trying to accomplish that conditions our behavior. This variety makes our lives more complicated and more prone to mishaps — but also so much more interesting.
For this week’s challenge, think about a time when two (or more!) of your personas collided. How did you react? Did one take over, or did you come up with a strange hybrid of your different selves? Was it a source of anxiety and embarrassment, or a great moment of comedy?
If you’d like something more specific to sink your teeth into, tell us about…
- That time when you ran into a coworker in an unexpected place.
- An encounter you had in real life with someone you’d previously only known online or by voice.
- An event with relatives of different generations, and how you had to tailor your behavior accordingly.
- A trip abroad where you had to switch back and forth between manners, languages, or attitudes.
Feel free to tweak any of these ideas to suit your needs!
I can’t wait to read your stories — whichever “you” you choose to present us with.