One of my favorite quotes about writers is:
“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”― E.L. Doctorow
But then a drastic life event made me realize that writers aren’t the only people with multiple personalities—acceptable or not. We all have them. By we, I mean you too.
Think about it. How many “you’s” are there in an average week? Really. There’s a bunch of “you’s”. We all respond, react…differently…for the lack of a better term to describe our behaviors, depending upon which “us” is called upon in any situation. I’ll use myself as an example.
I am Christian. I’m wife, mother, grandmother, author, friend. Sister—an older bossier sister at that—just ask my brother who was cursed to be born eight years my junior. Then there’s the seldom-called-upon chewer-outer of our programming provider when I call to change my channel package and the poor soul on the phone is foolish enough to attempt to sell me something I am not about to buy.
But I digress. Back to losing a personality.
One of my “me’s” has been dismissed. On December 14, 2016, I drove away from my day job of twenty-nine years for the last time. The company I worked for decided to close the steel mill where I’d worked. I hadn’t made “friends”. I’d acquired “family”. The years of laughter and tears, sharing births, deaths, marriages, and divorces were now abruptly over.
My nickname at work was Thumper. You remember Bambi’s best friend? He had the worst time trying to keep his mouth shut and his opinions to himself. Thumper struggled when it came to filtering his words. I share his problem.
I was dubbed Thumper at the steel mill during the first year or two of my employment. They called me Thumper for so long, some didn’t even know my real name.
That thought makes me smile because there were some I couldn’t tell you what their real names were: Sprucie, Sprout, Stump, Ogie, Pappy, Hambone, Romie, Rollo. I guess you could say, we were the steel industries own special assortment of dwarves. But now our forest is gone. Stripped bare and vacant.
So, what do I do now that “Thumper” is no longer needed Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. ‘til whenever the work was done?
Yes, I know I am still very blessed. Yes. I have more time to write. But I’m still sad. I mourn that lost corner of my soul.
I know life is all about change and transition into different stages but I’d always planned a more gradual slide from one phase to the next.
How do you handle a chopping block change—after the part of your life they’ve cut away has dropped into oblivion?
How would you cope with the death of a personality?