Short Stories and Counterstories

Short stories, in general definition, are the mostly simplistic and generalized perception of how we see a group of people, specific places, and things. Think of it like a stereotype of some sort, of how we assume specific things, people, and places to be in this specific standard, but it isn’t always true when we find out that it is way more different than we thought it to be.

What would be a good example of a short story for me in my life personally? I can remember it in clear detail. Most of you know the common feeling of students wanting to fit in their academic environment, and this is an all-around type of feeling many can say they relate to. I felt this big time when I was younger, time traveling back to the days of middle school.

Back in those days, I was always the quiet kid who really didn’t feel “in one place” to phrase it. Of course, I had my few best friends which helped me not to feel alone. But this didn’t mean I was not subject to being judged due to how “meek, soft, quiet, and crybabyish” I appeared, especially to the boys in my class back in the day. It wasn’t easy being the joke to them, especially since the athletic group of guys were not the nicest to me as you may expect. But try as I may, I wanted to at least radiate that same level of energy they radiate when they played sports (such as basketball which is their favorite.) I was and am to this day, a tomboy, which I liked having with slight playful roughhousing and “boyish” sports. This interested and surprised the boys as I was more sporty than most of the girls, showing I wasn’t as “girly/weak” or any other derogatory synonyms they thought girls were, and they sometimes allowed me to play in their basketball games at recess.

It helped me fit in for a while, especially with a specific group of guy friends I used to hang out with. But after a while, I didn’t really hang with them as much anymore as I soon found the real mini group I belonged in. Those who loved drawing as much as I do to this very day as I write this, made me feel like I can be myself, in all of my “tomboy/girly” likenesses. I felt like I didn’t need to be only one half of me for others to see me, and I could be my quiet/introverted, but kindhearted creative self.

For this short story, have I been reduced to what people think of me? Not really as this reflects on how I started back then from when I was younger, to now here in the present as a young adult. I can look back at this and slightly chuckle and give my younger me back in the past advice to be herself only with the people that have things in common with you, and not only be that half of yourself for the rest of your life. This is a lesson I take to heart every day of my life, as I don’t want to be conformed to just one thing, but be me in every way.


One Comment

  • Andrea

    Thanks for your thoughtful consideration here, Charlize. As you move forward on the counterstory assignment, I encourage you to hone in one a specific element of your identity that others have misjudged. You will tell specific stories of the what that judgement looked like and devise a counterstory to resist those misjudgements.

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