Daily Prompt 4/3/23

Daily writing prompt
If you could be a character from a book or film, who would you be? Why?

If you had asked me this question when I was about 7, I would’ve said Mike Teevee from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I loved the idea of getting to go to chocolate factory and getting that while experience, but also I loved what they did with his character in the movie version. He was the cowboy kid, watching all the tv and playing with his guns. His energy level and mischief…that was me as a child.

But now, I would choose Charlie Bucket. Same book, different kid. I still want to go to the chocolate factory, but I would want to win it all like Charlie did. And being kind matters to me now. As a child, I can say that I was mean-spirited and was sometimes a jerk to classmates. I knew I was smart because all of my teachers told me so. And I knew I was clever enough to never get caught being a jerk, being disruptive, or not being “good” in class. I was usually disruptive with DJ, who was ALWAYS in trouble for being the class clown. I’m sure DJ probably would’ve been diagnosed with ADHD back in the day. He was like 5 months younger than I was and just wanted to make people laugh.

I was only ever caught once being a jerk, and that was tormenting a girl that had been at my school since first grade. Her mother and my mother had gone to high school together and this girl was so perfect. She was advanced in every way and her parents wanted her to be ahead of everyone, so they quizzed her over dinner every night. She was always agreeable, didn’t run around the playground starting trouble like I did, and was so much mature than I ever was at that age.

If you asked adults, they would’ve told you I was like Charlie Bucket, but I know I wasn’t. I remember teasing a couple different girls about being overweight and teasing this kid about his shoes. The only reason I had decent shoes that year was because my grandmother bought them for me. And I wore them long after I had outgrown them because I didn’t want the shoes my parents could afford.

I don’t know why I was such a jerk. Why I threw rocks at the girls across the street when they visited their grandfather. Or why I couldn’t seem to control my mouth, like ever. I catch my mouth running now sometimes. In my head I’m thinking “SHUT UP, what is wrong with you? Why can’t you ever stop talking?”

I do know. It’s called ADHD and it’s pretty much the biggest pain in my ass some days. I get hyperfocused on insignificant things and can’t ever get my brain to focus on what I need it to focus on when I need that focus. It’s aggravating sometimes. I have been hyper, restless, explosive, unfocused, hyperfocused, unmotivated, and a huge procrastinator my entire life. But for so long, I could find my way around it. I could compensate in a million different ways. But now it’s just too exhausting. I’m just me…hopefully not as much of a jerk as kid me was.

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