You’re Not a Bad Person

You just fell out of character

Image via USA Network

Mike Ross has a photographic memory, and yet, he keeps losing his phone.

The first time I watched Suits, I didn’t understand why. It seemed odd. A misplaced trait in a genius character.

How could the writers have missed this? How did this anomaly slip through the cracks?

The more I watched, the more I understood: The writers didn’t miss these flaws. They put them there. They’re what keeps Mike interesting.

Mike Ross is a good man whom bad things have happened to. He’s a lawyer but not a real one. He’s loyal but naïve. Mike is full of conflict.

In other words, more so than a character on a TV show, Mike Ross is human.

Mike is madly, deeply, purely in love with Rachel. And yet, he starts an affair with another woman. Mike can outwit any intellectual attacker. And yet, he lets himself get blackmailed. That’s unlike him, but that’s what we do, isn’t it?

We fall out of character — and that’s what keeps us interesting.

We all have this idea of who we want to be. The perfect version of our character. Of course, we’ll never get there.

We all take the odd highway exit here and there. We do things we can’t make sense of in hindsight, and then, much later still, we suddenly can.

There’s this quote that, “What you do when you don’t have to will determine who you’ll be when you can’t help it.”

Why did we leave our perfectly comfortable life for a much harder one? Why did we disappoint the person we love? How did we get here? Did we choose so? Did life choose us?

It’s tempting to want to eliminate chance. To iron out the flaws in our character. There’s no way to succeed, but even if there was, it’d probably set us up for failure on a much grander scale.

Who wants to be 100% predictable? Life’s too fast to stop changing. No rule can last forever.

Falling out of character is what keeps us — what keeps life — interesting.

We should fight hard to be our best selves. In fact, we’ll always have to. But we’ll also pull the odd move every now and then. That’s something to celebrate, not regret. At least, we should accept it.

When you forget your phone, call the wrong person, or miss the deadline you never miss, don’t beat yourself up for being unpredictable. Don’t cast stones into the mirror.

Remember that you’re human. Trust the detour will eventually make sense.

Forgive yourself, then get back into the picture. You’re a star, after all. And the show must go on.

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