It’s Friday!  Which means…I get to tell you all how Abnegation kicked my butt  in the DIVERGENT Faction-of-the-week Challenge, inspired by Veronica Roth’s amazing book!  (Don’t know what the challenge is? Read about it here.)

(FYI–Blogger’s been super wonky, so I expect many participants will be late with their posts.  Just keep checking back in!)

So, I don’t know about you, but I definitely learned something this week.

I’m not cut out for Abnegation.

It’s not that I didn’t like doing nice things for other people. It’s that I liked it too much.  Every time I did something nice, I actually felt a sense of gratification. Whether I donated items for a charity auction, added a dollar to my grocery bill to benefit a good cause, gave extra time to my kids instead of working, or even performed the common courtesy acts I try to do on a daily basis—hold open doors, let people in while driving—they all served the same purpose. They made ME feel good.  And since Abnegation is sort of like the anti-me faction, I’m not sure I can consider any of that a success. This past week really made me think hard on the nature of selflessness, and if there IS a truly selfless act.

Oh, and the vanity thing. HOLY COW. If you’d asked me prior to this challenge how I rated on a vanity scale, I probably would have said on most days, low to moderate. I mean, I almost always pull my hair back in a ponytail, spend about three minutes slopping on some make-up, rarely bother with lipstick, and throw on whatever clothes are convenient (i.e. easy to find in my disaster zone of a closet).

So yesterday, thinking it would be no big deal, I went without make-up.   And for the first hour afterwards, THAT’S ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT.  It got better as the day wore on—I’d forget for stretches—but OMG, every time I passed a mirror, I stared. And fretted. Will everyone see the circles under my eyes?  Do my eyebrows look freakish?

Is this my color?

You know what was REALLY weird?  In a way, going without make-up made me vainer than actually wearing it.   Because on a typical day, I spend my fifteen minutes getting dressed and then I don’t think about my appearance again. Whereas yesterday, I thought about it. A LOT.   I guess that either makes me:  a) vainer than I thought (eyebrow pencil! EYEBROW PENCIL!  MY KINGDOM FOR AN EYEBROW PENCIL!) or b) very comfortable with my usual appearance and very uncomfortable with change.

And I was. Very. Uncomfortable. At least, when I remembered to think about it.  Which made me pause to consider how utterly miserable it must feel to be uncomfortable with how you look on a daily basis.

But that’s another story.

(We won’t even talk about how I also gave up flat-ironing my bangs. Which I only bother with when they’re overgrown. Only—they’re seriously, seriously overgrown. So they were basically sticking out from the side of my head about two inches, waiting to stab the dude in line next to me at Starbucks in the eye. But we won’t talk about that. Meep.)

So, sadly, I’m a giant Abnegation Fail. How did others fare?  Read about their experiences here (I’ll keep updating the list as posts pop up!):


Sarah Enni

Dawn Rae Miller

Lori Tays Eastep

Lyn Almodovar

Jenn Wood

Jamie Blair/GotYA

Dana Alison Levy


Nikki Katz

Katharine Owens

Kathleen Peacock

Kathy Bradey

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15 Responses to “Divergent Challenge Week One: Abnegation Fail”

  1. Sarah Enni Says:

    So glad I’m not the only one that struggled with this one! I think it’s the hardest Faction to pin down as far as what it REALLY wants to emphasize. I think everyone’s ideal of selflessness is different, really.
    Sarah Enni recently posted..Abnegation

  2. Kaitlin Says:

    It was definitely hard! I tried to do selfless things, but I sort of lucked out in that it coincided with something nice I was already helping with. I did THINK a lot about selflessness, though. So I think I learned something from it. But I think I would fail HARD at being fully selfless.
    Kaitlin recently posted..An Abnegationy week!

  3. houndrat Says:

    Sarah, I totally agree–Abnegation is a tricky little bugger to pin down, for sure! (Also, I’ll be insanely non-Abnegation and say I’m glad I’m not the only one who struggled this week! :D

  4. houndrat Says:

    Kaitlin—tons of <33333 for all you've done with the HelpWriteNow auction! You ladies are great! :D

  5. Lyn Says:

    I feel less bad about my failure LOL anyway here’s my post
    Lyn recently posted..Freaky Friday- Abenagation- Divergent Challenge of the Week

  6. Jennifer Says:

    This looks so much like my post that’s up.

  7. houndrat Says:

    Lyn–YAY! WordPress let you comment today, WOOT! :D

  8. houndrat Says:

    Jenn–except, gasp, you never wear make-up! *cuddles eyebrow pencil*

  9. ashelynn hetland Says:

    totally interesting how this worked for everybody! i think mine was a fail too, or maybe in-between a fail and a win? ha.

    here’s mine!
    ashelynn hetland recently posted..Divergent Challenge One- Abnegation

  10. houndrat Says:

    Ashelynn, you did MUCH better at the no make-up part than I did, that’s for sure! :D

  11. Nikki Says:

    I’m loving that you started this Deb! And I hear you on the make-up thing. I only wear a few staples, but I would feel naked without them.

  12. houndrat Says:

    Nikki, that’s totally how I felt..naked! And naked obviously doesn’t suit me, lol! So glad you’re having fun!

  13. Kathleen Says:

    I rarely (and I mean maybe once every eight weeks and even then usually only if I have a business appointment) wear makeup. The weird thing is, after wearing it for a few hours, when I take it off, I look _wrong_. Not literally, of course…

    I also found it interesting that one of my dearest friends was concerned when she found out I was taking my author photos with makeup on. She wears makeup all the time but because I so rarely do, she was worried that I wasn’t being true to myself.
    Kathleen recently posted..Divergent Faction of the Week

  14. houndrat Says:

    Lol, Kath, that’s funny about your friend. I guess others get used to us looking a certain way, too!

  15. Kate Says:

    I am here. Fashionably late.

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