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!):

Kaitlin

Sarah Enni

Dawn Rae Miller

Lori Tays Eastep

Lyn Almodovar

Jenn Wood

Jamie Blair/GotYA

Dana Alison Levy

Ashelynn

Nikki Katz

Katharine Owens

Kathleen Peacock

Kathy Bradey

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