Sunday, May 13, 2007

Alter Egos

Today I made a silly little joke about taking a broadsword to anyone who didn't agree with me. In response, I was asked for a picture of myself and sent a picture of a woman in battle gear with a sword from an animated movie. I also made a joke about the woman being my real self, while the picture on my website ( is my meek, mild alter ego.

This little episode began percolating in my brain and now I have a question.

What if (there's that phrase all writers have lurking just behind their foreheads) our "other selves" actually came out to play at night, during the day?
My other self is a warrior woman. She is a "take no prisoners" kind of gal. She is just as willing to bash in your brains as to take you to bed. She knows what she wants and takes it.

In real life that kind of woman is usually behind bars. But what if society would allow us to open up our subconscious and be our "real selves". Not the kind of society that is pictured on TV with everything is wasted and the bad guys prey on the good guys. No, because who in their hearts of hearts wants to be a victim? (I'm not talking S&M but a real victim) Nobody. Everyone wants to be the strong victor. Maybe not the sword wielding, villain killing, kind of gal I write about, but a victorious person in life. Everyone wants to win.

When you read a book, do you see a person you want to become? Maybe more romantic, more adventurous, more self-assured. When you watch a movie do you, for a moment, want to become that person that wins the love, wins the day, wins the trophy?

Now the real question is: Why is there a discrepancy between our real life selves and our secret "alter ego"? Why do we read the romances, but don't look for the romance in our lives? Why do we read adventures and yet almost cower in the face of real adventure.Can we put the two together?

Some people do - look at the people who climb the mountains, ride the fast cars and bikes, jump off cliffs or out of planes.
Some people find real romance and live it every day.

Obviously, the answer is fear. Fear of loss, fear of injury, fear of being hurt either emotionally or physically.

I'm not saying that we should face our fear and suddenly become adventurous romantic daredevils. Although that might be interesting and fun. What if (there's that phrase again) we face one little tiny fear today and figure out how to conquer that fear. Then one more and one more until we no longer have the fear and we can actually integrate our real selves with our alter egos.

But if we did that, writers and movie makers might be out of business. Romances and adventures would no longer be needed to take us to a place where we can be someone else because we would be who we really want to be. We would be completely and fully living and happy with the way our lives are going. Or would we? Hmmmm. That brings a question to mind...

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