Last night I had a light bulb moment. I don't have many of those so it crept up and surprised me!
Context: I've been doing an online writing course with Future Learn, which has been very enjoyable and has kept my writing muscles lubricated while the novel has taken a back seat - it's not flowing at the moment and I was getting cross with it so we both needed a break from each other. The exercise I had just done involved creating a character and then experimenting with different methods of revealing that character - through summary, appearance etc. I duly created a character and started to flesh her out. So far, so good.
Then last night came the light bulb moment. It suddenly struck me that the character I had created was the person I secretly wanted to be. She was the alter-ego me, the person I wished I was. This sucked the air out of my body and flung me backwards. To be confronted with this shadow me was a shock. Where had she been all my life?And what did this mean about the actual life I am living?
The first shock was that without thinking about it I had created a person that I wished I was more like. I've always felt fairly comfortable being me and when asked I say that I have no regrets because if I regret actions in the past then it would change the life I have now, which is happy. So why do I have this other woman, this other me in my head?
Then I realised that this other me was the result of differing decisions in my past. If I had done things differently my life might have been more like hers. So what does this tell me about my life now? Am I not as happy and content as I thought I was?
Serious stuff, eh? Actually I think that what it shows me is that my imagination, creative side is active and has been for a long time. If I think back to my early 20s that was the time when I made decisions that shaped who I am and the life I have now. The character I created is an example of how things could have been if I'd done things a little differently but she's essentially me in a different costume. I'm looking forward to getting to know her better!
Which has got me thinking - how many other 'mes' can I create by altering a few aspects of my life? And what change would be a step too far?