What Character am I?

We are not the characters we want to be, we are the characters we are.

I read this line somewhere and it stuck.

I know who I want to be: a bohemian who writes and paints; a free spirit who has an open heart; a person who doesn’t mind messes, whether around her or within her; a person who values her health; a person who spends hours and hours on reading and writing.

And I know who I am: a devoted family member; a frustrated artist; a woman in a relationship that is constantly a challenge; a critic of others and of herself; a stickler for details; an impossible employee; a fierce fighter; a spurned lover; a drinker.

This conflict is human and it’s what I want to add to my fictitious characters. I look at myself and the character I am is mostly at odds, but the character I want to be is always fine.

How do I make the leap from the character I am to the character I want to be? I mean, 100%, because now, I am the character I want to be, perhaps 30% of my time.

Is it possible to let go completely of the character that I am? I don’t think so. But I wish for a different balance: 80% the character I want to be and 20% the character I am.

This conundrum as a scale of who I want to be on one pan and who I am on the other pan, may not cover the whole issue. Too simple. In fact, the character I am and the character I want to be are pieces of a puzzle fitted to other pieces like: my ancestry, my cultural heritage, my history, my family, my relationships, my environment, my biology, and that puts me in the world, fraught with complexity.

When I create characters that is what I think about.

Woman is a Word
by
Elizabeth Stokkebye