Saturday, January 11, 2014

Who is your alter ego?

I have a board on my Pintrest entitled 'my alter ego'. I pin things like clothes I would've worn when I was 16 and dressing to shock (and secretly wish I could still wear now, alas, I've made the decision that as a 30 year old mother of three there shall be no more midriff unless one is on the beach). Pictures of brooding young girls, scaling fences and smoking cigarettes, partying with their equally attractive and pouty boyfriends. Beautiful bizarre things, covered in butterfly wings, clad only in slips of fabric. You get the idea. The point is, it's not representative of the life I lead. Except maybe in my head.

Compared to most of collections of pretty things on my Pintrest, this board is quite small. I usually only pin there when I can not find another suitable home for the image. When I just can't make it fit on my style board, or even my Beautiful Loser board (where I collect things of the bizzare and lovely type). No, this board pays homage to another woman/girl entirely. She's not who I am or even quite who I once was, but she is a part of me nonetheless. My alter ego.

Alter ego is Latin for "the other I". It is defined (by Wikipedia) as "a second self, which is believed to be distinct from a person's normal or original personality." And "the role or persona taken on by an actor or by other types of performers." I think the idea of a persona best synchs with what I'm *attempting* to say here. You know how after you have a fight or an argument with someone you sort of play it back in your head? You imagine all the things you could have said differently, done differently. In that imagining you say all of the things you couldn't say in real life, out of fear or anxiety, whatever. You pull on your alter ego's ass kickin boots and make it right.

My alter ego is not afraid of anyone. She speaks her mind with intelligence every time. She makes dangerous things look fun and she always leads the way. Now, I may just have a particularly vivid inner life, but I think we all do this to some degree. The shy girl who imagines speaking her mind without whispering. The mother of four who just wants to hit the open road unencumbered, wind in her hair and a song on her lips. The woman who has got it together, imagining a world in which it's not her job to run the show. No responsibilities, not a care in the world.

Am I wrong? Do you do this? Who is your alter ego?

It's not about not loving who we are are, our lives, our families and our jobs, everything we have built and nurtured (as women we are wont to do). No. It's about that secret bad ass we keep inside. The one that helps us when we need a nudge (or a shove) to step out into the unknown. To do the things that frighten us. That excite us. My alter ego is actually responsible for everything I write and share. Christine can't put herself out there in front of the world, to be criticized or loved (both are equally frightening). But the tough as nails chick inside my head can. I call her the hipster housewife. And she doesn't care what you think of her, or if you think of her at all.

It's incredibly freeing ladies. To BE the woman you think you could be, if only you were braver, or smarter, or prettier. The truth is, courage, intelligence, and beauty are already yours. You just have to own them. Scary sh*% I know. No ones saying it's easy. But certainly doable.

I don't write here claiming to know it all, have it all, do it all. I'm not an expert anything. At 30 years old I am just learning who I am, as a wife and mother, as a friend, and above all, as a women of God. Sometimes I feel incredibly strong, and at others unspeakably weak. I write here to give legs to my dreams. So they can walk out of my head and actually be.

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