If you haven’t read my article Fixing Reality – analogy (https://b0ld.ca/2019/10/21/fixing-reality-analogy/) go back and read it, because today’s topic is related.
In that last article, I talked about your favourite characters and how they fixed your wounds. Talking about this subject with a few friends, I realized how true it was, even for friends who aren’t as obsessed with fiction as I am. It was immensely incredible watching my closest people learn something new about themselves. This might be my second favourite thing: understanding me, people, and helping them on their own journey.
These discussions led me to another question. I’ve always said that there are two types of favourite characters or two types of love for a character.
The first type, I feel like we mentioned it a bit in the last article: you would want them to be by your side. You’d want to meet them, to have a coffee with them, to go ice-skating, to go apple-picking, to watch a movie cuddled up in their arms, to fight crimes by their side, to look at them in the sunlight. You just wish with your whole heart they were real or that you were part of their fictional world. The characters in the first type have personality traits that fill holes in yours. They’re the perfect balance for you, or you wish they were.
The second type is the opposite. You find yourself in them. You like them because they are like you and you have compassion and love for them for it. Sometimes, they become role models. They have qualities that you wish you had and that you want to work on. They inspire you, or they show you that if they can be loved, even as flawed and imperfect as they are, you can too.
So my second question to my friend was: If you were a fictional character, what would you be like?
You can think about this in the next few weeks, and it can be a fun (journaling) exercise and it can stay a game for you, or it may turn into what you aspire to be, your dream you. I made this a few times over the years, trying to imagine who I would be if I could make myself into a fictional character. I had always a few choices and I could never choose, I felt like all these people could be me, that I would like to be all of these. Lately, I realized that one of them was the true one. Because some may seem interesting and appealing, but they are not your true dream self.
Let me tell you a bit about dream Aimée to show you how I do it and then you can do it too and share your dream or fictional self with me in return.
She lives in a small east coast seaside city where there is a lighthouse and a marina. She lives in a blue – or soft yellow, I can never decide – house with a porch, with a perfect view of the ocean. In the city, it constantly smells like saltwater and the air is always crisp. Warm in summer, and perfect sweater weather in fall, but blankets are always required and appreciated at night. She has a lot, anyways. She spends a lot of time on her porch, reading, listening to soft music, drinking tea, breathing in the fresh air, cuddling with her man. She has a kid napping on her lap, and she’s playing with his (I imagine a son, for some reason) hair. Things are calm and safe in this city. She bikes everywhere and mostly to her job. She owns a small bookstore with a view of the ocean. There are bookshelves outside for tourists to look through. In the store, there are big comfy chairs and a tea and coffee service. The second floor is a little private nook with a desk to write. She always has things to say. She loves her work. Books are home to her, they feel familiar and comfortable, yet they’re an escape and an adventure. It’s not only the stories, the books themselves too, behind surrounded by them. She enjoys giving recommendations to everyone because she takes the time to get to know the person’s interests first. She organizes activities for grandparents to read to young kids, book clubs, writing workshops, open mics, poetry reading, book signing, art expositions, and a lot of activities to make people discover and love stories and art in general, but she always goes for things she loves. She wants to share what she loves but accepts to discover new things. On her days off, or on mornings before opening the store, she sits by the water and closes her eyes. The sound of the waves crashing calm her and the smell of saltwater is home to her, the crisp still cold air making her hold her arms around her tighter. Sometimes, her husband comes with her and they hold each other gently. They don’t have to talk, they have the same calm, safe place. She lives a small, soft life where things are calm and comforting. They laugh a lot and play board games at night or watch movies, cuddled up on the couch. Life is somewhat both colourful and light.
There you go, this is fictional Aimée. Fictional you don’t have to be super realistic, you don’t need to worry about money or practicality, just go for the version of you that would make you dream a lot. You should feel all warm and soft inside when you think about that fictional you, and you should also want to talk about it for like…15 hours on end.
I’d very much like to know who fictional you is, it can be a few lines and be a bit vague, as long as you have an image in your head. I hope it helps you understand what is important to you, what are your priorities but also, who is the best version of yourself, and maybe, it helps you work towards that best version of you. It might not be as magical, but there is a version of you that could look almost just like that. Work towards that person. I may not be the good person to give you a checklist on how to be that person, but I’m here to make you dream, to get you out of your squared life and to make you think about something bigger than you. If it makes you dream for a split second, then I’ll take that split second. If it encourages you to work towards that goal, it’s even better. The road may not be easier, but it’s much more motivating when you know where you’re going.
I’ll see you soon, sweethearts, stay safe and sane. In the meantime, take time to read and check out the b0ld page on Facebook and Instagram, we love to get feedback from you all.