An alter ego (Latin for “other I”) means alternative self, which is believed to be distinct from a person’s normal or true original personality. Finding one’s alter ego will require finding one’s other self, one with different personality.Wikipedia
Recently I published an article that was written in a way that is reflective of how I used to write. That’s when the concept of the alter ego came to mind. I think I have lived mine for quite a bit and forgot to return to my old self. I don’t mean to freak you out but allow me to process this for a bit. Let’s call the old self Mist and the alter ego, Star.
Mist is shy, quiet, dreamy, innocent, sentimental, someone who likes to be alone and feels a very deep connection with everyone and the universe. Of course, Mist isn’t perfect. She’s not confident, not a leader, not outspoken and not making decisions based on what she thinks but how she feels. This is where Star comes in- vibrant, goofy, extrovert. She knows what she needs to be to succeed in the real world, though like Mist, she has flaws too.
I confided with a friend about these two characters and what came to me were these realizations.
1. I must embrace the fact that I have these two personalities. That I don’t need to prefer one over the other because both together make up the same Me.
2. Mist and Star do complement each other. It’s not a competition. One takes the lead when the other feels weak or seemingly out of place.
3. They are born to thrive in either of two worlds, the Dream world and the Practical-realist world.
When I look in the mirror now, I am not seeing Mist anymore and I miss her. I must have abandoned her totally and I think that was a mistake because there are things about Mist that I loved and still do.
Having lived my alter ego for years made me feel disconnected. It’s like looking at an old photo and wondering “where did all those years go” and “who’s that little girl and what was she like”?
Somebody once said, “Read the entire book and pick up only those things that work for you”.
When it comes to Mist and Star, I think I can embrace and play their own unique strengths, whenever the circumstances call for it. As to their weakness, it’s also part of the package, so I will have to embrace these “flaws” too and work on improving the things I can.
Making peace with this means that Mist and Star can show up whenever they think it’s best for Me. They’d be best friends now, knowing they belong to the same team.
I am no Psychologist and call me crazy but there are real people who have adopted alter egos too just like our superheroes. Think of Batman, Superman, Spiderman and then think of Lady Gaga, David Bowie, Beyonce. Even writers have done it too, take Charles Bukowski, Ernest Hemingway and Philip Roth to name a few.
Now that I mentioned that, I’m wondering if there’s any alter ego reading or writing in this platform. If there are, well, this is Mist saying “Hi”.