Reading level up your life, I noticed two alter egos. There were the people with characters that aligned with their interests. These were people who practiced martial arts in real life so they created a character who did so as well. The second group had more fanciful characters such as wizards and druids. These people turned a trip to the grocery store into a hunt for an ancient artifact—more fantasy than fantastic filter.
So who is my character? Class wise I am some kind of warrior. I do not want to have to stretch too much in order to align my goals and quests with real life—so probably part of group 1. The whole action hero/secret agent bit did not hold my interest long since I do not see myself as an action hero in the classic pulpy sense. Rather I see myself as a man of principal—someone for whom promises matter almost as much as doing what is right. Additionally, I want to think of myself as something fantastic—of fantasy—more than just a guy losing weight or some guy who happens to know his way around a fight.
One of the exercises in Super You involves envisioning the “super” version of yourself. You consider how that image differs from your real-life persona. The intent is to show you what your mind wants to change about your life. I keep coming back to an aging gunfighter or a Jedi.
I like the idea of the gunfighter thanks to shows like have gun, will travel and authors like Louis L’Amour. Those guys did what was right, fought the odds, and won with heart and steel. The problem is, that’s maybe a little too close to home. I do not actually want to get into a gun fight for what I hope are obvious reasons. Firearms are by definition an integral part of a gunfighter’s character. Sure, I’m looking for a concealed carry permit but that is not in any way because I want to walk around looking for trouble—quite the opposite. While I enjoy reading about the fictional West, whenever I try to imagine myself in that time I end up asking how many of those shots over-penetrated? I wonder if that state has constitutional carry now? It makes it hard to suspend belief—so I am afraid the gun fighter is out.
If you asked me 20 years ago if I saw myself as a Jedi, the answer would have been a definitive no. I love the story of star wars but have to say that Luke always came across as a whiney little kid. For me and for a lot of my friends, Star Wars was more about Anican’s redemption than Luke’s triumph. Of course, there’s been a lot of writing since I first saw a new hope. The expanded universe may no longer be cannon but it was the foundation of my Star Wars addiction.
Jedi are interesting imagination fodder. They are guided by a power that has intrinsic morality. Many are philosophers and scholars before warriors. Each is an individual—subject to their own strengths and weaknesses. I do not think I would be looking at force users as a personal template though if I had not agreed to a massive light saber fight with a bunch of our FND kids. It brought home that as much as I see Jedi as thinkers first and dooers second, they are universally people of action. I started looking around and found a knightly order based on some dark horse comics. The imperial knights are soldiers more than warrior poets. They use generic sabers (all silver) and swear their loyalty to their emperor. Their order comes up about 130 years after a new hope, so the setting is not as bound in historical stricture. Then I came across this quote from one of their most famous members:
“Come, you hounds of the dark! Come to your deaths! Hurl your power at me! I deny you! I defy you! I am a Knight of the Empire, and I am your doom!”
~ Antares Draco
Yaa, that is the shit right there. Imperial knight, that’s me—or what I am training to be anyway. It’s going to take a lot of work but come September I’m going to be in fighting condition. Then I can start training in earnest. Until then, time to work my way into a smaller robe size.