I AM A REALIST. I am who I am regardless of where I am.
As such, being a naturally inquisitive person, I find people who are phonies, that is people who pretend to be someone they’re not, endlessly interesting.
Thought-provoking, in fact.
[E.g., Elizabeth Holmes or George Santos or Rachel Dolezal.]
They are my opposites and tweak my curiosity about the line between reality and fantasy, between harmless daydreaming and unhealthy delusion.
Allow me to explain.
Thinking back over my years of blogging I’m reminded of one blogger in particular who wrote her blog as if she wasn’t who she was. This wasn’t flash fiction nor was it catfishing, mind you, but saying upfront this is a fantasy of who I wish I was, a different personality, so I’ll write all my posts as this alternate version of me.
She lived in a small midwestern town but pretended she was living in a large southern city. She thought of herself as a resident of that large city and she’d describe her days doing the same things she did now [working, shopping, dining] AS IF she lived there.
The thing was that for me after reading her posts I couldn’t decide if this phony persona was just kind of a fun thing, a light-hearted goof; OR if there was something seriously wrong in her life that prompted her to become someone else, albeit briefly.
In truth I was never sure how to comment on what she wrote, so I politely wandered away from her blog and I cannot even tell you if she’s still around.
I doubt it, though.
• • •
SO WHY AM I talking about this topic today?
Not because I idealize or hold any animosity toward this former blogger, but because of something I read a few months ago and have pondered on since. This something got me thinking and wondering– and reminded me of her.
Believe it or not.
What I read was advice written by someone who claimed to be a mental health therapist. This seemingly legit advice was about how to solve what may appear to you to be an intractable problem.
The advice suggested that you create an alter ego of yourself [not a super hero] that you use to contemplate your problem; an alter ego was defined simply as a different version of you. The advice said that by mentally running the details of your problem through your mind as your alter ego, you’d gain clarity.
Now I have problems, who doesn’t? And I do try to solve them, but never have I ever thought about creating an alter ego of myself, for any reason. I may be too pragmatic, or unimaginative, for such.
Or snarky. Perhaps I’m too snarky.
But I digress.
So tell me, kids, does the idea of creating an alter ego of yourself, something I’d describe as a phony version of yourself, seem like a way to gain real insight into your problems? Have you ever done this? And if so, how’d it go for you?
I’m curious to know what you think about this approach to solving problems. Do you feel it is sound or is it wackadoodle?
Please discuss below.