I once told someone--in the flagrant cockiness that is youth--that fictional characters are far more interesting than actual people. I said this mostly to shock the person, a droll fellow who had a set way of looking at the world which certainly didn't include the zest and magic I look for in my everyday life.
To him, fiction was fiction and the people who occupied it were flights of fancy; but Real Life and Real People were more interesting because they had Real Problems and Real Issues that didn't always get resolved with a Happy Ending. No, to him, Real People were Complicated, simply because they chose to go through the cycles of their day in, day out life silently struggling with their Issues.
To which I say: BOR-ING!!!
And thus I told him that Fictional Characters are more interesting than Real People. They go on adventures. They take risks. They fall in love. They fall out of love. They don't settle for the daily grind or the bleakness of unresolved conflicts. They operate under an abundance of Hope. They allow their lives to get a little messy and, as a result, learn and grow. Stories and the heroes and heroines that occupy them will always be to me daily inspiration for a more epic way of living. The aim of our lives, after all, should be to become the hero or heroine of our own story.
I've been mulling this over the past week or so as I've realized that, in the midst of grading papers and taking care of my day-to-day obligations, I'd forgotten how to be the heroine of my own Life, or as I like to think of it, My Swashbuckling-Spontaneous-Shenanigans-Having-Magic-Conjuring-Epic-Adventure. Forgetting to be a Heroine of your own Life, now that is a scary thought, particularly because if you can't think of yourself as a Heroine in your daily adventures, it means you've lost your sense of imagination and playfulness that is absolutely required to feel as exciting and wonderful as a fictional character capable of anything.
So to honor this necessary levity in our lives (a healthy balance to my October everyday gothic series!), I am dedicating the month of November to the wonder and magic of stories in all forms, highbrow and lowbrow, that inspire us to live epically.
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