Alter egos, split personalities and roleplay. The origin of “Aeua.”
Day 2 of 30 — “30 Things About Me Experiment”
Embracing discomfort and authenticity by sharing more about me that you might not know!
Meet “Aeua,” the character that for years has been my “online persona.”
I’ve been a gamer for as long as I can remember.
Dating all the way back to the early days of Warcraft 3
Need For Speed
Team Fortress: Classic, and so on.
Eventually I found MMOs like World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2.
And through it I discovered this very interactive and immersive style of storytelling called roleplaying.
But not the kind most people think about.
Roleplay that I learned was akin to authoring a fictional character in a specific, fictional world, and using that character to “storytell” with other people doing the same.
Almost every MMO out there has a niche community of storytellers like this;
Storytellers creating fictional characters in fictional environments, but all with very real interactions.
Over the years I’ve probably written the equivalent of thousands of pages of content through these characters.
But this content won’t ever be found:
It’s all immersive and fleeting.
(There’s a word for it and I can’t think of it.)
With this type of storytelling, everything that gets written and shared between other writers essentially gets deleted the moment they sign off for the night.
(Think of it like Snapchat; two people taking turns writing a book, but it all eventually disappears. You both remember it, but you don’t have something to go back and reread.)
Therefore, the only way persistence can be a part of these characters and their stories is to continue showing up, taking only memories and experiences with you to the next encounter.
I’ve met a lot of incredible people this way.
I’m still in touch with some of them today.
including one person who I met almost 10 years ago through one of those “fictional” interactions, who is now one of my closest friends that pulled me out of a dark time in my life.
It’s surreal to think that we used to live 600 miles apart and are now live just 20 minutes away form eachother – by coincidence.
With those few exceptions, there has always been this apparent DIVIDE.
Between who I am “in person” and the who I am online.
For those that only know me as the “quiet and reserved” guy, it can come as a surprise that I’m the polar opposite when I’m online or can write freely like this.
Writing is where I’m more likely to talk, to be open, and be radically honest.
(Hence this 30 day challenge.)
Yet, it’s always been frustrating.
I really didn’t like that I felt like two completely different people;
Online me vs. in-person me.
It’s extremely hard to bridge the gap between all these different personas;
And then there’s “Aeua,” one of the most influential characters I’ve ever written.
Comfortable in her own skin
Always has visions of grandeur
Passionate about her community
Never wore pants
Aeua felt like my opposite.
Where I was soft spoken, she was sociable.
Where I was shy, she was flirty.
Where I had no sense of style, she had the largest wardrobe.
Where I wanted to hide, she was busy leading organizations.
For a while now I’ve realized that Aeua was, in a way, a quiet part of my soul trying to learn how to express itself.
While not every single one of those traits are who I am,
a large majority of them had to come from somewhere.
It’s now no coincidence that who Aeua is and was, is in a way a part of who I am trying to become today.
It just takes one quick glance at some of my goals:
– becoming more sociable
– learning to be expressive
– learning more about style
– focusing on “tribes”
– pursuing discomfort/fear-busting
– accepting my quirkiness
– not giving a fuck what people think
Not too long ago I did a Myerrs-Brigg test and got INFP.
“INFPs have a talent for self-expression, revealing their beauty and their secrets through metaphors and fictional characters.”
It now makes sense that a fictional character that I created years ago,
Is now a part of who I am today.
While I may not be able to perfectly bridge the gap between all these different personas,
(and I’m sure we all relate in behaving differently around different people)
It’s at least getting easier to blur the lines as time goes on.
AEUA FEATHERFLARE’S MOTTO
We shall never settle for simply ‘what is’;
never shall we say,
‘we are done, this is enough.’
Instead, we push on
to seek what is better,
not only for ourselves
but for one-another.
Inspired by Mark Whitehand’s “30 THINGS ABOUT ME EXPERIMENT”, a process to get more personal and work on overcoming the fear of judgement/rejection.
You can learn more here: