Monday, May 6, 2013

Paper Egos

I craved the omni major in college.

You know the one that lets you take all the courses that tickled your fancy and none of the "boring" ones? And paid your way on numerous study-abroad adventures to exotic lands? Some colleges called these majors interdisciplinary while certain professors labeled them, indecision. Had I had the money for it, I probably would be a professional student. I love learning that much.

Typical of a lot of liberal arts types, I'm a globalist, not a specialist. I run wide rather than deep in terms of knowledge and interests. If Google ever opens a human service division for folks who'd rather talk to someone than do a web search to find their answers, I'm all in! (Oh wait. Those people already exist. They are called librarians.)

My reluctance at settling on only one major wasn't mere indecision. I wanted to live out several different "what ifs," try on many career possibilities and peer down more than one life trajectory. But, as I quickly realized, life doesn't allow for that. As we age up, certain choices are restricted, disappear altogether, while new ones we couldn't foresee emerge.

Eventually, I made some permanent choices. Stuck to them. Pressed into them and have enjoyed them for what they are. And writing is one major reason I've been able to do this. Story crafting has provided me with the outlet to explore many of the scenarios and places I said no to in the past. My characters, whether central or supporting cast, are not me, but in some respects they represent my alter egos. Small seeds of me are embedded in these characters, planted unconsciously, springing to life seemingly on their own initiative. Amazingly, God speaks to me through these paper egos. Regardless of the fiction involved, His truth remains the same. Faithful and loving. Sharp, but healing. Strong.

Where do you see the paper egos in your life? Do you hear God speak through them?


  1. Yay! You posted! And what a good post. I have often mused about alternate/parallel universes created by choosing differently than what I really have.

    Although I don't write down most of the stories my brain tells, I am almost always telling myself stories. And yes, they do remind me of what is important in life, how big God's love is, and the sort of loving person that I want to be.

    Another thing these paper egos do is remind me why I am where I am, and how thankful that I am here.

  2. paper ego is a good turn of phrase.

  3. What a good point, Ros! The flipside of paper egos is that after walking around in their skin for a while, I am grateful for who God did make me and the paths He did lead me down.


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