It occurred to me yesterday that I'm still not sure what defines me. This happened in the middle of a group of friends who I've known online for over four years, in passing or not. Each of them has a character that we can call each other that kinda defines an aspect of them - one is Mango, a spunky girl online, and IRL, a really cool person who showed me how makeup works. My roommate is Quinn, an inspiration and a leader online, and IRL, an honest person and my best friend right now. There's a chef and his wife, Oni and Darling respectively online, who are a genteel asshole and a flouncey lady with a wild side respectively - and they're awesome people. Even a "Hawkeye", who flew across from Britain to come see his girlfriend, who's a class-action hero online and a good bro offline. All of them have two identities, like superheroes or spies. I have...many.
Who am I? It's a hard question to answer, especially after different events. I thought I was Hamster Ninja for a while, bit sarcastic, but somehow knew the right answer to the situation, and was much braver than me by far. But that wasn't it. I thought I was Raine Bofirn, an everyman who overcame obstacles like a veritable Siegfried and Brunhilda story, but it turns out my Brunhilda was a twisted individual, manipulative.
And since then, I still don't know who I am. I don't know what I am inside - even if physically male, even mentally identifying mentally better as female, what am I? Who am I? What do I care about? And who can I be? How do I decide who that is? Who is my Mango, my Quinn or Hawke?
To be honest, I think my latest written creation, Swan, comes closest thus far. Writing is my art, as good or bad as I am at it - and there's always some of me in every character I make. Swan has come the closest though, and her story is reminiscent of my own life. Someone who had breakups, who had a deep spiral of depression, and finally couldn't handle it anymore. But she came back, and decided she was a good person, taking on a new identity.
It seems like I gave her my power, to be someone else. Basically, she copies versions of herself throughout the multiverse and uses their help and form to empower herself, yadda yadda. But really, what it boils down to is making a wish. " I wish this didn't hurt", "I wish I had the strength to face this", " I wish I could breathe underwater or swim", "I wish I could be something fantastic". Because, in the end...I can be anyone I want to, through this medium, but at the end of it, who am I? Sampling, becoming someone else...at the core, she's still Swan. I'm still me. A good person, with a dark core where all the malice and hate and anger and sadness and depression all go to stay, and stew.
It's not easy. It's never been easy, especially not now. But I have friends to lean on now. Perhaps I am Swan, the one with many faces. Happy, confident, joking. A helping hand, a listening ear - just someone to talk to in a quiet place, just being around. I can't say for sure - I don't know just yet. But I might be getting close.
I wish I didn't have so much trouble being me.