Myself Monday: sounds a bit narcissistic, huh?
I got this idea from a post on Jen Page’s Facebook last week, and since I didn’t really get to thinking about it until that Wednesday, I figured I’d wait until today to post about it. It felt more appropriate that way.
Don’t know who Jen Page is? Well, you should. She works a lot with Dead Gentleman Productions, as well as a number of really awesome YouTube people and people out in the Nerd Macrocosm in general, working on things like Project London, Gamers 2: Dorkness Rising, Chop Socky Boom, JourneyQuest, and others. Even if you don’t end up liking her work, (which, let’s be real, you will) you’ll be led to a lot of really great people who do very innovative and inventive things with often very little.
I can’t give Jen all the credit for this idea, though. This was initially an idea from a friend of hers, and I really like the concept behind it. The purpose behind Myself Monday is to write something down about yourself that you really love.
Still seems kinda narcissistic? Well, I don’t think it is.
It’s very important that we look inside of ourselves every once in a while to find something that we can love, or, at least appreciate, about ourselves. It’s nice to find things within ourselves to feel good about. People generally have a pretty negative perception of themselves, especially when they’re trying to be creative. Finding the good among all the negative is pretty important. That’s why we should all take time to ourselves to really dig down and find something that we love about ourselves.
So, without further ado, let’s get on with it, shall we?
Since I was really quite young I’ve had a supremely active imagination. I would always be making up stories in my head, or reading Fantasy and Sci-Fi books for kids, or asking questions about the things I saw on old kids tv shows like Hercules, or Beastmaster, or Mystic Knights (Anyone else remember that show? I sure do. It’s pretty terrible looking back on it, but it DID get me interested in Irish mythology).
I think this was started by my parents. My mother liked to read chapters from Harry Potter and other books to me every night, and my father was really quite good at pulling up stories of people like Robin Hood, Achilles, King Arthur, Lancelot, or another popular hero. When I was a kid, I thought this was the greatest thing ever. It really seeped into my dreams and got me thinking about what it was like to be a hero, or to be a great person.
My parents were usually pretty supportive of my imagination. They never played off my personal interests or activities as “stupid” or something that I needed to grow out of. As a kid I had a metric butt-load (that’s a real measurement, right?) of LEGOs and other sorts of building materials. This really pushed me into the creative mindset.
I think this is where my habit of wanting to share creative experiences with people comes from.
My parents would always ask me about what I was doing, and who was doing what in my little world I had built. They showed genuine interest, and posed real questions for the mind of a kid to work around. This was obviously on a much smaller scale than what has come to be now, but it was a good starting point.
As I grew older my dreams grew bigger. I’d figure out whole countries, how they worked, who ruled them, how they interacted, and a lot of other basic things. I loved to create maps and try to think of who or what lived there, and why they were the way they turned out to be.
And still I read.
My mother always says that she could always say no to a toy, but never to a book. Because of that I’ve collected quite the stockpile over the years. While the more “kids-y” books have mostly been phased out, I hold on to and care for these things like it’s my life. These books, these wonderful messes of paper were someone else who loved to do the same things that I do sharing their world and their experiences with me. And I really enjoyed that thought.
I think my love of creating and sharing that creation has been a big part of why I am the way I turned out.
When I was a teenager in high school I saw a lot of hurtfulness in the world. I saw a lot of mean people, and a lot of angry people. Writing and creating was my way of making sense of it all. My imagination would channel these confusing facets of reality into characters and ideas that I had. But my imagination also taught me about balance. No matter how bleak everything seemed, there was still a lot of good and beauty out there in the world, even if it was hard to see in the dark. Flowers and birds, love and laughter, all of these things made their way into my mind as well, and helped to balance out the anger that was so obviously around me. Creativity and imagination helped me deal with things that would’ve dragged me down otherwise.
My imagination also brought me a lot of experience with creating and interacting creatively as well.
Dungeons and Dragons was a great kick in the pants of sorts, as it forced me to be constantly considering, creating, and learning on the fly. Whether I was making the world or a part of it, the game always kept me on my toes. This spread out into the videogames I played, the films I watched, and more often than not: the books I read.
This love of creating and sharing has made me not only want to be a published writer, it’s made me really believe that I can be one.
This active imagination of mine is what’s kept me going for so long in making worlds, and cultures, and people, and religion, and alphabets, and everything else that comes with really fleshing out a world. It’s helped me to never get discouraged when I scrap an idea or project because it doesn’t play out as well as I thought it would. It reminds me that not all creations are great ones, and that I’m a better creator and a better thinker because I can recognize those fatal flaws. It tells me that no matter what, even if I don’t ever get published, at least I’m doing something that I love.
That’s why I truly love my active imagination. It’s shaped me every day and made me who I am right now in this moment. Without it, I don’t know where I’d be, or if I’d be.
So, that’s my Myself Monday. I hope you guys enjoyed this, and I hope you all can think about something you love about yourself, even if you’re not reading this on a Monday. Remember: Monday is just a name we tacked on to a series of days to keep order. You now what that means, right? Every day can be Myself Monday. You just need to find that thing you love about yourself and hold on to it.
Until next time!