So I couldn’t help it. I mean, I guess I could blame my best friend Nat, and my sister White – who really WERE largely responsible for my return, but there is also that little spark that continues to burn within me that I can never extinguish – nor would I want to, quite honestly. It is because of roleplay that I have developed my love for writing, my skills in story telling, and my character and alter ego, Blue. She is an alternate me, and the one that has been my confidence whenever I have faltered. She would have never come to exist, if not for roleplay. For one reason or another, I come and go from the roleplaying community – sometimes my stay is for a few years, and sometimes, only a few weeks. This time, who knows?
What I do know, is that there is no place other than roleplay where I have been able to write so easily. It is like dipping your foot into pool of inspiration, and that feeling is incredibly addicting! It is why I find, I always come back. Academic writing, although it is important for my career, does not have the passion in it that I find in writing for roleplay. I missed it, as well as the wonderful friends that I have found since being in that community.
However, I did not go back as Lady Blue. I needed a challenge, and I didn’t want people to make assumptions of my character – who she was, or what she was. Also, I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, since I have been writing about her for so long – I wanted to begin again.
Granted, some of you who knew Blue would say that I might be cheating a bit. Temari is a Blue version, but with many different challenges. One of them, is overcoming her own personal struggles. You see, two years ago, a very, very dear childhood friend of mine had a massive stroke. I almost lost him, and even to this day, I get teary about just how close we were to it. He has had to struggle to get back up on his feet – literally. There are also many other things he’s had to do and learn, and overcome – and all I can say is that he has done it with style and amazing determination – something I admire so much. It was really a gift to be able to spend some time with him over the summer. He taught me so much, and I missed his company and friendship!
So Temari is like my hope; she is the light that I know my friend will achieve some day. I wrote her as a tribute to my friend; an expression of love, but also, as a way to understand, and to move forward. In the past two years, I have struggled to let go of who my friend was, and to embrace and love who my is and is becoming. I am learning, as I roleplay Temari, how difficult it is to begin again. Usually, when it came to storylines with Blue, I could write a story, and have a pretty good idea of how things will end. This is one of the few times where it is not the case – I don’t even know, or haven’t felt her story yet, but I believe Temari’s story is one that needs to be told.
Before coming back to roleplaying (and to be honest, I’m not entirely immersed in roleplaying as I was before), I looked down at characters that had no super powers or special abilities to speak of. I used to wonder, “Why would you play a character that has nothing special? That has no super powers? Of what use are they in a story, except to be either a victim, or the other half to a romantic pair?” However, through Temari’s eyes, I see that these characters are more real. Their super power is that they are human, and they are more like us – nearer to our hearts – and in some ways, they are closer to us, because we can aspire to be like them. I see that now, when I look at characters like Rowe, or Darcy, or Ryan – it is the fact that they are so human and so vulnerable that make them so compelling and unique. Each person is known for their personalities – their intellect, writing abilities and wit. This, I think, is what I want to learn how to do. Instead of using my character’s supernatural abilities, or fighting abilities as almost a crutch, what happens when those abilities get taken away? Not only that, but, how do we cope? Not in the fictional world, but in the real one, how do we cope with what life tosses at us?
This is what I think being Temari will teach me. She will teach me how to tell a story about being human.