My alter egos have become part of who I am. Do most other people have alter egos? All discussion about young people today is about role models. The phrase “role model,” aside from suggesting a living person whom one should emulate carries very different connotations than does “alter ego.” My alter egos help shape who I am.
Circe is, finally, my first fully adult and powerful female alter-ego. She captivated Odysseus for a year and bore him three sons.
My alter egos, until recent years when Circe joined them, were young girls who saw life “through a glass darkly.” Alice of Alice in Wonderland and Alice Though the Looking Glass, saw life in a dream and backwards. My brother sometimes calls me “Licec,” also suggesting that my view of life is not straightforward. My other mystified and misplaced alter ego has long been Dorothy of Oz. I went to Oz (California) and was certain there was no place but home. There is not, but the Dorothy of Oz, challenging evil, living a dreamlike existence in which lions and straw men speak, and sleep comes unexpectedly in a poppy field, is the Dorothy I think of most often.
As a child I played dress-ups, and my alter ego then was the plucky little Laura Ingalls Wilder, the “Half-Pint” of the Little House books. The friend with whom I played dress-ups was forever doomed to be the less boisterous, more obedient Mary. It is from Laura that I must have adopted the pioneering spirit that sent me to the West Coast and remain convinced that drying clothes on the line and growing your own food is the correct way to do things. I admire Laura, who was often displaced, but never entirely upended. Laura, my first alter-ego, may be the one I am least like, but I should not decry or deny my practical side. Alice and Dorothy were also eminently practical even when confronted with the otherworldly.