Thursday, July 28, 2011

Writing on Thursday

Three Lives
(a repost: originally appeared in November of 2009)


It occurred to me with certain clarity this week that I live three lives. Three. All from this one body.

They're separate, but pieces of them overlap. Each is carried out by real parts of me.

Life in the Flesh

I am living, breathing, my body holds a spirit. I primp and present my physical self, nourish my person without regularly exercising it, drive an automatic SUV, read aloud, sing aloud, stir breakfast--and sometimes dinner--with my favorite wooden spatula, lose myself to folding laundry, loathe putting it away. I wince when the phone rings, but love to give hugs. My mind wanders while I'm in church, and I mutter ridiculous things to the family dog. I find solace and happiness and frustation and doubt in the act of writing, can't get enough kisses from my daughters, am never sated. This is real life. The one I've lived for thirty-[two] years, with emotion and experience and depth. Real time. Tangible existence.

Virtual Life

I am a presence. With pictures, sometimes, but most often with words. My thoughts and essence are on display, whether through blog posts or online statuses. I give of myself through a filter, the filter of this internet that is not my physical location, just designed representation. It's me, too, but with time delay. With edits. Smooth, composed. Confident. I banter, I share, I feel, I learn and love. Virtually.

Life through Fiction

I am what my mind creates. My characters are extensions of me, their stories fill me. New experiences, lived vicariously. Papered emotions, felt as if real and raw. People as real to me as the Postmaster, my daughters' teachers, the person driving behind me, my best friend's mother, because they are real, in some other place, even if only by manuscript or in Word document. Entirely made up, but true, honest at the same time. I exist so that they can exist. And because they exist.

These three Jannas, they feel individual, so different, so distinct. But I reconcile one with the others. Aren't I all of them? My three lives. Defining one existence.

What about yours?

7 comments:

Christine Fonseca said...

Love this and yes...can totally relate!

lissa said...

with edits - yeah, I like that for real life as well. if I could edit the words that comes out of me sometimes, that would be great.

I think every bloggers is three person with three different lives, although the third me would be 'life through creations' as I do more than write fiction.

thanks for sharing this. have a sweet day.

April said...

Beautiful. I love the way you worded the virtual you! It's interesting how you broke down the different parts of you that way. I'm not sure that's how I'd choose to do so. I tend to label myself instead. Wife, Mother, Writer...mostly that's it. I like the way you did it better because it doesn't confine you to the perameters of a title.

Looking at it like that, I choose the same 3 you did . :)

Slamdunk said...

Thought-provoking post Janna.

I like your 3 and would add to your "flesh" description that I it must be frustrating for the Creator to watch my selfish ways and missed opportunities to further His work.

Karen said...

Janna, love this idea. My dog gets wondering thoughts spoken to him, too.

Janna Qualman said...

Thanks, Christine!

Lissa - Love that. "Life through creations." Very apt.

April - We can be so much more than labels, right? But yet they do define us.

SD - We all should strive to be better. Who we are meant to be.

Karen - I think that's what dogs are here for. ;)

thesis said...

Thanks for this post! i really enjoyed reading it!!!