Over the past two weeks, I’ve noticed a new fad on Facebook. Friends choose three different fictional characters that they feel describe them as a person and then post a picture of each character. I’ve nodded and giggled at the ones I’ve seen so far because they’ve seemed so true to each person.
Though I’m not sure if I would actually post one, I started the inevitable wondering about what I would post if I were to take up the challenge. How would I describe myself in three characters? That answer turns out to be much harder than I anticipated.
It’s easy to fall back on favorite characters. Usually, something about those characters resonates with the soul, sometimes because they are similar. But sometimes they are more the epitomes of what I hope to be.
When I was a tween, I loved watching The Crocodile Hunter. Steve Irwin is no fictional character, but I watched each episode with great interest. It’s not because I was especially interested in catching dangerous animals or khaki. It wasn’t even the Australian accent, which I loved. It’s because he had something I felt that I didn’t: courage. He didn’t bat an eye at picking up a venomous snake or leaping on top of an unwieldy crocodile. He knew what he was doing, and he did it fearlessly.
I wanted that. So I began imitating him in my own way. I would catch the bugs and other critters that came into the house that used to send me onto a chair in fear. I learned how to call alligators (and was rather successful at it). And whenever I faced a truly frightening situation, I would ask myself how Steve Irwin would handle it and proceed from there. Slowly, it changed me and I gained the courage that I wanted so desperately.
There’s something to be said for having a model to follow. Fictional or not, knowing someone else’s story can give that needed encouragement to make it through or become something better.
So how many of my favorite fictional characters are actually like me and how many are what I aspire to become? I’m not sure. Maybe some of them are a combination of both. And maybe that’s okay.
And if I had to pick three? I’m still not sure. There are so many stories and so many characters that deserve some consideration. Inevitably, I’ll decide on three eventually, but that is not this day.
If you had to pick three characters to describe yourself, who would you pick? Or are there too many choices for you, like there are for me?