I sometimes feel as though I lead a double life.
On the one hand, I am MJ Blehart, writer. I seek writing jobs and to further my reach as a published sci-fi, Steampunk and fantasy author. Further, I blog three times a week, with an occasional extra (like today’s political rant).
On the other hand, I am Malcolm Bowman, Brigantia Principal Herald of the East Kingdom of the Society for Creative Anachronism. Voice herald, fencer, occasional archer, frequent volunteer. I have held my Kingdom office for almost a year now, and been a part of the game for 26 years as of this fall.
For a long time, years ago, there was a pretty wide difference between who I was as MJ and who I was as Malcolm. This was the cause of some problems, because to a large degree I was having a lot more fun in my persona than in my real life.
Why am I bringing this up? Because recent events, I feel, have made Malcolm stand out more than MJ. I don’t feel the need to get into a ton of detail, but Malcolm has taken a prominent place in my life that feels as though it is greater than who I am in the mundane world.
I know that this is not how my life really works, but I sometimes feel as though I have been more successful as a SCAdian than as real person.
This is something I have certainly seen in others. There are a couple of people I know who, outside of their SCAdian persona, have no other discernable identity. They live for their time in the medieval world, and nothing else matters as much.
I am striving to lead a singular life.
What this brings up to me is that I need to focus on how to equalize my Real Life with my SCAdian life. Part of that involves not measuring my successes as separate, but as equal. When I succeed as Malcolm, I succeed as MJ. My real life gets boosted by my SCAdian life, and not overshadowed by it. Not unless I allow it to be that way.
I am certain that this stems from that period I when I was one of the people who had more in the way of my SCAdian world than my Real Life. I cared far more about achievement in the SCA than I did about my career, relationships, and so on.
Escaping real life is good. The SCA is an outstanding hobby, and I have made incredible friends that way. But most of the time I am MJ Blehart, a writer striving to find a larger audience and further advance my career. Life has recently handed me a chance to do more as a writer, and I am working on making the most of that I can.
MJ Blehart and Malcolm Bowman are the same man. The former spends a lot of time at a keyboard in front of a couple monitors, the latter spends time behind a pair of rapiers or standing behind the thrones being loud. Both of these personas make up the sum total of who I am, and I need to do better with seeing them as equal partners. I have a single life, not a double life.