The fun-house mirror of self @_sarahalliday

By Sara Halliday 

We had a workshop with the divine Deanna Rodger today around archetypes and avatars, featuring seven main types of person and their individual traits. In its simplest form, the exercise involved communally coming up with lists of positive traits for each of the following avatars:


We then had to stick a piece of A4 on our backs and wander the room, writing the words we felt best described the person. This was followed by us writing down the words we felt reflected ourselves from the lists, without looking at the terms our classmates had used.

The words written on my back were lovely, but today wasn’t an exercise in ego. Today demonstrated the demonization of self which so often occurs in us all. The words that I would tend to use to describe myself would be a far cry from those my friends used. Does this mean that they don’t know me? I’m still working on that one within myself. The dichotomy of whether I am the person they see me as versus the person I am inside my head has been on my mind all day.

As an experiencer (not keen on sufferer) of depression (because mental health deserves a shout out, particularly in the creative world), for the most frequent word used to describe me being ‘smile’ really gave me food for thought. How much are we our outward selves? Sorry that this SCAB is more questions than answers, that’s my Questioner coming out.

From now on I’ll be applying these thoughts to my work. While inwardly I might think an idea is tripe, is that just my mind talking? It thinks that I’m tripe sometimes but other people don’t (usually) think that so maybe it’s wrong about this too. I’m going to try and be more forthright with telling my mind to shut up and sit down, and let my heart do some talking.

I’ll also be trying to get to know you all some more, it was easy to default to the first word that came to mind today and often I realise that this isn’t the most accurate. I’m sorry if you looked at your list and you didn’t see yourself reflected in it, but make sure that you ask yourself the same questions that I did. We can be down on ourselves, so maybe it’s your dickish internal monologue telling you that the words aren’t who you are.

Deanna also stressed the importance of giving ourselves and other the chance to grow and change. Don’t sideline anyone because you have initial impressions of them, or have had a negative experience. We’re evolving every day, and I have no idea what my final form will be.

In essence, today was just a casual identity crisis – and I’d expect nothing less from a Friday morning at the SCA.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so SCAers do grab me in school and other readers give me a tweet @_sarahalliday.

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