Monday, November 3, 2014

The Difference between survival and living

Year of Living Heroically: the Road Back.

So you are all rested up after your Supreme Ordeal, you've got a nice shiny object to covet lovingly, you're a hero now, right? You survived your deepest fear and got something amazing as a reward. This is the end of the road, right?
This post got a bit heavy on me-- here's a cute squirrel!

WRONG! Did you think it was going to be that easy? That's not heroic, just giving up in the middle of the journey.

The Road Back is the moment in the journey when the hero hikes up her pants and gets back on with the Journey. She makes a choice to head back to her ordinary world as this new changed person (surviving the SO changes all heroes, for better or worse). Well, it might look like less of a choice and more of a chase from the antagonistic forces that she pissed off in the Supreme Ordeal-- think dragon wanting its gold back. But she makes the choice to go home, to be with her people again.

She has survived; now she wants to live.

For me, this really hits home that our hero is really a hero. Instead of just enjoying the relaxation that comes with the Reward, she gets back on her feet and keeps going. After the Ordeal, she sees the bigger picture of what is really going on in the world and she wants to make it right. She's got this special accessory, or talent, or insight, and she wants to give back.  That for me is a hero. Heroes keep fighting even though they know its not going to get easier.

Helen Lowe in her last post mentioned fashion as an important part of a characters experience, and it is totally true and especially hits home in the road back. The reward was the accessory that you get to take with you that proves you did something amazing.

In the wake of October's Breast Cancer Awareness month, I don't think I need to explain the scars that people carry with them after a major life ordeal. In the light of our veteran's coming home, I don't think I need to mention that all scars aren't on the outside. In the road back, a hero will take those scars and carry them forward as a survivor.

Heroes will make the choice to live and share that life with others.

Amanda Arista
Author, Diaries of an Urban Panther series

No comments: