Escapism

Oct. 7th, 2008 10:38 pm
[personal profile] singerinthedark
I have always been a dreamer. Ever since I could remember I have been enthralled by stories. Books, movies, made-up stories and adventures, She-Ra... All of these things engaged my attention. I wanted to be the warrior princess, an X-Man (er... X-Woman), Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty (of Beauty and the Beast fame). I read and imagined incessantly. I what-if'd. If I was in [x] situation, what would I do? I dreamed I went on grand adventures, fought wicked beasts, was turned into a mermaid, and had the worlds most orchestrated proms. (Sometimes I think I missed my calling as an event planner.)

When I got too old for such nonsense (read: I moved away from the one person who'd still play Barbies and make-believe with me), I got into theater and role-playing games. There I could be whoever I wanted to be, whoever I was cast to be. I could escape.

I've always been the odd kid. On the outside it seemed that I was content with the role. I kept saying how I didn't want to be a sheep, a conformer, that I *wanted* to be weird. On some level, I did. Inside, I was dying to be pretty, thin, accepted, "normal."

In these fantasies, in these books, in these plays, in my dreams, I could be all that I thought I wasn't: strong, beautiful, accomplished, beloved.

I kept waiting to find that magic wardrobe, to become a mutant, to be whisked away to Neverland, and when it never happened, I found myself longing for a childhood I thought I never had. Why wasn't I chosen? Why not magic? Why not me? I never went on adventures. I didn't live near the woods. We never, I never, never...

Even today, when life gets to be too much, I find myself running from my roles and responsibilities straight into the arms of a good book or a new TV series that I love. I can't get past the stress, I can't force myself to focus, I'm not where I "should" be at my age, so I escape.

After my fourth episode of "Sex and the City" tonight, it occurred to me that, even though intellectually I know this, I didn't really Know: Life is not going to start when... Life is not going to start after I lose this weight (if I ever lose it). Life is not going to start once I find love. (Boy, isn't that the truth!) Life is not going to start once I pay off my debt. Life is not going to start once I leave the country to live abroad. Life is now, and by escaping all the time, I'm missing it. I've been missing the point this whole time.

I don't regret a second of my time. Well, that's not true. Given half of a chance there are a lot of things I'd change: the way this last relationship ended, breaking up with my first boyfriend more than once (the first time should have been the last time), calling Matt one last time when I had thought I should, opening myself up sooner... In the end, all these things I did, the regrets, the joys, the laughter - THIS IS LIFE.

Every now and then it just hits me how beautiful the world is. What I had with dragonmusicmuse was beautiful, even if it was short. What I had with Matt was beautiful. The few dates I went on in-between, the disappointments, the funerals, the weddings, the experiences - it is all beautiful. Where I am is wonderful. I don't need more. I have friends, I have family, I have income, I have a home, my car runs, and I love my job. I am truly blessed.

In the end, I suppose it doesn't matter if I ever find and keep love, as disappointing as that may be. Like the Buddhists say, it is the journey that matters, not the destination.

So, while a little escapism can be recuperative and nice, I'm going to try to get myself in order - bring everything back to the middle. I'll focus on myself where I can, my students where I can, my friends and family where I can, and somewhere in the middle life will happen. (Life will happen in the extremes, too, but I'm trying to avoid that.)

In this moment, I feel like the Universe is saying, "Ah, you're awake. We were so worried."

There's no place like home.

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singerinthedark

August 2010

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