Oct 24, 2016

Perpetually Dreaming — My Reality

As the saying goes, there are always two kinds of people. They are always doing or being two different kinds of things. To be honest, that always bothered me—two is never an accurate number. But I keep (hypocritically) dividing people in two groups myself. In my mind, people are either dreamers or doers. And I'm a little slow for only figuring this out now, but I'm a complete dreamer.

"Sweet dreams" by Muxxi
I always have been.

The thing about always dreaming is that you're never awake—even when you should be. In my case, well... I never truly have been. I've been avoiding real life for as long as I can remember, but I only just realised this now.

Fantasising and daydreaming are like second nature to me— if not first. As a kid, I constantly played with my dolls (yes, I was that girl who had a favourite doll) and imagined scenarios that made me lose myself in possibilities. I'd create a world where the protagonist (yes, that same doll from above) was actually extraterrestrial with super powers and a mission to save the world from, like, a really bad guy. I'd make playlists as I was discovering new music, losing myself in the lyrics and creating new stories inspired by them. I even got the "Most Likely to Get Lost in Her Own World" superlative back in High School (which isn't really that big of a deal, but still). Back then, and even now, I'd look out of windows with glassy eyes thinking of my future. Not about having a job or a family, but about accomplishing great things. About breaking records and proving myself and everyone who ever doubted me wrong, while also making those who didn't very proud.

I've never felt more alive than when I wasn't really living (in the real world). In some ways, being immersed in a story was almost always what kept me grounded in reality. I would count days by anticipated book releases or updated manga chapters. I would look forward to the next year just so I could finally find out "what happens next." I would always be reading books. Or watching movies. Or living in songs. The point is, everything that wasn't a story to me felt like a chore—something I needed to get out of the way.

It went beyond the boundaries of escapism.

But I never really minded because life seemed better that way—even if it wasn't really living. I was happy making my own worlds, and just as happy living in them as whatever I chose to be: a bystander or a queen. Those worlds were my refuge. And they're responsible for making me who I am. I learned so much from researching and world building. Languages, trivia, life skills... I've gained so much from "escaping" that it felt wrong to stop. 

My problem wasn't avoiding life, but avoiding wanting to live. I developed a love-hate relationship with hopes and dreams. I wanted to stop hoping and dreaming of coveted futures and impossible expectations because they've been shot down too many times before. I've been snapped back to reality in sudden jarring ways that I stopped believing in what I dream. But in the stupid way that brains work, I couldn't make the dreaming actually stop. So in a way, I've developed a seriously bleak view on life. 

All of these thoughts have been running in my head lately—especially after listening to these lyrics from the song "Patience" by Bad Suns:
All my dreams have been weighing me down
Like an anchor to my bed
I can live my life instead
I've been writing my thoughts down
To clear my mind
To try and figure out my brain
To confront and set aside my pain
And I've been searching for meaning
In a blood red field of
Wasted dreams and wasted breath
Baby, wasted dreams, that's worse than death  

But I can't really live my life—not yet. So I use these stories, these made-up realities, instead. I write characters that express my emotions for me. Characters that do what I've always imagined doing, go where I've always wanted to go... ones that simply live the way I always thought of living.

And I'm okay with that. Because of these characters, I got to live different lives. Become different people. Learn different lessons. It made me realise that while some people dream and others do, I get to do both. By dreaming, I am doing. And I can live with that—dreaming, I mean.  

I figure it's a fair trade, anyway.

This is all pretty raw for me, but it feels right. So I'll end with another song lyric that had me really thinking— "Ask Yourself" by Foster the People:
You're coughing blood again
I know 'cause I clean up the mess every now and then
Fold the line along the seam
Force a smile and never say what you mean
You're in the promised land in someone else's dream
If you want more, and you'll get there
Throw in a quarter in the well
It's okay, you're fine, ambition's not a crime
And you say that dreamers always get what they desire
Well, I've found the more I want the less I've got
Is this the life you've been waiting for?
Or are you hoping that you'll be where you want with a little more?
Well, ask yourself 

So... is this the life you've been waiting for?