Here's a weird thing to talk about: escapism.
Let's all just pretend for a second that we're pieces of toast. Like, literal bread. All your life you've dreamt of being a beautiful slice of whole wheat Villaggio that works seamlessly as the base of a gourmet avo on toast confection, complete with a hint of fresh cilantro and served next to a colourful acai bowl. You developed the perfect crust consistency and after grad you and some bagels decided to travel the fridge to learn about other food groups before settling down next to the dairy drawer with an English muffin you met in college. After a few years, you decide it's time to have a family and the love of your life, baby breadstick was born. While this is kind of weird and you're now probably contemplating closing this tab to grab a snack, imagine that the whole time you are mentally manifesting this dream, out of fear, you find yourself passively sitting at the back of the fridge collecting small chunks of mold, slowly rotting and staring numbingly at a screen filled with images of your fellow fridge-mates fulfilling every one of those desires. As time passes and your best before date nears, you start to smell, decompose, lose motivation and thereby begin to accept your inevitable demise in the compost bin as your intended terminal fate.
Welcome to escapism. Every moment spent putting off a goal or missing an opportunity to drown your mind in a passive puddle of unavailing entertainment, in fear of suffering through the stresses of actually forming tangible reflections of your wildest dreams is time spent rotting in the back of the fridge.
You know that uncomfortable feeling when you do something super cool but the second you try and show someone it doesn't happen and you're like I swear it worked last time? Or when you're walking in a crowded place and move to the side for someone to pass but they move the same way so you go the other way and they do the same so you end up doing an unpleasant back and forth dance thing for like thirty seconds? Or when someone waves at you and you wave back with excitement but turns out they were waving to the person behind you? Channel all of those gross feelings into one big ball and envision that to be the sum your life. The consuming sense of shame and regret that pimp slaps us in the face after those moments is how you'll feel forever if you let yourself let life pass you by.
As a generation who takes refuge in peeping into other people's lives and binge watching The Office, living in the moment and taking initiatives to form a better reality for ourselves is taunting. Sometimes we forget we’re alive. So... PING! This is your time to actually live.
It’s impossible to be happy all the time, in fact, without the negative times the positive ones wouldn't be as worthwhile. However, the key is recognizing and appreciating those bomb instances for what they are. One of the biggest life lessons Grey’s Anatomy has taught me (in addition to a minor education in cardiology and learning that every doctor in Seattle is super hot) is that you never know the biggest days of your life are going to be the biggest. S/o to my girl, Shonda.
Give yourself the opportunity to absorb the present moment, take advantage of every experience and allow your life to move forward towards your ambitions. Listen to people when they talk to you. Put your phone down during a concert. Absorb your surroundings on your morning commute. Tell people how you actually feel. Stop wasting time daydreaming about the things you could have and make it happen. Taking a time to fantasize about your passions is important, especially through difficult times but it's not the answer. Finding permanent joy is not the ultimate goal, but living through nothingness is the ultimate travesty.
By personal definition, being in love is to wake up with the overwhelming awareness that a certain person exists. So, why don’t you let that person be you?