Fantasy + Reality = Dream?
May 2, 2012 § Leave a comment
I’m in of those rare moments where the rushing rapids of my life have temporarily calmed down to a trickling, placid stream so I thought I’d get a few words in before the flooding swells and overflows the banks once more.
The last day of classes has officially ended this past Monday. Reading period has begun. Exams start on Friday.
I went to a party Monday night. It was the first one I’ve been to that got busted, though not for underage drinking. None of the parties here get busted for that, unless you’re in an idiot and try to hold a party in one of the actual dorms instead of a house or apartment. Or frat. The usual “offense” is noise or over capacity.
I slept in till three in the afternoon today. It was glorious to finally get all the sleep I wanted. My dreams were strange in that raise-an-eyebrow-but-don’t-say-anything kind of way. I think one of them was my roommate kissing that guy friend of hers that she always hangs with. It’s like they’re glued at the hip or something; you hardly ever see one without the other. A lot of my other friends think they’re dating but I’ve never seen them do anything intimate like kiss or cuddle. Though they do take naps together a lot. And fight like a married couple. I’d rather not think about it too much.
Another dream had to do something with that BBC show Sherlock. I love that show and its characters to bits, and all the amazing talent, effort, and creative energy that go into realizing it. Lately though, I had little energy or focus to devote to anything besides my classes and assignments so I haven’t been thinking about it that much but when my final class ended, I let myself revisit some my favorite parts of the show. So I guess not too surprising that I dreamed about it. I’m kind of bummed that I don’t remember the actual content of the dream though.
I finally actually started on my research paper for my fantasy classes. Like, not fiddled with it or did some preparatory steps, all the while deluding myself into thinking that I’m starting. No, I found this incredible resource my university provides to people like me who are tearing their hair out over this whole ‘research paper’ nonsense, and actually followed the outline, step by incredibly helpful step. I’ve finished three steps out of ten, and the paper is due ten days from now. I’ve got this.
I only have one final, and not one that would stress me out. It’s Japanese so it has two parts, an oral and then the actual exam.
Wait, wait, wait, just what the fuck am I writing? This is incredibly senseless drivel. Trivial, petty, boring.
Let’s switch gears, shall we?
I’ve got a new dream, something that is actually more real to me that mere wishful thinking.
First, I’m tired of school, of endless studying and papers and exams. Learning is great, enriching, incredibly advantageous but not necessarily essential. Living is essential, going out and experiencing the world as it is, not through the scholarly, high-brow, activist, idealist, what-have-you lens of a university.
Stumbling and scratching yourself up, gritting your teeth and moving on, that’s our reality. One of my professors told me that I hold somewhat puritanical beliefs because of the whole “no pain, no gain” mentality. But it’s not so much that I believe that character growth can’t happen without suffering but that we can’t avoid suffering, we’ll always experience pain in this world so instead of trying to avoid it, to erase it, we should take it in stride and learn from the experience.
People call me perpetually happy, that nothing can bring me down. That I see the silver lining to every cloud. They don’t realize that I experienced such darkness once that everything seems brighter now in comparison.
(Sure, call it cheesy but it’s the truth of my life. I don’t like revisiting those memories but I appreciate them for teaching me to value the happiness that I have now.)
Next, I don’t want to be financially tied to my family any more than I have to. My reasons are twofold:
One, I don’t want to burden them. I’m expensive, I’m fully aware of that, and the very idea that I’m building up this tremendous debt to them with every single breath I take is almost too unbearable to think about.
Two, and more importantly, it’s all about power and control. My parents can and have threatened me with disowning, disinheriting, and discontinuing my phone plan, my internet service, my university tuition. In other words, the only leash they can tug on now as I get older and older is my financial debt to them. It’s come to the point that I feel the only way I can get free and prove to them that I’m no longer their baby daughter who spills orange juice on her birthday dress is to become fully independent and self-sufficient.
That, and I don’t get along well with my family at all, but that’s a story for another time.
Third, and perhaps the biggest reason, is that I want to write. I’m trying now with this blog but I don’t know how successful I’m being. This summer, though, I plan to write a lot. This blog, short stories, scripts, screenplays, maybe even some poetry (though I’m horrid at those). For the rest of my life, whether as hobby or career, I just want to write, write, write. I have some major flaws as a writer, for example I can’t seem to focus enough to write anything longer than about 10k words and the task of revising always intimidates me, but despite all that, I still want to write.
So what does all this have to do with anything?
My dream is simply this: After I graduate, I want to go live in the UK.
Too simple? Alright, a few more details. I want to live somewhere that isn’t the United States, somewhere that has a rich fantasy tradition, somewhere that is both familiar yet fresh. I’ve always wanted to go to the UK, specifically England. Yes, I want to live in London but from there, I want to travel and visit all the other extraordinary, culturally steeped cities and countries. I mean, so many different countries are clustered together that I probably could travel between three different countries and still not have matched the mileage of the entire expanse of America.
Still not enough? Then here’s some more.
I want to meet so many different kinds of people. I am always a people person, a social butterfly. People are so fascinating, their lives, history, culture, beliefs, thoughts, emotions, dreams, sufferings, hopes — their will to live. What’s important to them, what defines their life, what drives them to live day in and day out. I want to meet kind old people who run family shops, aspiring artists who’ll continue to express themselves against all odds, political activists with fire in their eyes, esoteric scholars misunderstood by most of humankind, backpackers whose sole goal in life is to visit all the places on their bucket list before they disappear from this world, people who have found new life through some religion or other, hedonists who just want to experience all the sensualities their body can enjoy, enthusiasts of all things macabre and uncanny, thespians who’ll jump at any chance to don a persona and let their voice shine — all sorts of people. Then I’ll get to know them better, see who’s the struggling mother, the disowned child, the abandoned “failure”; who has the estranged family, the history of abuse, the psychological imbalances; who’s recovering from a difficult addiction, a wrenching loss, a nightmarish trauma.
Call me crazy but I want to be everyone’s friend.
Don’t worry, I won’t compromise the integrity of who I am at my core, but I want to know people, learn from them, soothe their pains, nourish their dreams, inspire them to make the most of this one life.
We only get one, after all. One chance to make it count.
It may all be irrelevant in the end, but hey, it’s almost always about the journey more than the destination, right?
You feel something’s missing? Ahaha, okay, here’s the last bit.
I’ve said that I want to write. I’ve been saying that for a while now. Well, I want to write not only to get the cinema inside my head out onto paper but also to reach out and communicate with others. I want people to take away something from my writings. I want to inspire them to live, however small my influence may be. But I’ve seen the power of words, of implicit messages, and I want in on some of that, I want to generate some of that power.
So I want to write and I want to submit my stuff. Short stories to publishers and magazines, scripts and screenplays to agencies and the BBC writersroom. I don’t know how good my writing is but I’ve heard positive things about my stories in the past from many different people so I’m hoping I have some sort of chance of “making it”. Though I suffer from constant “Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel” syndrome (but I feel that anyone who is an artist of some sort has that problem). But I want to try at the very least. It never hurts to try.
So in a nutshell, when I graduate, I want to live in London, get a job, travel to many different places, meet all sorts of people, have all kinds of experiences, write about everything, and submit everything to the world stage.
Sounds daunting. Sounds exhilarating.
I may just be enough of a brash idiot to actually do it.