“When I was a little kid, I wanted to be…” “I wish I could be a …” “If only I was a …” Words and sentences like these are often spoken with regret and wistfulness embedded in them. In our mind, in our fantasies, we have the power to be anyone and anything we want to be, anything we desire. But reality is rarely what we wish for. So we have to let them go. For those with the absolutely ridiculous ones, letting go of fantasies may be easy. (And I mean the ones that just aren’t possible due to any sort of conditions.) But what about those for whom making the fantasy their reality just might be possible upon trying and taking risks?
Welcome to the 25th post of ‘Narrating The Dream’ where the issue being raised at present is the question of exactly what choice should one make in a scenario like this: Choose for stability of the floor of reality or jump off a cliff to fly high in the skies on the wings of fantasies?
Reality can be safely compared as the ground on which we stand. Stable. Safe. Boring. (Unless of course you dream of being a runner and not a flier. And I don’t mean the two dreams to be taken literally.) It is the stable and reliable part of what makes our personality. There are no needs for risks here. This can be considered as the one where the people adapt to the world.
But fantasy? Fantasy is like jumping off a cliff into the sea with only hopes of not crashing into the rocks. It’s the ultimate thrill, the one that never lets the life get dull. It’s exciting, it can be unique and it’s special… but it is also unsafe. You have nothing to fall back on. Once you take that step off the cliff, there is nearly no chance of you getting a do-over, no chance of backing out. To live the fantasy is to take the risks and be continuously playing a game of ‘all-or-nothing’ with life. This can be considered as the one where the person makes the world adapt to his/her desires.
So what to choose? Reality will give you no guarantees on whether it will get you the fame and the exciting life where every breath is like taking another shot of an unmatchable high or not. But fantasy doesn’t always offer the safety and comfort. So what should one choose? The dull safety or the unsafe excitement? Neither sounds appealing right now, huh? Well, let me try to get to it in a different way.
Fantasy would be the thrilling life, one where you won’t look back with regret over not seeking out your heart’s desires. But that doesn’t mean it is the life of no regrets. There will be no stability and all it will take is one mishap for your life of cards to come tumbling down. For the adventure sports type fantasists, this would mean that unless you get a family that understands, you won’t be able to maintain family relationships and, in the end, will find yourself all alone. For the non-extremists, there will always be a fear of failure and how tough things could get then. There would be no guarantees of complete success and if you fail, you will be the cause of pain to not only yourself but to those who care about you as well. It isn’t selfish to follow your dreams but it is to leave others, who always supported you, behind you. And what happens when the glamor of fantasy fades? When your dreams threaten to turn to nightmares, what do you do? Without a backup plan, we fall.
Is the reality only good enough as a substitute or a backup plan? Can it never be good enough on its own? For the most of the humans who live, this is true. To them, the reality is always a dull existence and not actual living. Very few people are lucky enough to find their reality in what is truly their speciality. Even fewer are those who accept this truth and adopt it into their lives. For the rest, reality becomes a prison which just seems to be slowly and continuously shrinking. The walls seem to be edging closer. The air seems to be getting lighter. The darkness seems to be even more consuming. And so those who can survive this anyhow or can find a way to keep their spirits nourished with their passions are the only ones who survive. For the rest, it is as if their existence was a waste of resources. And this thought, this pessimism is what destroys the comfort stability offers and turns into a distorted illusion of safety while it chokes you actually. (I think I got a little too graphic/suggestive here.)
Okay, I think I got the bad points done. And now, it is time for the good portion for the two sides. Let’s deal with the fantasy first. In the fantasy, we give ourselves some great power. Wouldn’t it be just great to have some of them in reality? I do not imply you become Batman or a country’s president but just having the satisfaction of turning your fantasy true is a powerful boost to inspiration. And one of the major ones? You get bragging rights! (LOL)
And now for the reality. Let’s see. I covered the stability. Then there’s the possibility of discovering something you actually like in the meanwhile as well that could be a hobby. Sure there’s the chance that you will die one day feeling incompetent but if you focus on your reality properly, there will never be a moment when you will have to take stupid risks (that doesn’t mean there won’t be risks though). And really, survival of the species is based on the concept of adapting to the world. Who knows, maybe when you adapt, you will find that you actually enjoy your reality. (I know the positives sound terrible but they aren’t. I don’t imply that you will find appreciation for them instantly but if you look carefully, you will see how much they are worth to you.)
So what did/would you choose? Reality? Or fantasy? Do share any experiences below if you wish so.