I was very young when I made my first journey into the realm of fantasy.
My parents were both readers, my Mother especially, and I dived in with a hunger I had never experienced at that point in my life. I needed the escape, life was not so great on this side of the fence, and anything that could pull me away was greatly appreciated.
As time went on and a few books turned into hundreds, my mind was filled with stories, so many stories, of fire and blood and love and hate and so much life and emotion, things I had never and would never be able to experience in reality. Not long after that when I realized I couldn’t always be reading, I realized I could still escape through my own imagination.
When you have read as many books as I have, the ability to connect hundreds of different story line ideas and merge them into new things is not that difficult. Soon I was spending most of my waking time in my head, creating story after story, using it as an escape, living out my fantasies in my mind.
This might sound wonderful, and it some ways it was and still is very fun, but as I got older I started to realize a profound problem with this habit I had created. I was no longer living in the moment, I was not searching for ways to actualize some of my fantasies into reality, I was still just escaping. If I was writing it down and creating books then perhaps it would have been useful but my stories were very disjointed, many times I went through 5 or 6 stories a day, merging and shifting depending on my mood. Trying to write down dialogue was beyond me and just seemed boring, I seemed to mostly have fun writing down different worlds and lands and histories, not the actual interaction between the characters, that I left in my mind and it never took on a proper form.
These days, I realize that the world within my mind is actually not a good place. It is a place to escape too and serves no purpose. It is dangerous, it became such a deeply ingrained habit I would do it while driving without realizing it, I had a few close calls.
Spending all your time fantasizing about what you wish things would be like is a waste of time. It leaves you empty, dissatisfied with life, never appreciating the beauty that lays all around you in the simplest of things.
Being in the moment is a blessing. Catching the last rays of sun as they bleed across the sky, turning your head at that precise moment a bird soars through a beautiful pattern, looking down to see a war of ants raging through the streets, silent and deadly.
There is beauty in our world. True it does not have the magic contained in books, but it does have its own splendor if you are in the right state of mind to appreciate it.
I think if we all spent less time wishing things were different, we would be a little happier.
And a little bit of happiness can go a long way in this harsh world we live in.