fiction and reality
I live in my head a lot, but for good reason. Reality rarely, if ever, lives up to my expectations. Not to say that I’m high maintenance; I just have a lot of set ideas about how things ought to be, and that’s not usually how they are. It isn’t anyone’s fault, really. My brain just behaves in such a way that I need that kind of order and guidelines to navigate the world, but in making these guidelines, I’ve kind of screwed myself over, I suppose. My basis for reality? Fiction.
Fiction has always felt more comfortable to me than reality. Reality is filled with a lot of noise and scary things and overstimulation, but fiction was something I could control to some extent. When things in fiction become unpredictable, I could just close my book or turn off the tv. Sadly, no one’s invented a non-permanent off button for real life. And so, at a young age, my perception of reality began to be shaped by everything I was reading or watching. This rarely ends well.
Because my understanding of friendships came from The Babysitter’s Club, when things went wrong with friends in real life, I would be stuck trying to figure out why things weren’t the way they were in the books. In books, best friends do everything together, they hardly ever fight and when they do, they make up with pizza and a slumber party, their families are always just as close as the friends are, yadda yadda. This never happened for me in real life, except once, and it didn’t last nearly as long as I’d have liked.
So cut to present day me, sitting around in Ohio. Yet again, fiction is my demise, and reality doesn’t live up to expectations. A conversation with Mari sparked this thought, which prompted me to write this. She and I have uncannily similar brains and we’re both feeling a bit dejected at the moment, and I started trying to think of why that is. I came to the conclusion that it’s because I expected, upon moving here, that I would have a really awesome time, meet new friends, actually get to hang out with old friends, etc. That hasn’t happened. I haven’t had a fun night out since well before I left Memphis.
I have ideas in my head, and those ideas don’t usually come to fruition. Not everyone is as comfortable going to the lengths I would go through to spend time together. Not everyone has an all or nothing attitude about that kind of thing. Not everyone wants to share every little aspect of their life. It’s frustrating, yes, and at times I really feel like I’m less than within a lot of my relationships. But I have to remind myself that fiction is not reality, and disappointment is just a way of life. On the bright side, when good things happen they feel a hell of a lot better than they would if I were pleased with life constantly. And now, to wait for something good.