I am currently reading Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks by Ethan Gilsdorf and it has made me do quite a bit of pondering as to the concept of escapism and how it presents itself in my own life. Even though it is no big secret that I am overwhelming nerdy in the academic sense and geeky in the fandom sense (zombies, anyone?) I have never really thought of myself as one to legitimately seek shelter from the pressures of my daily life in fantasy worlds. Generally, I am not one to get swept up into video games, movies, and novels for extended periods of time. I always seem to find myself drifting away from mythical beasts and foreign worlds back to things like course requirements and savings plans. Yes, it seems as though even my subconscious mind is rooted quite firmly into this world. There is one rather big but, though: I do not find myself particularly rooted to this time. I am futuristic girl, through and through.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have crazy, “far-fetched sci-fi-tastic” ideals about myself as android or something out there like that. My future-based escapism is so subtle that I didn’t even begin to think of it as such until reading Gilsdorf’s book. Yes, my particularly drug is fantasizing about my “future self”: a slightly more together and refined version of who I am now. A self with better financial planning skills, more self-discipline, well-developed social skills, and a perky set of DDs. (Hey, a girl can dream, right?) I spend so much time daydreaming about what I could be someday (and running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to become this highly-evolved “Christina 2.0”) that I’m very rarely completely present in my day to day life in any real, meaningful way. Sure, I go through the motions, but 99% of the time, I’m just biding my time until I get back to my inner life and continue “leveling myself up.”
Granted, it could be argued that my form of escapism isn’t as detrimental to my overall well-being as playing World of Warcraft or something all day because the way I escape from what ails me is still firmly founded in reality, but I feel like the root my behavior vs a WoW addict’s behavior is still more or less the same. No matter how you cut it, I am shortchanging myself in a really big way by allowing enjoyment of my present life to take a backseat to something that is (for now) just a fantasy.
So how do I mesh my “fantasy life,” and all the time-consuming activities that come with working towards it, with my real life successfully? No idea…just yet, anyway.