Friday, February 1, 2013

Fiction

Image Source

Image Source
In a World of My Own
-Why People Scare Me and I Prefer to be Alone


When my parents raised me, they did all the cliche stuff that you're supposed to with little kids: including reading stories and wishing me good night every time before I went to sleep. It started a long love affair with books and literature that has lasted all my life so far, and I can always remember a vivid passion for fictional stories in particular be it classic or science fiction. I guess it seemed like a natural progression after being read so many fairy tale stories and being brain-washed with glamorous and animated children's television shows that convinced me everyone young was out their experiencing life and having an adventure, except for me. Excluding me. Isolating me. I started to believe and desperately wanted to be just like them, a character inside a script where there was no such thing as death and at the end of the tall tale the good guys always win. But what was I missing? What was the secret password that would gain my access into what seemed to be a very specific and special club? Perhaps there was some hidden potential I didn't quite understand or something else was missing.

Image Source

Image Source

Image Source
I don't think I'm alone in this fantasy either, of wanting to be someone special. There's the fantasy of moving to New York, the city that never sleeps and being discovered and cosy with the "In Crowd" which is a little more realistic gateway as compared to the things I generally dream of. I also like keeping up to date with my own personal favourite bloggers and story-tellers far flung across the world reveals an appetite to travel and general wanderlust. Cities and exciting times allure us into thinking this is what life is about with glitz and glamour abound. Maybe that's why directors and writers such as Wes Anderson and Sofia Coppola manage to net such a wide audience: they have the uncanny ability to make the ordinary trials and tests of life into extraordinary events. When you can't possible afford to fake living like a big movie star I think these dreams and the roles we would like to imagine ourselves in become more and more important. 


Image Source

Image Source

Image Source

Image Source: Chanel F/W 2012
But I just think it's easier to turn my back on reality because it protects me from judgement: I can be myself without fear of scrutiny. Staring at the sidewalk as I pass fellow human beings is my shy way of acknowledgement and backhanded compliment also easily win a wry smile from me. I'm afraid of doing things wrong in terms of my interaction and then it just becomes easier to be a pacifist and try not to upset anyone. So I retreat in my mind, where my imagination is my safety blanket and the world can become as magical as I desire; I can become someone else and have an entirely different life, romanticising the fashion industry and thinking of the person I'd most like to become.
I must have had quite the inferiority complex since I was so pre-occupied trying to unlock magical powers like a video game achievement and prove I was better than everyone else.

Image Source: Jawbreaker (1999)

Image Source

Image Source
Maybe it's unhealthy to be something you're not, but I do admire watching stories of perseverance and character development unfolding all within the scale of an hour or two. Self-acceptance and confidence take many tireless years to master in the real world and tales of woe are made so pretty to watch from afar, rather than feeling heartache or physical pain ourselves. Investing time and compassion into someone not real allows us to learn from their mistakes without any personal hardship of our own: the ultimate "shortcut", if you will.
Watching movies or television/reading books is also an easy ticket into friendship; we watch lines and delivery play out in front of us and we relish these moments learning all dialogue backwards and forwards. We think we know what a protagonist would do in our place, they become a comforting figure in the back of our mind that comforts us when no one else can at times.

Image Source: Sailor Moon

Image Source: Tavi Gevinson

Image Source: Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

The experience of getting to know people can almost be replicated and we can live so far inside ourselves it's difficult to claw our way back into reality. Also if you, like me, spend holidays and extended periods of time far removed from society you can find the whole thing a little unsettling. Suddenly a critical glance from a stranger becomes terrifying, whereas the beloved television set would never think to judge us so harshly. And so begins a whole vicious cycle of of feeling bad about our own communities and instead feeding off the energy of something fictional. I think that's what I find really scary about people: I build up expectations in my head which are too hard to live up to. The Internet which acts as my usual springboard of ideas and whimsy also breeds a more interesting and visually pleasing notion of what the world should look like.
Image Source

Image Source:
Image Source
Instead of having such a clear picture in my mind of real vs. fake as I do with popular culture film and television, the lines of online content are blurred thanks to people not crediting images. When they appear from an anonymous source I like to fantasise about the type of people that compose a photograph or gorgeous bedrooms of really decadent decorations. Or the messy and shy, introverts such as myself; people, just like me working from their homes and bedrooms and it's all really real- I can learn something from them too since I know it is possible to do. Plus unlike a movie it doesn't only appear on a flat screen that I can't touch and feel, and it's not cheesy and mass-produced so that's always an appreciable quality. Some of the content is both beautiful and easy to relate to; I can be both a girl in the real world and act as a magical, fictional character. I just haven't figured out how best to balance and represent these two factors yet.
Image Source

Image Source

No comments:

Post a Comment