Sunday, June 11, 2017

[On Me Watching and Reading Stories a Bit Too Obsessively at Times]

Warning: Excessive soul-baring ahead.

On Thursday, I finally got to see Beauty and the Beast when it came in the mail, and I immediately fell in love and have been watching it a tad bit obsessively since. Knowing that watching the same film probably a dozen times in a few days is probably a bit extreme, I've been trying to figure out why it's been so glorious to mentally and emotionally disappear into fictional worlds lately (actually, always, but more so than my norm recently), and I've got a theory.

Being a creative and emotional soul, I can relate to characters in stories to the point that they become almost real to me, especially when we're talking about characters like Belle (a fellow bookworm and dreamer of bigger things) and worlds created by brilliant fictional writers like Terry Pratchett, J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, etc., since these characters live fulfilling lives in a way that I honestly believed I would live (just a bit more realistic in terms of no magic and still dealing with heartache periodically, since "happily ever after" is not realistic). I'm living life vicariously, because very little of my life feels like it's where it was supposed to be by this point in my life. It's hard at times to not feel like I'm just straight-up failing at life in general and falling short of what seemed to be my potential when I was younger.

I was supposed to (by my goals/dreams/expectations) be working in a way that allowed me to create (artwork, writing, pretty much any of my passions and talents I've worked to develop over the years), not barely making ends meet by doing data entry for shipping invoices (I'm grateful to have a job at all, of course, but I did work hard to have none of it get me to a place even loosely related to any of my dreams and goals).

Plus, I expected that I'd have a bit more relationship experience, even if I hadn't yet found someone I could see myself being with for the rest of our lives (or at least for a long time)--I mean, how many 33-year-olds do you know who have never had a romantic relationship when they are someone who wants that for themselves? Odds are that you can only count them on one hand, if you know anyone besides me. I've grown so weary of the pain of unrequited crushes that I've learned to train myself to not let myself get my hopes up, and I've forced myself to accept that it may never happen, because letting myself hope with the real possibility that nothing may ever change just hurts to much. At this point, I get really frustrated when people try to tell me that it will surely happen when it's supposed to... what if it isn't supposed to? People do go their whole lives desiring romance and companionship without ever finding it. There's no guarantee, and the fact that I've gone this long without any real prospects simply doesn't lend much credence to the idea that it's just not time yet. It hurts less to face the pessimistic possibility and learn to accept it than to be hurt when another year's gone by without a change.

Not to mention the fact that it's been literally years since I've been able to have an entirely pain-free day. It's close to six years since I've gone a whole day without headache and/or migraine, and even before the wreck, pain was the norm rather than the exception.

It's little surprise, then, that when I can bury myself so deeply in a story that I truly don't notice the physical or emotional pain that I keep wanting to go back to that place. Or when there's so little in my life that brings me real joy (besides my sweet and wild dog, who is always my heart and joy) on top of the ongoing grief of watching my parents' health (especially my dad's) decline rapidly, that I cling to the empathic joy I feel for the characters I love as a substitute. For a few hours, thanks to these characters, I can believe that I know what it's like to have things actually work out once in a while the way I'd have hoped. I can get giddy or grin like an idiot and have it feel like it's my own resolution, not just a character's story resolution.

I know how depressed I probably sound right now, but please don't worry--I'm not suicidal, and I'm treating my depression/anxiety disorder, so please don't be concerned in that way. I just need to understand why I do the things I do, and sometimes, I just need to spell out the reasons why I find myself disengaging until the emotions force their way through and knock me out of my self-protective devices. And it helps, too, when I can get some confirmation that my perspective is at least a little valid, that I'm not really blowing things too much out of proportion, because I do worry that I'm being over-dramatic, having spent much of my life around some who are a bit over-reactive at times.

And this is why I don't post much anymore... I usually end up being a bit overly confessional with my emotions, especially the less pleasant ones. Ha.

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