Futurus localis?

The future. Today was all about the future. And before you ask: “No, I have no idea if the Latin spelling in my title is correct or not. I’m guessing it is, but it’s been like 5 years since I’ve read Latin, so I’m a little rusty. And don’t give me that look. You know the look. The look that says You studied Latin for 6 years straight? Are you crazy? to which I can only reply that Yes, yes I am. And if it has taken you this long to realize that, I’m doin’ it wrong.” 

Anyways, I went and visited a close friend of mine today, so we could discuss – you’ve guessed it – our futures. Both of us are nearing that graduation end-zone and where I’m completely convinced that “a job” is the next step, he’s still figuring things out. And that’s what we were doing today: trying to figure things out. Because let’s be honest: is there anything as daunting as making that first step into the rest of your life? I mean, I don’t know about you, but I’m damn right scared shitless! And I have two reasons for that:

1) It’s an extremely funky feeling of thinking about the rest of your life and only, basically, thinking about it in a job-related context. See, there’s no hot guy waiting for me at home. (Well, I guess there’s several hot guys waiting for me at home. But all of them seem to be quite attached to the paper they’re written on, so I haven’t had much luck with any of them just yet.) And my family and friends, while I love ’em like crazy, are not a reason for me to stay tied down anywhere. So in the end… When I think about the future, I just think about a job. “What kind of job? At what kind of company? In which country even, because I’m seriously not that attached to Belgium?” And my friends & family – we’re talking pre-Vlerick era here, not my Vlerick friends who are experiencing the same thing as I am – don’t really look at the future that way. For them it’s riddled with questions like “Where will we live? When can we move in together? Is this the guy I’ll marry? etc.” And I love my friends being so happy like that, but… I’m nowhere near that place in my life?! And that, ladies & gentlemen, is a funky piece of tiddlybits! (Pretty sure that’s not a word, but who cares. It’s a holiday and I’m a tad sleepy.)

2) I have three university degrees. One’s a bachelor and soon I’ll have two masters. All of them are in a different field: literature/linguistics – PR/communication – Marketing. Which means that… I have options. And like, a lot of them. Up until now, I’ve never seriously considered doing anything with books – I mean, I obviously still read them like the crazy book junkie that I am, make no mistake about that – but now that I’m thinking about the phrase “the rest of you life” I’m putting everything back on the table. Because, wow, I really don’t want to make the wrong decision? What if I decide to write a book and fail miserably? What if I become a marketing guru who never has time to write anymore? What if I go into PR and forget about books entirely??? It’s like… AAAAAAAAAAAAH! The freakin’ what-ifs are killing me! Well not physically killing me, but you can tell from reading that my brain is clearly under some duress ^^

So there. I’m scared shitless. I’m not afraid to admit it. And that’s also known as “irony”.

Meow. I don’t know what I’ll do yet. I’ve got a cool opportunity coming up next week, so who knows what’ll happen there. And if all else fails, my imagination is sure to lead me out of the place I so fondly refer to as the hole. For those of you who do not know what the hole is: it’s that place where you go when you feel like you’ve tried something and if it had worked, it would’ve been sheer brilliance and everyone around you would cheer and yell “Ohmigosh-that’s-so-awesomecakes!”. But sadly, whatever you wanted to do, it didn’t exactly pan out and now you’re wishing you could be invisible and it’s like you’re physically shrinking in size and… Theeere you go. You’re in the hole.

So yeah, I think if that were to happen, I’m sure I can spring for some rope with some bizarro thoughts in my head and off I go, climbing out and on to the next venture. But I just wanted to make sure everyone had a clear understanding of what the hole actually entails. I am, however, very sorry if the explanation was somewhat redundant or maybe even way too far-fetched, taking you into the coiling tangles of my brain, which has now completely freaked you out. I know I’m weird, and it ain’t easy being me. But there you have it.

Anyways, I’m just wondering how other people do this? I mean, really… Do this? Because everyone goes through this phase. Coming out of school and joining the workforce. Millions of people do it every year. And yet it doesn’t seem to be treated as the huge mile stone it is in someone’s life in the way that it should be. The first day of kindergarten. The first day of primary school. High school. College… But the transition into work life? Yeah, there’s no card for that. And definitely no rule book. Even though there’s a bunch of us going through it every year. I guess, if all else fails, there’s some strength in numbers, yes?

Suspension of disbelief

Damn, I’ve been totally out of it lately. Well, “out of it” meaning that I haven’t exactly been living in “this world”, like, you know… “R-E-A-L-I-T-Y”? Oh love, thy name is fiction!

Normally, living in a fictitious world doesn’t constitute a lot of problems for me. I watch sooooo many shows – really, you don’t want to know how many, it’s ridiculous. However, I’m usually pretty good at not losing myself too much in them. Of course I’m totally involved in the stories on my screen, but it’s not that much of an effort to turn it off. When it comes to books though… Oh gosh, I’m a helpless little kitten, meowing for someone to pet me, to give me some milk; please I just want a reason to PURR!

Ahem, anyways… In the last 2 weeks (15 days), I have read no less than 16 books 18 books (edit: whoops, forgot two others) and 3 novellas. And no, that’s not a joke. It’s completely real. All books had a length of about 400-500 pages. And I just absolutely PLOWED through them. I don’t know what happened, honestly. I’m like the bulimic who ate an entire pie in 3 minutes and looks up wondering where it all went. Is this normal? Can human beings actually eat this much this fast? Maybe there really wasn’t a pie. Maybe it was a nightmare. Or a very yummy dream. And how bad is it really? To eat an entire pie, filled with pudding and the most godly strawberries. It’s definitely not the worst thing to ever happen. Right? Like… Gosh… Maybe I should go for a run, because, well, oh shit.

So yeah, that’s me. Not the pie-part though. Or the bulimic part. Geez, I can eat but I’m not freaking Superman. But the book thing, yeah, it totally happens that things sort of get out of control. Well, to be more clear, it’s a little thing called “suspension of disbelief”. I don’t know why, but besides the fact that I already love getting lost in another world – hello, my addiction to tv shows? – it’s like 10 times more consuming when it comes to books. Especially when they’re serialized. Oh sweet daemon babies of Hades I’m like a total addict with junkie veins when it comes to serialized books. I’ll simply devour them. I’ll forget what time it is and suddenly hear birds chirping at 7am, remembering that I’m supposed to be sleeping. All I’ll be interested in is that world… That beauteous and compelling world that’s got me hooked like a fat kid loves cake. Just, damn!

And that’s suspension of disbelief: giving up your own reality for another one. It’s the whirlwind of an entire world taking down the walls of your own universe, letting that fictitious world shimmer through. And it’s not just the endless page-turning that gets to me, it’s the emotions a story can make you feel. It’s that horrible feeling when a book ends and you are snapped back to your own reality, your mind reeling from the blast.
It’s that moment when I can’t feel ashamed for those tears that are trickling down, because in that moment, I am never more alive. Which, I guess, is somewhat ironic, given the fact that none of it is actually “real”. But of course, I am actively suspending to believe in the non-reality of said fictitious world – if that makes any sense to you. And… I’m guessing the snake’s devouring its own tail right about here, yes? No? I don’t know anymore. My mind is a blurry, hazy thing trying to figure out what’s real versus… Not real, hehe.

Anyways, just wanted to justify my complete absence from anything social, since… Well, I was out of town, kinda. Living in different realities. Getting lost in personas so much cooler than my own. I mean, who wouldn’t want to kick ass on a daily basis, only to fall into a hot, tall, dark Russian guy’s arms afterwards? Like, am I wrong here? Ha! I think not.

But obviously I do realize I can’t hide forever. Sure, reading fiction is totally based on the awesomeness that is escapism. But real life beckons and I hope to, while not completely obtain, at least strive for some awesomeness in my own life. And if reality would like to grant me that in the form of a hot Russian guy, who am I to deny such offerings?

Escapism
Escapism