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Reality versus fantasy

October 2nd, 2014

 

What’s your fantasy?

 

Actually, let me rephrase that. What is your idea of perfection? In other words, how do you fantasize about a perfect life? What do you do in this fantasy? Where do you live? Who are you with?

 

I fantasize about a lot of things. Practically everything I imagine about my future is a fantasy. Of course it is. Why wouldn’t I imagine my life in the most perfect way possible?

 

Once I read an article in Time Magazine that said human brains are naturally wired to be optimistic.

 

Yeah, I can relate to that. If you read my “La vie en rose” column from last year, you got an earful about why it’s important to go through life with some rose-colored glasses on.

 

I still stand by what I wrote last year – but the tune is a little bit different now.

 

I do think it is important to be optimistic about life. Good things happen when you have a good attitude, period. But, I’ve also come to learn about the beauty of reality. What I mean by this is sometimes things don’t happen the way you want them to, and the results can still be magnificent.

 

For example, relationships are the number one thing in life that never turn out the way you really expect them to. I’ve never written a column about my personal relationship experience, and I don’t really plan to start now. But, I will say this – I’ve learned more about myself from “failed” relationships than I have from anything else.

 

I put the word “failed” in quotation marks because I see it as a relative term. When it comes to romantic relationships, most people interpret “failed relationships” as the ones that ended. These relationships are, in fact, the ones I am referring to, but I don’t like to use the word “failed” to describe them.

 

I don’t start romantic relationships with the expectation that they will end. I expect them to be wonderful, thrilling, hot, adventurous, etc. As in Cinderella-type relationships. Weird, right?

 

Not really. I know tons of people who are the same way. Therefore, when they end, it’s more than a little disappointing. Sometimes, it can really rock your entire world in a bad way.

 

But, I wouldn’t describe these as failed relationships. I’ve learned some really important lessons about myself entirely because my fantasies about relationships turned out to be not what I really needed. And, I wouldn’t have figured that out without going through the old “trial and error” phase.

 

Let’s steer this away from relationships now and talk about other reality versus fantasy scenarios. Better yet, let’s talk about careers! Who doesn’t love to face the despair of trying to start a career after college in a drowning economy?

 

I don’t love it – especially because I haven’t even figured out what kind of job I’m going to be looking for. Time is ticking away and I constantly deal with the pressure of trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life.

 

Seniors, I know a majority of you are in the same boat as me, so listen up now, because I’m about to share some pretty insightful stuff I picked up this summer.

 

First off, there’s no such thing as living life wrong. Sure, there are standards of economic success. Sure, there are expectations of intelligence and productivity. And sure, there are laws and moral guidelines about what not to do. I’m not trying to argue with the Bible and say that you can do whatever you want and nothing bad will happen to you.

 

All I’m saying is that life is life. People are people, and I honestly don’t believe that anyone really, truly knows why we are here. Everyone has an idea of what success is, but that doesn’t have to make it your reality, too.

 

Secondly, whatever you’re expecting, stop expecting it. Or, at least, be open to things you are not expecting. It’s impossible to stop having expectations altogether, but it is possible to recognize that the best things in life are unexpected.

 

Your reality will never be the same as your fantasy, but that’s what makes life interesting.