I try to maintain a healthy dose of daydreaming to remain sane.
– Florence Welch
I am an escape artist.
Not in the traditional, Harry Houdini sort of way. I cannot escape from a straightjacket while being held upside down in a tank of water. But I do escape. My straightjacket is reality.
Escapism is the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.
My reality has never been overly unpleasant but it is just a regular plain-old life. I used to go to school, do homework, sleep, eat. Now I go to work, write my book, sleep, eat. The repetitiveness is a bit much for me sometimes.
I don’t remember the exact moment when I discovered Harry Potter (maybe in the first grade?), but since I read the first book, I wanted to run away to Hogwarts and be a witch. The world of Harry Potter was my first conscious dip into the world of escape-through-fiction. My own world was suddenly a bit more ordinary because there was no magic.
Since then there have been many books that have acted as a portal out of my reality; included but not limited to Twilight, anything by Maggie Stiefvater, The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic, and Anne of Green Gables. These books help(ed) me have faith that there is more to the world than meets the eye.
Reading is my escape.
Escapism isn’t always about books. I’ve been an avid daydreamer since… ever. The Oxford English Dictionary (online) defines a daydream as, “A series of pleasant thoughts that distract one’s attention from the present.”
From ballerinas to lost princesses, to orphans (thanks Anne Shirley and Annie), to lottery winners, my inner world is full of interesting characters and adventures. As a child, I could play make-believe forever. As an adult, my daydreams often revolve around being an author, paid enough to quit my job, able to buy a quaint cottage by the sea to live in with my cats.
In high school, my internal worlds started becoming external through my writing. It’s no longer me going on adventures but the characters I create. Worlds I didn’t know were rattling around in my head started coming out onto the page. It’s been fun to explore worlds someone else didn’t already create.
Writing is now my escape.
Between reading and writing, the monotony of life doesn’t feel so… monotonous.
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