The Danger Of Pretending You Live In A Fantasy
Start writing a post
Entertainment

The Danger Of Pretending You Live In A Fantasy

How I live vicariously through literature

40
The Danger Of Pretending You Live In A Fantasy
pexels

I’ve always liked to read, and when I say always I really mean for the last 10 years, which I guess feels like always to me. Since my brother first handed me his worn copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, with its broken binding and chocolate stained pages, I’ve never found life to be the same. I was suddenly able to leave the quiet suburbs of Connecticut and transport myself to the wonderful “Wizarding World of Harry Potter.” It was a dazzling foreign experience to find myself so enraptured by this fictional place, and I began to daydream about this fantasy world so different from my own.

The thing is, books are very different from the real world, a difference I’ve found is both magical and profoundly dangerous. Novels are seductive, and fantasy more so than any other genre. When you pick up a book a nerdy kid can become a wizard, a warrior, or maybe a knight in shining armor whose adventures are unparalleled by anything that goes on in your pedestrian life. There is bravery, danger, and glory in books. There is mystery and romance, power and intrigue.

I remember being disappointed as I transitioned from adolescent to teenager. My heroes were younger than I was; Harry was only 11 in the first book and Percy Jackson began his adventures at 12. Here I had made it all the way to 13 and that letter from Hogwarts never arrived. I was neither wizard nor demigod, just plain old mundane me. I soon grew out of the thrall of fantasy. I knew magic wasn’t real, so why would I assume the danger and adventure would be attainable? I recognized that I was a kid in school, and that my studies were my priority. I wasn’t meant to be a hero.

The danger of books is that they make you think you know what it means to be that hero. There’s a recipe and a formula for what makes a great book, and as you read more and more you can anticipate the link in every chain of events. You think that because you know all the foils and follies of your literary heroes you won’t replicate their mistakes. Back in high school, at the end of freshman year, I read On the Road and everything changed again. There was no magic, no science fiction, hell it wasn’t even fiction—it was real! I could find a way to recreate the wonders of these heroes’ lives in my own life without replicating their same struggles, since I knew all the bad decisions they made and the consequences they bore—or so I thought.

I woke up in a hospital bed two days ago, afraid and confused without any memory of how I got there. I was hoping for a miracle, wishing I could turn back the pages of my own book to send me back home to the comfort of my dorm room. It seems I had quite the adventure that night, one that I’m glad I cannot remember, and wish could have been replaced by more bookish pursuits. It’s hard to be satisfied with a life full of textbooks and problem sets when you know there is this great big world out there full of adventure. I've spent the last couple of years chasing those adventures with the naïve conviction that I could avoid all the conflicts that lead to the climax of every great book. I had no enemies, nor villains in my life, so the road seemed to be free of obstructions until it dawned on me just now that I may be the antagonist in my own story.

Adventure, mystery, and intrigue are real when you’re exploring an abandoned insane asylum late at night, but even more real is the asbestos, lead paint, and unstable structure of a condemned building, not to mention the police station a hundred yards away. When you’re roaring down the highway at 120 miles an hour you tend to think you’re in The Fast and The Furious, not Untold Stories of the ER, and when you’re chasing euphoria in a cup, you forget that poison has its price. Reading books might tell you what adventure looks like, but the books won’t tell you what extra quarter inch is too far to push the accelerator, or if the next shot is going to be your last.

Adventure is found in books and can be had in life, but with that comes the same perils all heroes eventually face, which is a risk few of us acknowledge, but all must accept. Danger and excitement always come at some cost, and that’s the danger with books—they fail to tell us what the price is.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

I Talked To Nikki Pebbles About PCOS-Friendly Workouts, And Low-Impact Is The Key

Hormone health impacts everything, including the workouts that are best for you.

2817

Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) deal with a lot of uncertainty in their life. Between hormonal ups and downs, unpredictable weight gain, painful cyst ruptures, and infertility worries, their bodies are often under a lot of stress! A common symptom of PCOS is having a hard time losing weight — many women find themselves frustrated (or in pain) from traditional workout plans.

I talked to Nikki Pebbles, a certified personal trainer and group fitness coach, to talk about the kind of workouts that are best for women who are dealing with PCOS.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Jason Wu's Recent Runway Show's Models All Wore Maybelline — Get The Look On A SERIOUS Budget

Created solely with the Maybelline New York line, you'll get a glimpse of makeup done the Empire State way.

1762
Maybelline

As a makeup artist who is always looking for bargain, good quality makeup, I can confidently say that Maybelline's New York line exceeds any high expectations I set. With only five steps and seven products, you can achieve the makeup looks rocked by models for one of the biggest fashions shows in the industry.

The direct makeup artist, Erin Parsons, also shared her statement about the makeup saying, "When you're on vacation, you don't really wear much makeup. We applied Maybelline New York Super Stay Matte Ink Coffee Edition in Espresso Enthusiast and Chai Genius sinve the models had to wear masks following application, and we knew that the makeup would not move."

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Chase Stokes And Madelyn Cline Are 'Hot Stuff' In Kygo's New Music Video

While we patiently await OBX season two on Netflix, we can just jam to and watch "Hot Stuff" in the meantime.

914

As if Chase Stokes, 28, and Madelyn Cline, 22, aren't cute enough in real life, we also get to swoon over them as John B and Sarah Cameron in "Outer Banks" AND now in Kygo's new music video, "Hot Stuff." Feel free to gush over them in the video below.

Keep Reading... Show less

I began suffering the symptoms of PCOS — acne, fatigue, weight gain, and an irregular cycle — when I was about 16, but I wasn't diagnosed until about nine years later.

The symptoms were, of course, frustrating, but I am now thankful for all of the time I spent trying to manage them naturally with my diet, herbs, and vitamins. Now that I am diagnosed, I do take a small dose of prescribed spironolactone which has helped immensely, mostly with my skin.

Keep Reading... Show less

Fall is (almost) here, and we could not be more excited. As the weather slowly but surely changes, so will your wardrobe. From booties to oxfords, this fall's shoe trends have something for everyone.

Sure, you might be comfy at home in your slippers, but with shoes this cute, you'll be sporting them when you're out and about or just hanging out in your living room.

Keep Reading... Show less

I'm not one to talk about personal issues, like the first-hand misogyny I experience as a woman, usually because it makes close family and friends uncomfortable. However, I have recently become exhausted with the number of comments I get, so I decided to rate all the ones I received in the past month to prove that misogyny is alive and real.

Keep Reading... Show less

With the pandemic, so many of my friends and I discussed how it was hard to find new things for date night when so many places were closed. It seems like date nights were just endless nights of bingeing Netflix and stuffing my face with Halo Top and SmartSweets. I tried those other date night ideas like cooking together and playing cards. But even those things can get old after a while. Finally, I had it and decided we need to make date nights COUNT again, even if we had to social distance.

Here are 5 different and unique ways you can spice up date night with your partners.

Keep Reading... Show less

"To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. This classic novel has found itself in the hands of nearly every high school student for the past decades. Ahead of its time, the themes of racial injustices and loss of innocence have certainly sparked many healthy conversations in classrooms.

Keep Reading... Show less

- Since my late teens, I have had wavy, unruly hair that is susceptible to frizz from heat damage.

- I've made a conscious effort to try and eliminate heat styling products from my hair regimen in order to do less damage in the form of split ends and hair loss.

- When I first tried Tineco's MODA ONE Smart Ionic Hair Dryer, I was immediately amazed by how quickly it dried my thick strands and how straight/sleek my hair was with minimal work.

Up to my late teen years, my thick, soft, silky straight hair was the envy of nearly everyone I encountered. I totally took it for granted till my hair began to evolve into being more wavy and unruly with random patches of wavy and straight hair.

Keep Reading... Show less

"Schitt's Creek" has quickly become an absolute fan favorite in the US and Canada and their seven wins at the Emmy Awards last night proves just that.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments