One of the most bittersweet feelings I have ever felt usually comes after I have finished reading a book, watching a movie, or playing a video game. Through these art forms, we are expected to carry the lessons we have learned and feel inspired to do great things in our own lives as well. However, there is also the feeling of sadness that we cannot experience the same things in real life that the characters in these art forms do. For me, it comes in the form of intense longing to do something extraordinary with my life.
Sometimes, I find myself agonizing over the fact that maybe real life can never be as amazing as the stories we create. Sometimes I wish I could live IN the story, the video game, the movie...life would be so much more interesting that way. A life filled with adventure and wonder. Saving lives, accomplishing near-impossible quests. Some people say that through us playing those games, watching those movies, and those books, we go on all those adventures with the respective protagonists. But I can't help feeling dissatisfied with this sentiment.
We went on adventures with characters created from a human brain, and I am left inspired by the stories yet frustrated at the fact that I can't actually DO those same things. I can't wield a key blade and defeat the Heartless, I can't swing through the streets of Brooklyn to save civilians, and I certainly can't find a treasure map in an old estate house and journey to my sixth-grade teacher to help reclaim his wealth and who just happened to have been captured by pirates (this is from a book called "Alex and the Ironic Gentleman" and is one of my all-time favorites; I don't know anyone who has read it so if you happen to have read it please be my friend).
See, in these concepts, there is usually a clear line between right and wrong. In these stories, evil forces create chaos and the good forces do their best to vanquish it. And they're usually successful. In life, morality is not as black and white as others may portray it. The older I become, the more I realize is that there is plenty of gray, and plenty of people living in the gray. It is also much more complicated to rid the world of its evils.
In life, love is not found in a person whom you just met and must embark on a treacherous journey with; it's found after many trials and sadness. Disney movies do not prepare you to realize that just because you love a person you must stick everything out; some things just aren't meant to work.
And in life, decisions are often much more difficult to make and we must usually rely on our own strengths and willpower to accomplish difficult tasks, rather than special abilities or some external sign that we're "special" and have been "chosen" to complete a near-impossible task.
Then again, I remember that perhaps these stories, games, and movies are exciting because we as humans enjoy the IDEA of embarking on dangerous quests and saving others from life-threatening situations, knowing we can never truly be harmed by being an observer from a world that does not intersect with the fictional one. If I'm being honest, I would probably die from panic if I ever had to deal with the dangers my favorite fictional characters face.
Perhaps that's why we write, film, and design video games. We find strength in creating characters that can do what normal humans cannot. We find solace in creating unlikely love interests and underdog heroes. Perhaps that's why we let our minds run freely to our imagination's content because we take comfort in knowing that despite the tragedies in the world, these stories give us hope that all things may end well.
Perhaps it is a rather pessimistic view of the whole thing, but that pessimism is what compels me to come to my senses, reminding me that I take control of my life; it is what compels me to try something new, to write, make music, arrange, travel. It reminds me to do good and to make my own life a beautiful adventure.