Unrealities – In Pursuit of a Life Outside My TV Set

"We shouldn't have to rely on television or movies to show us fantastic things and fantastic stories." 
- "Mind Games", This American Life.

As I sat in my regular seat, on a regular day, on my regular bus into the City, I paused when that line played through my over-sized Sony headphones.

I rely heavily – almost desperately – on television. The way some people love books, I love my shows. I crave the intimacy felt after joining a family for 6+ seasons and living through their trials and tribulations. I’m literally hungry for the way I connect and cry tears of sadness and joy along with my favorite characters.

Many people have many escapes from reality; television is mine.

But, as I sat on my bus, this line made me pause, rewind, and listen again.

We crave the extraordinary and television (or movies) are an easy way to fulfill that craving and secure that high. To acquire that fantastical life that we want more than anything in the world. If you claim not to want it, you’re either lying or luckier than me.

I dream of fantastic things – I dream of applying/kicking grad school’s butt, I dream of killing it as an exec at one of my all-time favorite companies in a state far away from here, I dream of traveling to foreign countries and doing things so incredible that I can’t even think of them.

I’ve already achieved so many of my dreams – and every time I achieve a dream, it just necessitates that I dream bigger. Sometimes it’s hard to dream bigger; it seems like the simpler option would be to fall into a routine, causing myself to get stuck and accepting that I’m destined for a lazy life.

Whenever that happens, I find comfort in my shows, and I hope you find comfort in yours. But it’s important not use these “unrealities” as a crutch, and while it’s one thing to visit your favorite characters for a few hours, I hope you’re able to come back, refreshed, and ready to create your own fantastic adventures.

Never stop seeking out your own fantastic stories.

Daily Post: Grateful and Guilty

Daily Prompt: Whether it’s a trashy TV show, extra-pulpy fiction, or nutrient-free candy, write a thank-you note to your guiltiest guilty pleasure.

Dear Dance Moms,

As a former competitive dancer, thank you for giving me an outlet to relive the good, the bad, and the ugly of dance competitions. Thank you for showing me that there are 12 year old girls who dance more beautifully than I ever could, and for exposing their talent to the world. Thank you for thrusting Maddie Ziegler into the spotlight, so that mainstream artists like Sia knew she existed and could consequently incorporate her artistry into music videos seen by millions.

Thank you for the cat fights, the drama, the tears, and for reminding me every day that while it’s fascinating to watch, that life sure as hell isn’t for me. Thank you for creating a show that my mom, my sister, and I can all agree on and watch together while reminiscing on our own past experiences.

I’m very grateful you exist, even if it is slightly embarrassing to admit, sometimes.

I hope that things don’t change too drastically when Abby moves to LA because tbh I get bored any time the show doesn’t focus on the original girls.

I’ll probably still watch though. After all, you are my guilty pleasure.

Always,
Julia

P.S. I hope the real world experience really isn’t as traumatizing for the girls as it seems, and I hope that all of these lawsuits go away soon because they make me feel even guiltier for loving the show so much.