Thursday, February 16, 2012

The one where I wish I was cool... then I thought about it more.

I've been watching a lot of superhero, geeky, and nerdy TV shows lately.  You know, like Smallville, The Big Bang Theory, and The Guild.  Next, I wouldn't mind starting the new V series or perhaps actually starting some Star Trek (can you see a pattern here?).

At the same time I've been watching these shows, I am researching graduate schools and thinking about applying for jobs in Colorado.  Obviously, the two probably won't coincide, so I'm constantly having to stop to ask myself, "What do I really want to do with my life?"  Inevitably, my mind will turn to these TV shows and all the fascinating characters and situations held within them.  Perhaps this is because I am hoping to find guidance in those words spoken by people who always seem to have far more interesting lives than I.  Maybe I'm assuming that these shows have something to offer me more in that moment than dwelling on the uncertain future of graduate school and/or a job. For sure, I believe that the genres of science fiction and fantasy offer a better, fuller, more encompassing scope of the world (or a world) than other genres, a scope that always expands and explores, just like I try to do every day of my life - something like making every day count and reclaiming every square inch (yes, I did just write that).

And then I realize that that's precisely why I can't stop thinking about "unreal" stories in the midst of my real-life one taking place.  The epic tales, the heroic journeys, the dazzling worlds are nothing more than what my life COULD be if I just viewed it in such a way.  Why can't I be considered a heroine right now?  Aren't my life and my choices just as important as those in the TV shows because I'm being directly affected, shaped, and transformed for the future?  Isn't this world just as fascinating to study, considering we still haven't investigated, what, over half of the ocean floor?

Now I don't want to make myself sound narcissistic.  I don't aim to focus just on myself, and I certainly never want to encourage anyone else to do the same.  Plenty of people unfortunately exist in a putrid state of "me-ness," running around demanding and suing for their own rights like they're hopped up on one too many self-esteem shots. 

What I'm instead suggesting is that we try not to yearn for some lands or people we think are "better" than our lives, because so long as we do that we will miss the fantastical, epic elements of our very real lives.  Of course we can always dream and find enjoyment, inspiration, and even understanding from these worlds, and I believe we should (I'm sorry, but it's really hard not to learn about the dangers of hate and greed when you see Anakin Skywalker burning up in the lava pits of Mustafar... if you miss those life lessons you should probably go back to analyzing the messages of Sesame Street before you try again).  But I wouldn't want to miss out on a kick-ass bonfire with friends simply because I'm sitting inside, wallowing in the fact that I'm not a rogue elf sitting around a raid campfire instead.

So keep those Clark Kents, Sheldon Coopers, and Codexes coming.  I may not be as powerful as you are in your worlds, but I can frakkin' well make myself a real-life superheroine in my own world, saving the day one womanly, wifely, friendly, worker-ly act at a time.  Scratch that: I'm going to say more than one act at a time, because I can in my world.


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