“You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will not find peace in denial, but in victory.” – J. Donald Walters (via BrainyQuote)
My parents bought out first computer a decade ago, and since then, I cannot remember the last time that I have slept well. Technology has a funny way of keeping you wired and forcefully functioning, even after you have turn off the offending device. Time has become a huge stressor on my life, specifically the idea of wasting it. Every time I want to fully immerse myself in something enjoyable, there is always a little nagging voice in the back of my head that keeps on reminding that there are only 24 hours in a day, so I should be more productive than I am now.
I find myself sleeping less and less, as well as feeling lethargic during the day, as I force myself to finish all my duties, minus of course, the time spent eating. Eating too, however, has become a multiplayer game, minus the multiplayers, that I am sick of playing – I find myself reading a book, watching videos, or reading the news on my phone, while inhaling a meal. It makes me wonder about the simpler days before technology became such an essential, yet invasive part of my life. The burden of having to achieve my daily societal expectations, as well as personal ones, have led me to spend mind-numbing hours doing the things I have grown addicted to, so that I may have the façade of being stress-free.
As students, we are told that addictions are bad because it meant you spent your time partaking in drugs or alcohol, which are perceived as vices. However, as I have grown outside of school, I realize why addiction is so dangerous beyond this superficial definition. Addictions occur because it falsely numbs us from the burgeoning responsibilities that reality throws in our direction and we achieve a misleading sense of happiness. These addictions are not always limited to doing things like drugs, but can be something seemingly harmless like reading. Hoarding is also considered an addiction, as you are essentially devoted to accumulating clutter in your home without trashing anything, especially things that must be thrown out; without clutter, you may find yourself anxious and irritable.
Then, this begs the question, why are we so unwilling to face reality? We live in reality, and all the fantasies present to us by The Sims or some other virtual reality game is not real. Also, when did living our lives become so repulsive? Frankly, it is quite sad that the world we live in is so unappealing to us to the point that we must constantly find an escape that prevents us from simply living.
A large part of the issue is that we are bounded to a routine that has little to no change. Many of us do not have the luxury of booking a spontaneous flight to Bermuda when New York City’s winter weather no longer cuts it for us. We are mostly chained to a cycle of waking up, going to school, working, eating, and sleeping, with little variations in our diets, or the occasional subway delay when the 5 train decides to derail off the tracks again.
But this is the story of an average American – can the same be said for the impoverished or the ridiculously rich? For the impoverished, they may embrace addictions because of their horrible situation and their desire to escape, but for the wealthy, their rationale is a little more straightforward and transparent, yet essentially similar to the average person’s plight. People or US magazines, which are not exactly newsworthy, usually capture celebrities and socialites who have way too much money in their pockets that fuel their addictions stemmed from being bored.
It is a naïve outlook on life, but it makes sense. If I was rich and did not have much beyond work to make money or to spend it, I, too would probably fall into the wormhole of spending money mindlessly because quite frankly, what does one do with $40 million at their disposal? Especially if you have another $250 million in reserve? Well, you spend it one way or another, either through investing in the stock market, or going to Bora Bora to gamble at a poker table with fellow millionaires of similar situations. Regardless, you are gambling your money away, either in a high-stakes gamble called the stock market, or a destination gamble like Bora Bora.
I think the moral of this random musing is that we need to start accepting the fact that reality sucks, rather than constantly seeking to avoid it. The first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have a problem and moving on from that – yes, I have an addiction because I do not want to live my monotonous life that reality gave to me. However, to make living fun again, well, your guess is as good as mine.
the girl who wishes life was like a Sims game