Everyone knows that the real world is pretty frightening. With all the crazies, massive debt, rising living costs, chances to die, lack of a competent government, amongst others, who wants to acknowledge that this place sucks? Doesn’t living in your own fantasy sound so much better than being pragmatic and changing the issues that concern us?
I thought so.
Step One: Shockingly Low Self-Confidence
I’m not talking about the regular, run-of-the-mill lack of self-confidence. No, I mean cripplingly low self-confidence. Confidence so low that it would literally surprise people when they find out. “Wow,” they’ll say, “you don’t believe in yourself that much?” You’ll internally laugh with glee because you’re the real winner after all. Who needs real world confidence when you could be your own king/queen/dictator within your mind?
Step Two: Delusion
“The world can’t get better, there’s no hope”
“It’s everyone else’s fault my life is such utter shit, not mine”
“God just doesn’t want me to be happy”
“The young people are to blame for everything that’s wrong with our economy/society”
(you can also substitute “young people” with Muslims, immigrants, blacks, Jews, or poor)
If you’ve uttered any of the above, you’re already there! Let’s get the champagne! If you haven’t yet spoken (or thought) these words, don’t worry, there’s still time.
Step Three: Create Your Fantasy World
In here you are the King or Queen or Mildly Infuriating Jester. You rule, either with an iron fist or through a strong democratically elected majority. Maybe you have super powers. Or maybe you’re a ninja on a mission to save the world. Whatever it is, all you need to be is the protagonist to your story, and you’re good to go. This part is actually pretty fun.
Step Four: Get Sad
Once you realize that your fantasy world is, in fact, just a fantasy, get sad about it. Mope around for a little bit. Look at the world a little differently. After all, in this world, you’re probably not Jack heroically saving his love from drowning. No, you’re probably the guy who got thrown off the boat when it cracked in half, hit the railing, and then fell to his death.
Step Five: Retreat
After you’ve felt sad for a little bit, go back out into the real world. Try some new coffee, meet someone at the bookstore, maybe try on some new clothes. And then realize that all of that has no meaning and that we really just live in a void.
Retreat. Back into the recesses of your mind where you have all the power necessary to stay happy.