In my head

 

Sometimes I feel a big disconnect between who I am in my head and what my life is actually in the real world. I have always had this tendency to live a half-dreamed life that would in places intersect with my real world, which made it almost plausible.

I’m still surprised how this habit persisted for so long in my life. I would have though I’d be over this after adolescence, but no, never grew out of it.  And that is the big problem: there are so many things I thought would be different by now and they are not. Like I thought I would be so much wiser and such a grown up, and when I am by myself, without the responsibility of the children, I am just the same Lori of fifteen years ago. Not much seems to have changed. Not in my head. Despite all that white hair. Is that the cruelest of realities or what? We never actually grow up inside.

This starts to weigh even heavier when I perceive other people around me as much more mature and accomplished than I am. My own failure to accomplish my little dreams takes end-of-world proportions. Clearly, we can’t compare lives with other people (especially online-lived lives) but it is not about the other people; it is always about myself. They are just reminders of whom I have not become in this very long time that has already passed in my life.

Getting used to the idea that living a small life is perfectly fine and even quite beautiful can be a big adjustment. It’s a lovely concept though that I’m quite attracted to, because I often see that the big dreams we people have are leading this humanity on an undesirable path of destruction. It shouldn’t be so hard to control our wishes and our dreams and to reevaluate what we hold dear. But it is, isn’t it? Because reality is oppressing. And that’s why we escape into dreaming. And that’s how we start all over again.

8 thoughts on “In my head

  1. What a coincidence! Just this morning I found this poem that seems to speak to just what you’ve written about here:

    Fear of the Future
    by John Koethe

    In the end one simply withdraws
    From others and time, one’s own time,
    Becoming an imaginary Everyman
    Inhabiting a few rooms, personifying
    The urge to tend one’s garden,
    A character of no strong attachments
    Who made nothing happen, and to whom
    Nothing ever actually happened—a fictitious
    Man whose life was over from the start,
    Like a diary or a daybook whose poems
    And stories told the same story over
    And over again, or no story. The pictures
    And paintings hang crooked on the walls,
    The limbs beneath the sheets are frail and cold
    And morning is an exercise in memory
    Of a long failure, and of the years
    Mirrored in the face of the immaculate
    Child who can’t believe he’s old.

    Koethe’s “small life” is a bit different from yours, but I think it’s a similar idea, that sort of mid-life realization that our worlds are much smaller than we imagined they would be when we were younger.

    1. Beautiful poem, Charity! Thank you for sharing it.
      So very depressing though. Or it seems like that maybe because I am in that frame of mind already.

  2. What a coincidence! Just this morning I found this poem that seems to speak to just what you’ve written about here:

    Fear of the Future
    by John Koethe

    In the end one simply withdraws
    From others and time, one’s own time,
    Becoming an imaginary Everyman
    Inhabiting a few rooms, personifying
    The urge to tend one’s garden,
    A character of no strong attachments
    Who made nothing happen, and to whom
    Nothing ever actually happened—a fictitious
    Man whose life was over from the start,
    Like a diary or a daybook whose poems
    And stories told the same story over
    And over again, or no story. The pictures
    And paintings hang crooked on the walls,
    The limbs beneath the sheets are frail and cold
    And morning is an exercise in memory
    Of a long failure, and of the years
    Mirrored in the face of the immaculate
    Child who can’t believe he’s old.

    Koethe’s “small life” is a bit different from yours, but I think it’s a similar idea, that sort of mid-life realization that our worlds are much smaller than we imagined they would be when we were younger.

    1. Beautiful poem, Charity! Thank you for sharing it.
      So very depressing though. Or it seems like that maybe because I am in that frame of mind already.

  3. Lori, I envy your life so much – I think we always covet what others have, what little we know or can see of it seems so much better than the known of what we have. But that’s the fiction – the unreality – that we bridge what isn’t shared with what we want to see – our perception, when when we are feeling low, is always so optimistic in this way. So don’t disparage your life – it’s beautiful and enviable, as are you (with or without your white hair!).

  4. Lori, I envy your life so much – I think we always covet what others have, what little we know or can see of it seems so much better than the known of what we have. But that’s the fiction – the unreality – that we bridge what isn’t shared with what we want to see – our perception, when when we are feeling low, is always so optimistic in this way. So don’t disparage your life – it’s beautiful and enviable, as are you (with or without your white hair!).

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