Listen to this post:
I despise the real world. I came to this realization years ago, and I’ve chosen to build my life around that conviction. It’s not like I reject reality or disregard the mundane. I buy my groceries, pay my bills and walk outside every day to help keep my sanity. I care for my cats and take them to the vet when needed. I don’t walk with my head in the clouds all day. Reality has a nasty way of sneaking into your life, often smacking you in the face with one surprise or another. How did this come to be? Was I always like this, or has life formed me in this way? What does it mean for my future?
From an early age, I was confronted with a high-stress environment. I’ve been walking on eggshells all my childhood, trying not to upset my mother. She was my primary caregiver, so always around. I loved reading books and delving into these universes. I loved books by Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl for their vast worlds. I’ve always had an intricate fantasy world. I would make up stories and even plays. My bedtime was early, and I wasn’t allowed to get up before my parents did, so this left me with a lot of time by myself to explore. I’m not upset I was brought up this way. On the contrary, I think it has set the stage for my career as a writer. And it did show me I could visit imaginary worlds and escape the real world.
The Grim Retail Life
Don’t think I don’t know what the real world is like. I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly while working in retail for eighteen years. I worked hard, I never missed a shift. While working, I made sure to be a dependable employee and coworker who would do her tasks and help others. Especially my time in the supermarket made me lose faith in humanity. No matter where I looked, I saw people lie and cheat, whether my coworkers or customers. I wore a mask to shield myself from this cold reality. I purchased small notebooks I could carry around for work notes which were decorated with colourful Disney princesses. My coworkers would sneer at them, but I needed that little bit of fantasy in this grim world.
Work in ‘Fantasy’
I remember a conversation I had with a coach one day. I told him how I had walked through an office building and how horrible it seemed to me to work in such an environment. Especially the idea of having to be in Tungsten light all day seemed so horrific to me. In response, he said: “Well, Liz, I think you need to do something with ‘fantasy.'” At the time, I was still working in the supermarket, and though I loved the idea, I didn’t know how to make this happen in real life. It did sound cool, though.
‘Fantastic’ Sex Toy Reviews
Since that day, I did leave my Tungsten light era, and in one way or another, my current life takes place far away from the real world. I read fantasy books, write fiction, play video games, and review sex toys. But Liz, you want people in the real world to read your sex toy reviews; how does that fit in this tale? Because I do need plenty of imagination to review toys. Essentially, they are an extension of fantasy. They’re either a physical representation of a person not in your vicinity, or the sensations they procure help lead you into a realm of imagination. And I need to tap into my creative skills to write a fun review. Or else I wouldn’t be able to write about the ‘umpteenth pink vibrating stick,’ as my husband likes to call them.
More Lord of the Rings
A decision I’ve made recently is that I want more of the Lord of the Rings realm in my life. This year I have a 2021 calendar of the movies, which brings me a lot of joy. Last week I bought the boxset of the Hobbit movies. They’re not my favourite, but I like being able to immerse myself in the realm. The Lord of the Rings movies bring memories, especially since my father was a big fan of the series and was still alive when the movies were released.
Tied to this is why I enjoy playing the Lord of the Rings Online game. My father never got to play this game as it was only released shortly after his passing, but I know he would have loved it. And even though I take breaks from it, I love returning to the game and being able to walk around in Middle Earth. It’s definitely far removed from the real world.
Something I also just noticed is that my room is filled with figurines and items with smiling cute faces and not with real photos. It’s like I can step into this room and take a break from the real world with all its mean, lying people who are out to deceive and trick you. Here I have smiling unicorns and rainbows, and nothing else exists. Even though I hate the term, it is a ‘safe space’ for me where I can withdraw and disappear into my world of fantasies.
As Little As Possible
As you can imagine, I don’t read any news. Important messages will come to me via my husband or one of our friends. And like I said, I do pay my bills and make sure we have groceries and eat and drink enough. I try to read less on Twitter as that will often disrupt my sense of safety. Is it wrong or sad to hate the real world so much I feel the need to withdraw from it? I don’t know. If you ask a psychologist, they’ll probably say it’s an unhealthy way to live. But for me, it’s what feels both good and necessary. And who knows, maybe one day I’ll step out and find a way to exist among the mean and scary people. But for now, this feels like the right thing to do. No real-world interactions for Liz.