Yesterday, I came upon a post by the lovely Princess of YA Fantasy, Alethea Kontis. In it, she expressed perfectly a sentiment I myself agree with very strongly. She very kindly agreed to allow me to repost it.
The Harsh Light of Day
by Alethea Kontis
I seem to be having a problem with reality.
Mom and I just finished watching Austenland, an exceptionally cute romantic comedy that is Every Austenite’s Wish-Fulfillment Fantasy. Not surprisingly, one of the major themes of this flick is wondering just how thin that line is between fantasy and reality.
I read fantasy. I write fantasy. I’ve been a princess and a pirate and a pig-keep and a lady knight. I’ve been a sorceress and a scullery maid. I live the adventure, revel in the romance…and then I finish the chapter and either shut the laptop or close the book. I feel like I have a fairly good handle on What Fantasy Is.
Reality is a bit of a puzzle for me, though.
And don’t even get me started on “Reality” television.
What is reality? Is it paying bills and mowing the lawn and collecting receipts for taxes? Is it the stubbed toes and the tears and the extra fifty pounds? Does “reality” always have to focus on the bad things? Because I know there are happy things too. I know what it is to look into the eyes of a friend you haven’t seen in far too long. I know what it’s like to come home to a house full of a family that couldn’t wait to see you. (Granted, this only ever happened to me once, but it happened.) I know what it’s like to kiss someone you have lost your heart and soul to completely. And sure…that person may eventually be the wrong person, but inside that bubble of a moment life is blissful perfection.
So why is it that when we read that last sentence, when we write “The End”, when the credits roll, that reality seems like such a slap in the face? If our lives are what we make of them, then why does the coming-up-for-air portion feel like such a heartbreak?
Or is it just me? Have I spent too much time writing again today?
When Mom and I finished the movie, we put away what was left of dinner, did the dishes, threw in another load of laundry, and then I came in here to bare my soul and ask the world what my problem was.
What do *you* do when Coming Back to “Reality” seems too harsh for you?
Alethea Kontis is the author of several books, including the delightful Woodcutter Sisters series, which begins with the book Enchanted. (I spent Christmas day reading Enchanted and really enjoyed it.)