New Job, Inception and the conflict between reality and fantasy

5 08 2010

Adrift in a sea of dreams....

So tomorrow I’m going in for a meeting with children’s entertainment company to discuss marketing via social networking and the possibilities of using technology in their plans for a television series such as CGI and again promoting the series via the internets.

This is great, I am very excited by this but as always very wary. It is my pessimistic and self doubting nature to be concerned about tomorrow, I have a lot invested in this and were it to fail it would be a considerable blow to my confidence. The meeting could very well be the belated start to a career related to my degree in media and more importantly the start of a fulfilling and rewarding journey where I feel I can really contribute at something in a way that comes natural to me, rather than have to fit my square peg into the round hole of soul destroying employment as I have done in the past.

The problem is, while social networking and media are a keen interest of mine I’ve never done anything with it in a professional capacity before. I’m not 100% certain what to expect tomorrow and what is expected of me and that fills me with fear. Fear that I might be living in a dream world that’s about to collapse, that the fantasy scenario in which I know what I’m doing and I have the confidence to do it might come crashing down and I come to on some dingy warehouse, bewildered, clutching a totem and complaining that the rug I’m lying on is a fake.

This leads me to the film Inception which I finally got round to seeing last night. For those few of you who haven’t seen yet I shall be vague, it is such a captivating and well made film I wouldn’t want to spoil the delicious pleasure of seeing it for the first time. Suffice to say one of the main themes is the conflict between reality and fantasy and whether it is healthy to live in that warm and comforting fantasy when you have responsibilities in the real world (the festering shithole that it is.)

Now I have a very active imagination, so much so that like Leonardo Di Caprio’s character I have a complex universe inside my head that is as rich and textured as the horribly mundane real world in which I have the misfortune to inhabit. When I say “universe” I am being pretty literal about too for there are many thousands of star systems, worlds, habitats, cities, people, cultures, technologies, sights, sounds and experiences contained within. In Inception Di Caprio and his wife made a city of their dreams, I have a whole universe of dreams to myself.

Just part of the universe within my mind, each point is a star, a place and an environment as real to my subconscious as the dreams are to the characters in Inception

This stems from when I was a child with no brothers and sisters. Instead of the constant battle for attention and vernal dominance over one another that my life would have been if I were cursed with siblings my playtime was spent letting my imagination run riot. As time went on this fantasy world grew in complexity and scale and as I made the awkward transition into adolenscence the universe in my mind became a happy place to retreat to when the real world and the unpleasent people within it became too much for me. Of course not being a mentalist I knew it was just a dream and that I would have to wake up and go to school at some point.

This dreamscape might also explain my fondness for the more fantastical side of fiction and my interest in hallucinogenic drugs for both are tools to escape to a more rewarding and life affirming place than the grey life I usually find myself in. Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware of what the real world is like, the horror, the violence, the intolerance, the stupidity, the pettiness, the general failure of Humanity to live up to it’s ideals but sometimes I just get so sick of it I retreat to a place more infinate in possibility and joy. This is not to say my retreat is a perfect state, bad things still happen and in the interest of realism and entertainment there is conflict but I have  far more control over this realm and the rewards are so much more satisfying than the meagre coins, possessions, spiritual lies and compromises that are the “rewards” in this materialistic and empty world we share. Some are lucky to get more, but then they usually have a lot of money to enable them or a detachment from reality similar to my own but dressed up with words like “religion” and “ideology.”

To reel this back into my original point every so once in a while daydream crosses over into reality. It is perhaps the most driving force within me, to make my imaginings and dreams come true. It does happen every once in the while and when it does it is the most rewarding thing in the (real) world for me. But it is also one frought with danger, my mind can get carried away, I choose to believe the fantasy more than the reality because it is better and less painful in the same dilemma that Dicaprio’s character in Inception faces. I might conciously ignore the downsides of something and instead run away with the unreal because it is so intoxicating and fulfilling only for me to have to admit actuality at a later date and curse myself for being so foolish when deep down I knew it was never to be.

On the other hand my pessimist nature can get the better of me. I worry myself into believing that I will die alone and in an existential funk, that my dreams coming to nothing and I become nowt but a joke on the sidelines of life watching more successful people pass me by. As with anything in life the key to success is striking a balance, to have the notion and then the ability and drive to make it happen.

I only hope the demons of my self doubt don’t scupper the deal tomorrow or that harsh, brutal reality doesn’t run into me like a freight train.