I’ve been asking the same question to myself throughout my life, and it seems that the answers change all the time. When I was a kid, I called myself Lui—the reincarnated hero, who will save the world from chaos. Always, I waited for the day that my comrades will save me from the despairing world at school. Then, years passed, I started to call myself Moji—the clumsy traveller, who searched the world for the ultimate answer of life. I had comrades, who hated me for not giving them a chance to shine in our fictionalized adventures. The last name I used to call myself was Nami—the lone android, who never really existed at all in the present world. I always felt misplaced in the crowd.
These fantasies that I’ve been putting myself up became my way to escape the fears and frustrations pounding my life. I have placed myself to the non-existent hope of being the one to lead judgement to my enemies and to the people I hated, of being the one to be saved by my comrades, of being the one to know that I am just living a lengthy dream. I was denying being ordinary. I was denying the problems. I was denying the life presented to me—because no one appears right to my standards, no one wants to live up to my expectations, and no one seems to care at all. For years, I have been putting up the same pounds of pessimism on my back. For years, I have never enjoyed living. For years, these fantasies kept me alive in my world.
It was a hard knockout to finally realize that no one will save me but myself. There is no reincarnation of a hero—if there is, it’s not me. There is no ultimate answer—if there is, it’s always been with me. There is no other living world—if there is, it’s Earth. This realization has made me enter the most gruelling war between denial and acceptance. I had beliefs that were useless and unnecessary; I see the world as a dream. Throwing these all away was tough, because they have been with me for years; they have made me belief that my life was complete. Then, in just a moment, there comes the realization that it’s not complete at all. That these beliefs were all lies.
Living a lie and letting it go was probably the hardest thing and the best thing I did for myself. It gave me a wider perspective of the other side of my life—the reality. The war, which still happens up until now, is self-therapeutic. I had the support of my family, but they don’t know it. They don’t know the real reasons for certain decisions I made—like taking a school year of rest. No one knows the reason. Maybe they do, since sometimes I give them ideas, but they deny it. Who would believe that someone like me, who lived in a non-existent world for years, is being treated by her own self? People call it illness and all of those scientific names. I call it a long-term self-realization. If it weren’t for this, I might have been like everyone else, who also lives in their own world but is in constant denial of it because it’s called madness. For me, this madness became my key to understanding myself better.
I still go back to that world and imagine being Lui, Moji, or Nami, but I never tried indulging myself again. I don’t deny my past—who I was, what I did, and how long it took. It was still me, and it has been a part of my life. But the difference today is that I know now what is real and what is not. And what is real is Anrea.