“Of all the things I am not very good at, living in the real world is perhaps the most outstanding.”
Bill Bryson I’m a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to American After 20 Years
Sometimes we just have to take a deep breath and admit to our deepest failings. Like the first poke of a syringe or the first yank of a bandaid, it really only hurts in those first few seconds.
Then the pain ebbs away and all that really ends up bothering us is the idea of that poke or yank.
So here is my admission: Like Bill Bryson, I’m pretty ill-equipped at living in the real world.
I still haven’t quite figured out what the ‘real world’ is, so it is no wonder that I cannot seem to figure out how to live in it.
Is the real world the land of political push and pull? Is the real world just a grand and glorious reality show, each aspect carefully engineered to appear real? Perhaps the real world is a snarky cartoon, or a DIY lesson, or a poorly edited documentary.
Or is the real world something more?
I have no idea.
So I choose to construct an alternate ‘real world’ for myself. Inside the classrooms in which I teach, within the words I choose to write, amid the books I choose to read and with the people I cling to as my family and friends, I am daily creating my own reality.
And if I cling to this reality, MY reality with enough strength, I can almost believe that it is real.
I can almost believe that the world WANTS to be the wonderful, hilarious and surprising, supportive, respectful and loving place that I am daily trying to create.
Maybe if enough of us believed in these things, they’d start to leak out into the ‘real world’.
Whatever that is…..