I Got Lost

— manufacturing reality vs living reality

There's always an element of aspiration when capturing life. Taking an image or video, I want the lighting to look right, the colors to pop, the mood to feel a certain way.

I'm involved in the manufacturing of reality. Making images a little more fantastic, I want others to take notice. It's not only made for others to notice, it's done in a style that I prefer--yes, that light looks nicer tinted, yes, that shade of yellow needs to be desaturated. I'm creating a version of life that is ideal.

The more I manufacture, the more I'm disconnected. From my own world. From reality.

I hadn't realized this, but my content tells me what I aspire for. I want to live a healthy life where I eat and cook delicious healthy meals at home. I want to do meditation and yoga regularly and live in a home that feels like a home.

These are the values I capture when I document my life. I select parts I appreciate and forget the rest. The few moments when I'm cooking, I got it on camera. Browsing my youtube channel, it seems like I'm always cooking. Unfortunately, these moments become less as I take time to document. While it may take little time to capture moments, it takes much more to present the same moments in easy-to-digest chunks.

Last week I lost myself. At first, I wasn't sure what was wrong. I was overwhelmed and dissatisfied. Perhaps I had watched too many youtube videos? Or maybe I listened to too many podcasts. There were so many thoughts swimming in my head... none of the thoughts came from me.

I've picked up a habit of tuning into others' realities. Listen to a podcast/video while doing something simple, I enjoy multitasking because it gives me the feeling that I'm not wasting time. The drawback is that I waste a lot of time thinking. I've become provoked in ways others' are provoked. I feel sad, elated, happy in context to others' beliefs. As I started to realize what was happening, I knew I had to intervene.

On Friday, I decided to take a break. I didn't go on social media, didn't visit youtube, didn't listen to words spewing out of any podcasts. Unexpectedly, I found myself cooking healthy meals, going for walks, doing yoga and meditation.

Only now, 48 hours later, I realized I'm living the life I aspired to live, the one I'd been manufacturing. During this weekend, there were so many moments where I didn't know how I was going to find myself again. I didn't know how long it'd take for me to get back to myself but I knew the only way was to stop everything I'd been doing.

I became more relaxed. My home unexpectedly felt more homey and I was in the mood to cook. There was no effort involved in cooking, yoga or meditation. These are activities I yearn to effortlessly do. Perhaps I had been out of energy. While I'd been documenting 'reality' so much, I didn't have time to live my own life. Surprisingly, my life happened to be the life I'd been trying to get close to, by manufacturing.

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