By the time I turned 29, I'd been living in LA for 4 years. Prioritizing my film editing career, I spent years honing my craft, culminating with trips to Sundance and SXSW. My overwhelming feeling after 4 years? "That sure as hell went by fast."
Damn, I’m almost 30. Where did the time go? I would often ask myself. Each time I would feel a little regretful; a sense that I wasn’t satisfied with how my life was going up until that point. I wanted to do more, but feeling like life was short, I would start to panic.
Why was my life going by so fucking fast? After 33 years of wondering, I finally figured it out. For me, life was going fast because I was taking actions to speed up my life. Those specific actions came in the form of escaping.
escapism | noun: the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.
Always on my phone. Countless check-ins on social media were common. I found it easier to live someone else’s life than my own.
Binge watching TV/Movies. Incredible thought goes into character/story development to make the audience relate to them. This results in hundreds of hours spent living vicariously through characters and stories. I found it easier to live fictional lives than my own.
Working too much. If nothing was going right in my life, I could always fall back on my career. Career progress gave me a false sense of fulfillment. By tying my self-worth to my career, I worked 50-70 hours a week. It consumed me, leaving me no time to live a life I actually wanted.
I actively escaped my real life because it wasn’t going as well as I wanted it to. It was much easier to live a life that wasn't my own. Since I got struck by the cancer bug, I’ve put a lot of effort into creating a life I would want to live. That meant changing priorities and making sure my actions matched what I believed in.
Ever since then I’ve focused less on “escaping” and more on what is important: like Paulina, family, and health. I’m less stressed, healthier, and happier.
The interesting thing that happened was that this change slowed life down; I came to the conclusion that life slows down when you spend time on what is truly important to you. In other words, when you spend time living a life you actually want.
My life is slower but much more enjoyable. This is the type of life I could live for a long time.