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On theory vs. actuality

If you’ve hung around me enough, you have definitely heard me say, “in theory I like _____, but in actuality not so much.” I think I like/want something, then I get exactly what I wanted and am like hmm.. nevermind. That translates into a lot of areas in my life, but that is a conversation for another day. You would think at 25, I would know enough about myself to make an educated guess on what things I would like in actuality? But no.. I have a never ending list of things I do not care for, which grows exponentially everyday, but my list of things that I love/like is still really questionable.

I’m here in London, and I figured I’d be OK with the weather here. In theory I like cold weather, but some days I cannot even muster enough energy to leave the warmth of my duvet. Even if the weather was great, I’d have that fight with myself every morning (or afternoon) about getting out of bed, but that’s not my point here. I feel like my face is literally going to freeze and fall off– every single day. I will not walk out of my flat with no less than two layers on my legs, and wearing three shirts and a jacket is no longer unusual for me. The fact that I have to actually walk in this weather? Ridiculous. Long gone are the days where my winter experience is just an inconveniently freezing walk to and from my car. No, now I actually have to walk in the elements. I can’t. But I do. Every day. Side note, my pores are so tight from the weather. That’s the only upside to this, but honestly no one gets close enough to my face to look at my pores but so…

In theory, I would like more free time. I felt this way when I was in undergrad and working. I felt this way after undergrad and I was just working nonstop, then the holidays would roll around and I’d get my wish, and all I’d be thinking about is how much I would rather be in a lecture or working long hours. I’m mental. Not having stress, is literally one of the most stressful things for me. I had a good six weeks off in between terms at my university, and it was the most awful thing ever. I am pretty sure my mind rotted. You would think you have so much free time, you will get so much stuff done? Those things that you put off, those books that you never got around to reading.. that language you were going to pick up? Those things did not happen for me. I think I accomplished nothing, except working out. I was in excellent shape, just thought I’d throw that in there since right now it’s a different story. You ever notice that when you have a lot of things to do, you get more done, but if you have nothing or one thing to do– productivity is pretty much nonexistent? Is that just me? Are you one of those self-disciplined, productive types? …That’s great for you.

In theory, I’d like to think I am great at being casual with people, as in having shallow relationships. But I can’t even.. It would be nice to not be so emotionally invested in people, and be able to compartmentalize but.. I can’t. Tried it. Everything that is important to me will not allow me to be this way towards people. That’s not such a bad thing right? At least my friends know I’m not being shallow with them, and actually like them! I just hate wasting time, and energy with people. I’d rather waste those things I cannot get back.. on you know.. napping or something more productive and rewarding.

But let’s not just be exclusive to MY likes and dislikes, this theory and actuality malarkey extends beyond that. What about things people in general tend to think of as they appear.. theoretically but in actuality it’s another story? This easily can be translated to social media, which is full of smoke and mirrors. It’s basically a window for someone to carefully manipulate your opinion of them based on what they post. I can’t speak about everyone, but I realize that social media is a carefully concocted based on what people put out there, and as far as I can help it I try to make my life look not so dramatic, or not as dramatic as I imagine it is in my head. And bad pictures of me will not be posted by me, because why would I do that? That’s weird. Speaking of that..

In theory, people would look like the photos they post via social media. However, we all know there is no IG filter for your face in real life. Do you ever find yourself looking at photos of yourself and thinking that you do not look like this photo but it looks really great with all the fogginess and bokeh? I don’t think I’m ugly by any means, and this is not me fishing, but sometimes I look at my own photos and I’m like DANGGGG GIRL WHO IS THAT?! I’m setting up people for failure with these higher than real life expectations. It’s like I’m Catfishing everyone. Sorta, but not really. You get what I’m saying here.

In theory, I think my life seems extremely exciting. I live in London, I’m getting my Master’s degree in International Politics and Human Rights, I can easily travel to other countries, I am constantly meeting new people from different cultural backgrounds.. well, in actuality that is extremely exciting. But I mean, it has it’s issues. At the end of the day, I’m walking in this freezing weather, which in actuality I really.. really don’t like, y’all. And there are some other things, but I’ll save that for my Moleskine.

I feel like there was some kind of a summation to be said here, a lesson.

Perhaps just do not get so caught up about things in theory. Application is pretty important. This is coming someone who studies a lot of theory, in her extremely exciting life in a foreign country. But in the cold, don’t forget.

And in theory, I’d write more– like I’m promised I would.. and in actuality, I swearrrr I’m trying.

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