The Strength in Escapism

Anyone who knows me in real life, or has read my blog for any noteable amount of time will know of my love of the arts, whether that be through the medium of books, music, film or (my personal favourite) theatre, specifically musicals. I could go on and on and on about why I love the arts: they are, in my view, easily the best, most valuable creation of society, and of the human race in general, made all the more brilliant by their widespread availability to both consume and create. But one of their most valuable characteristics is their power to allow us to escape.

As this post is published, I’ll be sat in a hospital ward, waiting to undergo admittedly-minor cosmetic surgery on my eye; many of you will know I’m blind, and the extensive surgery that I have undergone on one of my eye sockets has caused it to lose its shape somewhat. Because I’m vain and also enjoy volunteering for pain, I opted to have this cosmetic surgery, to make both my eyes (or rather, my eye sockets and lids) look similar to one another. Even 24+ hours ahead of time, I can guarantee with no degree of uncertainty that, whilst sat on the ward, waiting to be called into theatre, I will have my headphones on, probably listening to a musical soundtrack, and my fingers on a book — I read braille.

The arts give me a space to fly, to run away from what is really happening and to visit a world where things are different, and where I am eternally happy. Often, people see this as a weakness: it’s understandable, I suppose. Running away from your problems, hiding in a place where they simply don’t exist is probably the ‘weakest’ thing someone could do, but no — I disagree.
there is nothng weak or shameful about escaping through the arts, in order to escape your own life, just for a few precious minutes or hours. In fact, I would argue that there is a strength in doing so. The ability to place a barrier between you and the world around you is a skill that should be cherished: I am never, ever happier than when I have a pair of headphones over my ears, or a good book in front of me, or when i’m sat in the theatre — nothing beats it. I have the strength to forget one world, albeit temporarily, and exist wholly in another, and I love that.

Strength has so many definitions, not on a literal level but on a figurative one. In this case, strength is having the knowledge, ability and power to live, full stop. Strength is having the skill to coexist in two worlds — in two places –, to have the ability to escape when you want to, and to understand the omnipresent link between the ‘real world’, and the equally-real world of the arts, which so many of us live in each and every day.
Even writing this post, I feel like I’m escaping: after all, this post is, in a way, a form of art. I’m in a creative world — the world of the arts, where things are different –, and yet, I’m in the real world, still sat at my desk, still typig on a laptop, still in my bedroom in London on Earth. I’m in both places — creative, and ‘real’ –, and I feel happy here. I have the strength to do that, and consequently the strength to feel this way.
And I love it.


13 thoughts on “The Strength in Escapism

  1. I hope your surgery goes well L! I absolutely agree with this post, it’s exactly how I feel about the Arts as a form of escapism. I’m constantly listening to music, watching movies or reading books and like you said, it allows me to escape from the real world into a completely different one. It allows me to forget my problems, if only for a few minutes and be genuinely happy. So what I’m trying to say is that I completely agree with everything you said, it was like (and yes I know this is weird and possibly slightly creepy) that I was talking to myself, expressing how I feel. In a way, it opened my eyes to just how much I use the Arts as a form of escapism and how it is not a weakness of mine but a strength. Thank you xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aha thank you. It’s so great to hear that you relate so much — I’m glad you liked the post!!
      The surgery was OK, although I am in a lot of pain 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really do hope your surgery goes amazingly well❤❤
    And I agree with this post 100%. I can’t count how many times music has pretty much (may sound dramatic) saved me. Pulled me from the edge and looked after me until I was somewhat ready to exist again. Such a relatable post I loveee it❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yayyy I’m so happy!! Glad it went well😊
        Oh no, recovery is the absolute worst isn’t it? I hope you feel better soon *sends lots of chocolate and hugs*

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Recovery is always the hardest part. I’m kinda off my head on painkillers, but at least I am up and about today — I appreciate your presents very much XX

        Liked by 1 person

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