It's with a vague sense of disquiet that I notice that Guy has managed to shut down his blog Blahness
from overseas, replacing it with a short motivational message which seems to be a barely veiled swipe at those who confuse blogging with "real life." Maybe it's me reacting personally to the implication that I'm wasting my time, but I cannot accept that "real life" (which is such a meaningless term anyway) has some inherent value which distinguishes it from the meaningless pasttimes we otherwise occupy ourselves with - blogging, listening to music, watching tv. I'm tuning into the latest episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer tonight as always. I refuse to believe that this is automatically time that would be better spent out socialising or (shudder) getting in touch with nature.
I've had some "real life" issues recently which have pushed blogging, music, tv and all the other "distractions" in my life down slightly in my priorities, but my life hasn't been better because of this. I am not a better person because of this. My life and my nature are the same, I'm just against a different backdrop and using different props. Ultimately, I don't think that there are truths that can be learnt living your life one way but not another. We grow merely by experiencing life, in any of its forms.
In fact, I reckon that the struggle to have a "real life" is symptomatic of a mindset that I have been guilty of, but am increasingly regarding as misguided; that is, the desire for one's life to have a story line. "Jump out of a plane! Fall in love! Have kids! You need to do these things because... well, you don't, but we reckon that chapter twenty-three of your autobiography needs a better title than "the next two years during which I just existed"."
But life doesn't have a storyline. It's just events tied together by the fact that I am experiencing them. These events don't exist to explain me (although if they did, that would make me God, which would have its advantages). Rather I exist to explain them. Everything I do and perceive is coloured by my personality, that ineffable core of me which remains whether I'm blogging or hiking in the Himalayas. If life does have some sort of coherent storyline, it is because we act according to our natures, and thus our lives will follow a sort of mysterious logic anyway, from the banality of our daily routines to our grand dramas.
You can only live your real life by being yourself, and placing artificial value judgements on which parts of your life are important and which aren't isn't going to change that. So turn off your computer, or leave it running. Fall in love, or dedicate yourself to destroying humanity. See the world, or sit in a cafe eating pickles. Be your own guru.