I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there – I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. People sometimes say that the way things happen in movies is unreal, but actually it’s the way things happen in real life that’s unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it’s like watching TV – you don’t feel anything.
No other quote I’ve read has ever spoken to me as much as this one by Andy Warhol, mainly because, in some ways, I’ve never before understood something about myself as clearly as after reading this. Only then did I realize that I felt the same way and I indeed was shocked to see these words, which were essentially my own thoughts, written down like that, once spoken by someone else.
This has always been my point: I felt that I wasn’t experiencing anything, that I was missing out, and that life was passing by without me noticing. What I have learnt so far is that merely being alive does not necessarily equate living, at least not the way I define living. As weird as it sounds, we have to work at truly living such as by starting to appreciate the little things and living in and enjoying the moment without constantly thinking ahead. There was a time when I was in such a slump that I would not be able to acknowledge the bright side of things. Everyday things like a beautiful day full of sunshine would go by unnoticed. Luckily, I am not as glum as I used to be.
Still, Warhol’s insights continue to have impact. I still frequently consider myself to only be “half-there”, that I am not actively participating in my own life. Time goes by so quickly, it can seem as if you are a spectator, not an actor. We tend to forget to take a step back, breathe, and reflect. Also, when reminiscing about moments in my life, they rarely feel strong or vivid, rather as if I was remembering something I had seen on TV. I’m a passionate movie-goer and film and book addict (causing me to completely dive into their fictional worlds) and a bit of a daydreamer. It’s not really the romantic kind of daydreaming; it’s just that I drift off imagining different scenarios of what I’d rather do, where I’d rather be etc. Sometimes I’m envious of the emotions portrayed in literature and film because they do appear to be so much stronger than how I experience and feel them.
I wanted to write about this quote and my thoughts on it for quite some time but always hesitated because it felt very personal. The reason why I’ve decided to write now is that 2014 is finally over and we’ve just rung in a new year. Looking back, you always remember the good and not so good. You may also find out what you’d like to change. Speaking for myself, I know that I wan’t to work on a healthier attitude, to be more optimistic, and to live in the moment more. I want to stop always worrying about the future, on whether I will achieve my goals. I want to cherish the things I have right now and feel alive. Live.