Monday, August 23, 2010

Flight Vs Invisibility

I was listening to the latest “This American Life” podcast today and the theme is Super Heroes. For those of you not familiar with “This American Life” this is the basic rundown. Each week, TAL comes up with a theme and presents 3-5 stories relating to that theme. These are often intimate portraits of everyday Americans.

The stories are often funny, witty, through provoking, and emotional.
One of the acts on this week’s “Super Heroes” episode asked ordinary people the classic, “Which super power would you rather have, invisibility or the power of flight?” Often the participants would teeter-tooter back and forth, logically discuss the benefits of both, and often come to find they would use their super powers for bad, like sneaking into movies, instead of good.

One of the interesting, psychological thing brought up was that people that picked invisibility are often wanting to hide something. People that picked flight are more willing to show themselves, and were satisfied, had nothing to hide.

What I found interesting was that for my entire life, as long as I could remember, I would’ve always chosen flight. But as the podcast was going on, I was thinking invisibility is more appealing now. When this psychological topic was brought up, I started questioning myself.

What would change? What do I have to hide that I didn’t as a kid?

Maybe I’m embarrassed as to what I’ve become and I want to hide my present self from my past self?

Before college, I always thought, I still have the drive and time to make my dreams happen. Just a few more years of training and honing my craft and I’ll be there.
There’s something so permanent about a college diploma. I think it’s the lack of options once you’re out. You’re either going to land a job in your area of study or your not, but either way you need a paycheck because those student loans, rent, credit cards, car payments, insurance, etc start filling your mailbox.
Then it dawned on me. I don’t want to hide from my past. There are certain things that I wish I had more time to spend on like writing and playing guitar, but I want to be able to blink out and disappear from the world when I need a well deserved break.

I work for the weekend but the weekends often aren’t these periods for personal development and hobby pursuance. Even if the weekend is filled with fun things, I don’t feel refreshed, rested, or centered. If I were able to go invisible though, I could disappear from responsibility and just have me time.