I have heard people say that they return to the real world when a holiday or a ski trip ends. I have probably said it myself on occasion. I don’t know why we do that. It isn’t true.
My real world is not on a swivel chair in front of a computer.
In the real world I feel wind in my face. When I take a break I don’t have to strain my neck to see a patch of sky in the upper right corner of my office window.
The real world is immediate and tactile. I am too cold or too warm, my ski boots are uncomfortable and the snow crunches.
The real world is not simple and it is not perfect. There is pressure and worry here but it doesn’t involve someone else’s deadlines, or glitches in code, or figuring out how much vacation time I still have.
Real world mistakes have real world consequences, and if I mess up I can only blame myself.
In the real world I don’t chase after other peoples’ ideals. I am more focused, calmer and infinitely more sure of who I am and why. I don’t think about where I will be next year or in five years or in fifty.
In the real world I am the person I want to be.
In the real world, I have understood that the day you stop running is the day you win the race.
Give me a lonely little hut high up in the mountains, with a roaring fire and two people I tolerate better than almost anyone else. I will worry about the wind picking up and the snow changing, I will be briefly annoyed because I managed to melt my socks by putting them too close to the oven, I will think about which flavour of instant noodles I prefer. I will have cold feet and I will squint at the sun. My glasses will fog up, I will get sunburned. When I get somewhere I will change out of a wet, clammy shirt into a dry one and for a moment it will be the best thing in the world. I will ski and maybe it will be just skiing, or maybe it will be another best thing the world.
When I sit at my desk doing imaginary work because of imaginary reasons, worrying about all the imaginary things I still need to do because of my own imaginary expectations, I will try not to forget that the real world is out there, waiting.
Bilder: Lorenzo Rieg, Lea Hartl
Text: Lea Hartl