Part-Time Escape Artist

By Jordan McNeil


Over the weekend, I went with my sister and her friend to see the movie “The 5th Wave” at the local theater. It had been awhile since I saw a movie in the theater; I’d forgotten how much more enjoyable a movie is on a theater screen. I’d forgotten how much I loved it.


Seeing a movie on the big screen is an immersive experience. You get sucked into the world of the movie and for two hours, nothing else exists, nothing else is real. Let’s face it — the real world can be pretty terrible at times. It’s extremely nice to just dive into a fictional place with characters you’ve never met before every now and then and just forget about the world. Forget about stress, forget about work, school, that argument you had the other day that won’t leave your mind alone.


It’s good to get away sometimes. I mean, that’s why people take vacations, right?


Unfortunately, I don’t currently have the time or money to really do the whole vacation thing right now. So I have to get a little creative. Reading books, playing videogames, watching TV shows, movies and cute goat videos also have the capability of letting you escape your life for a bit. And they’re significantly cheaper than a vacation.


My sister and I are pretty good escape artists. We jump into whatever book we’re reading, game we’re playing, movie or TV show we’re watching completely, and then sometimes we lengthen the escape even further by getting into active discussions about this character or that plot point and what do you think would’ve happened if it went this way, instead of that?


There’s a danger in playing escape artist, though. It feels great to take a break from stress, to hide from your problems for a bit and forget they exist. The thing is, they do exist. Just because you can’t see them at the moment doesn’t mean they’re not still there. You can’t escape them forever.


That doesn’t mean I’m completely condemning the idea of being a part-time escape artist — I rightfully can’t, because I am one myself. But I do find the value, despite what I’ve heard to the contrary, in disappearing into something else every once in a while.


If you’re feeling stressed, freaked out, worried, or just plain need a break, I say do it. Take a mini-vacation via a videogame, escape through the next book in your favorite series. Lose yourself for a moment and let your head clear.


You can’t run from your problems, sure, not permanently. Not forever. But a small break, a short escape can do a world of difference for your mental state. I know this from experience.