Living Vicariously

November 10, 2002
Welcome to Wyndspirit Dreams! I confess. I have become an online journal addict. It started innocently enough on a slow night at work with an Internet search on the word ďjournal.Ē I had vaguely remembered running across some online diaries and journals way back when I first got Internet access, but at the time they didnít catch my interest at all. Who on earth would want to read about the daily life of strangers, anyway? But I was bored, so I decided to check it out again.


This time around, I got hooked. Back then, I had people to talk to. I didnít need an online community. But day after day of having no personal contact with anybody except to say hi to my coworkers as I walk past their cubes has been wearing on me. So, I started reading journals. At first I still wasnít too interested, because most of the journals I found were by angst-ridden teenagers who didnít know how to spell or form a sentence. (What is it about communicating via computer that makes it acceptable for all the rules of spelling and grammar to fall by the wayside, especially for the ďcomputer generationĒ of young people? Itís a personal pet peeve of mine.) But I kept digging and one by one found journals that caught and held my interest. I absorbed the adventures of a New Zealander living in London and gained an insiderís perspective of a country and culture so similar to mine and yet so different. I sympathized with a girl who was working at a job that sounded even worse than mine, and felt a little better about my own job. I laughed myself silly over the adventures of a clueless first-time mother trying desperately to potty train her extremely stubborn three-year-old while constantly worrying about damaging his little psyche. I admired the girl, who, contrary to the usual teenage angst, almost every day had some reason to announce that her mom was the greatest. I could thoroughly relate to the would-be writer who was struggling with writerís block. I agonized with the college student who had a bad crush on a painfully shy young man. I read a newlywedís fascinating description of her honeymoon in New York City, complete with tons of pictures.

Maybe I feel the need to live vicariously through other people because I donít have much of a life of my own. Maybe because Iíve been such a reader all my life, itís a natural thing for me to live vicariously through others, whether the subjects are fictional characters or real people. As I read an interesting journal, I am drawn into the writerís life just as I am drawn into a good book. I have always been fascinated by people and what makes them tick, and I have found a goldmine. Some of the writers have kept their journal for years, and, as I read their archived entries, I can literally watch them grow and mature in their lives.

We are only granted one life. For some of us, that isnít enough. We yearn to experience other lives, other ways, but there is only so much one person can do in their allotted lifetime. And so we borrow the lives of others who are kind enough to share them with us. I will probably never even visit London, but now I know what itís like to live there. Who would want to read about the daily lives of strangers? Apparently, me! 


Let me know what you think!
Wyndspirit Dreams