Stress Fantasies vs. Stress Realities

by Alex and Haley

Stress Fantasy: Overwhelmed by the relentless p_a_c_e of it all, I decide to abandon the Internet and live a simpler life founded on principles of health and self-sufficiency. I move to an organic farm and learn to make my own yogurt.
Reality: I cannot boil water, let alone handle live cultures. I become incredibly sick after eating the yogurt and blog about it before I die.

Stress Fantasy: After a series of increasingly terrible interactions with garbage humans, I swear off all sexual relations forever. Untouched, my skin takes on the radiant glow of the Virgin Mary. My hair grows long because no man’s hands ever get tangled up in it. Increasingly brilliant thoughts fire at a rapidfire rate in my pure, smooth brain.
Stress Reality: I buy a vibrator and halfheartedly text inappropriate people until I develop a new crush.

Stress Fantasy: I move to Montreal, where everyone is young and beautiful even when they’re not, and all my friends live for their art and make their own brunch because they have the time for happiness.
Stress Reality: I find myself desperately trying to befriend 21-year-olds because everyone my age either lives with their partner and infant child in NDG or does not speak English. A 21-year-old feels bad for me and takes me to parties, where I stand around with a Maudite beer trying to talk to 21-year-olds; eventually I give up and try desperately to befriend a 48-year-old in a contemporary flute ensemble. I splurge on a beautiful Mile End one-bedroom that resembles a beautiful New York one-bedroom for four times the price, but run out of money because it’s still a beautiful Mile End one-bedroom. I never once make my own brunch.

Stress Fantasy: I take a month off to read every book I’ve ever said I would read. I read every book I didn’t read because I dropped out of university; I read every book every friend has ever recommend. I read every book referenced in the books written by my favorite authors. I never check my phone. Behind my eyes, a bottomless pool of hard-won knowledge becomes visible.
Stress Reality: I abandon this project ten minutes in because lol oh my god I can’t believe he retweeted me.

Stress Fantasy: I give up on trying to make rent in the city and move to Dartmouth and buy a husky for companionship.
Stress Reality: I realize I’ve never even been to Dartmouth, I just like that the houses are painted pretty colors and the rent seems sustainable on a savings budget, but more people get the same idea and the rent rises and soon I’m priced out of my sweet Dartmouth apartment (are there sweet Dartmouth apartments?) and into a cabin somewhere. I also realize that a “mild dog allergy” is a major dog allergy in a cabin full of airborne dog fur and I’m a million miles from all my friends but I can’t afford an Internet connection.

Stress Fantasy: I become an itinerant hippie. Living on the road, I never have to worry about domestic business. I make friends all over the world and their love follows me wherever I go.
Stress Reality: I plan the first leg of my journey very poorly and spend most of my time at the hostel. I hate everyone I meet and want to go home.

Stress Fantasy: I learn code and make a shit ton of money through very little effort. The money funds my “work.”
Stress Reality: I am incapable of learning code, make no money, and spend my free time napping.

Stress Fantasy: I kill myself.
Stress Reality: I die.