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Maybe I’m just one of those crazy people who believe that they belong in a land that’s not here. When I was in my teenage years, I zone out of the present countless times. There used to be a park near our house and I would just walk around. I would feel the wind in the wide open space as I walk and I would zone out. For a few minutes, it would seem like I’m floating or I’m not “here”. I’m somewhere else.

My mind wanders off to a familiar place that I know I’ve never seen in my life. I start wondering, is this really my life? Why do I seem to have memories from elsewhere? Am I sleeping? If I wake up now, where would I find myself? What is reality for me? This is how it felt for a few years. Life feels like a dream. I tried waking myself up during those walks. But then another part of me tells me that I’m wandering too far from “reality”. It tries to convince me that I am “here” and there’s no waking up from here because it’s the real thing.

I always thought life was superficial. It’s a huge fake but I cannot explain why. It’s an illusion. A dream. The more time I spend living, the older I get, the more it convinces me that it’s real. It’s like a drug that “fixes” your way of thinking so you begin to accept it the way it is and forget about where you think you belong. When I grew older, I forgot how to wander off. I forgot how to write or draw with my soul. A few weeks ago, I decided to give it another try. I wanted to tap that version of me again.

This is a comic I made. When I was younger, I had many notebooks. I was great in calligraphy and drawing. I’ve made plenty of stories and comics since I was in grade school. At some point during my high school years, I burned all of my work and I forgot about it all. After College, I got a job which pulled me further away from my previous love. My job takes place in front of the computer and I can barely write my signature properly sometimes. It’s safe to say that I have forgotten how to write ever since I started to type.

This comic strip shows how I still feel sometimes. When I turned 26, strange dreams started to occur. In one particular dream, I woke up in a dream and then another dream and then another dream. It re-opened my feelings about how I genuinely feel about this life – an endless series of dreams designed to keep us in this so-called “reality”. A programming loop, if you may. I imagine it breaking at some point, though. A stack overflow and then we would all be free. We’ll finally wake up and laugh everything off. We’ll think back on how much this illusion convinced us that it was real. Or maybe, we’ll wake up not remembering anything, just like in most of our dreams.

I’ve had plenty of nightmares and lucid dreams when I was younger. I’ve made accurate predictions based on my intuition and there were plenty of nights when I couldn’t sleep. It all disappeared when I started working. I wanted to be realistic even though inside I still know that “real” is fake. Survival instincts, I told myself. I cannot survive in this reality unless I play by its rules.

I still have a way of predicting things but this time, in a more concrete and analytical way. I predicted results based on a collection of facts. When I say that this will happen, it happens. Those close to me can’t help but wonder how I came up with such predictions but to me, it requires little effort. I’ve connected dots, bits of information, and told a story. In my head, I’ve analyzed different situations and found one, the only one that makes sense given all the information I’ve gathered, the current situation, time, and the rules of the universe we live in. To me, there’s no “prediction”, this is the only way things could happen, at least in this universe.

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