This article originally appeared on on July 25, 2014

Guest post: Do We Need Paranormal/Fantasy?
By Nicole Delacroix

Deeply ingrained in our DNA is a longing to be something more than ordinary. We, as a society, elevate the unique to heights that the ordinary only dream of. So, what is it that makes us believe that ordinary isn’t good enough? In a word, escapism; most of us hope and dream of that one moment when we’re seen as extraordinary. Whether it’s that perfect guy or girl seeing us as interesting and unique, or on a grander scale, being elevated to the heights of celebrity, we all long to be unique.

When I read a paranormal or fantasy book, I immediately connect with the characters. Suddenly, I’m no longer just me; I now have an intimate connection with someone who is exceptional… extraordinary. It could be a Hobbit on an incredible journey, a centuries-old vampire looking for redemption, or a humble witch just looking for love. No matter who or what they are, I’m now a part of their story. In that most intimate of connections, I too am made extraordinary.

I’m no longer the casual observer, I’m riding shot gun on their adventures; living vicariously through their every thought and action. I breathe with them, cry with them, live and die with them, and I’m still firmly planted in the ordinary world. I’m still a part of the thrill or fear the character now feels as I become a part of the story. I have that small piece of the exceptional that I carry in my heart, which makes me extraordinary. It fills my world and makes me strive to be better, smarter and braver in my own life.

We learn what we are willing to face when we look to our fantasy worlds. Fictional creatures allow us to face the difficult truths about ourselves and the world around us without having to see the truth head on. We can empathize and even fear them to find our way to the truth. But the one thing paranormal/fantasy helps us face is the unknown. The unknown can hold terror or complete fascination, but you never know until you pull back the curtain and look for yourself. Good fantasy will bring you to an apex of fear or wonder and then step aside and let you find your way in the dark.

It’s through fantasy that we think how can make this world a little more like our dreams; those dreams can hold wonder for some and terror for others. Star Trek was the springboard for the technological advances we see today. We dream big, therefore, we invent big, but our minds might never reach their heights without paranormal/fantasy. I think Paranormal/Fantasy is a stepping stone to unlocking the potential we each have in our hearts and minds. We look to the heavens and think, how can I live there?

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