I’m a hopeless romantic. I’m always filled with nostalgia for something I can’t quite grasp, a hopeless longing for something more. I imagine moments of my life in my head as a perfect coming-of-age film with indie music softly playing in the background. Snippets and flashes of what life could be keep playing on repeat whenever I close my eyes.

Laughing with my friends while passing the wine in the back of the car, watching the sunset. Lazily reading a book under the blazing sun, looking up to see the love of my life just as engulfed in his read. Dancing in a field of sweet smelling flowers, my dress flying in the wind. Late night walks through the city while having deep conversations. Italian towns filled with the smell of fresh coffee and the sea. Staring out of the window, the rain on the glass matching the single tear rolling down on my cheek.

But life is not like that. What movies don’t tell you about, is the in between moments. The imperfections, the ugliness, the nothingness. The struggling, the disappointments, the mundane. Streets are filled with trash, there is pain and suffering in the world and most boys would rather play Fifa than read books. My house is tiny and filled with mold, my love life exists of appalling Tinder conversations and my landlord doesn’t allow me to get a dog. My ideal version of what my life should look like is an impossibility and real life will never, ever measure up to the standards I’ve set up in my head.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t sometimes flashes of all those things I long for. I remember a few times that I suddenly zoomed out, time slowing down, and realized that that moment was, in fact, a perfect one. But those don’t come around very often, and when they do, you usually don’t realize it. If you’re cursed with this insatiable longing and nostalgia, then you know that you will never be truly, fully happy and satisfied. Because whenever such a perfect moment does come along, it passes just as quickly, and you are left hungry for more.

This longing has made me move houses five times in five years, has made me end relationships and beg for them to take me back, has made me cry in my bathroom in frustration because things were just not how I imagined them to be. And with the years I’ve started to realize that, with being in my head so much all the time, imagining and waiting for the perfect life to finally find me, I might actually miss the beauty and perfection of real life, happening right in front of me. It might not be playing out as I thought it would, it might not be a life that looks like a music video, but there are perfect moments that make life worth living. They just don’t have any background music.