If asked to describe my Friday night to you, I would have to admit that it has consisted mostly of reading books out loud to myself in a British accent. Not just this evening of course, most of my life I have had a propensity for pretending to be other versions of me, especially while reading out loud things that inspire me. Or whatever’s closest, like a shampoo bottle. That’s how I used to practice my French. “Appliquer quelques gouttes sur cheveux mouillés ou secs...” I love to pretend. I love to explore. I love to speak. I love to live.
There is so much out there in the world for me: so many languages to learn, so many places to travel, so many friends to meet, mistakes to make, words to write and paths to take. Also there are those tracks that I won’t end up going down. Who knows what tiny decision could have changed or could change or absolutely will change my entire universe? If I ever wonder, all I have to do is imagine. Sometimes I write my imaginings down, sometimes I just float around blissfully content in being in another body or time or place or universe for a while before returning to my current reality and letting them float away. Some imaginings aren’t meant to be shared.
As for the ones that are I say share, share away! Whether through song or writing or dance or flowcharts or poster boards or the perfectly pulled espresso shot, there is art in all parts of life. Or, there can be.
There are very brief moments when I wonder if all my imaginings are really prevent me from living in my real life (that’s what the indie romantic comedies tell me) or if they are making up for some sort of lack and filling in much needed wish fulfillment (thanks, Psych101) or if I’m just a highly functioning introvert disguising my hatred for mankind through overt self-aggrandizement and dramatics. Then I just giggle, roll my eyes, and move on with life.
Imaginary lives are great, but I like my own just fine. So many people wish for another life, a do-over. I know many people who are constricted and strangled by their pasts, lovely people who wish they were anyone or anywhere else. I’ve never been that way. I don’t do regrets. I feel remorse. I recognize mistakes. Then I move on.
I do silly things like walk 12 miles on a burning hot day with no water and no wallet because it sounded like a good idea at the time, burn all of my fingertips because I was too distracted to use the hot pads that were right in front of me, offend a friend because I am forgetful and somewhat prone to overbooking myself. I do other stupid things like killing a beta fish because I forgot to feed it, not hearing entire conversations because I was too busy reading a book or thinking of something else. I do scary things like not noticing a thirty minute commute because I was too locked up in my brain, defeating myself in solo performance because I have a moment of panic or self-doubt, and potentially missing out on great relationships due to caution and sometimes too much self-awareness. I procrastinate things. I have funks and manic times and giddy times and completely dense times. I say stupid things, I say harsh things without thinking, I judge people quickly and severely, I change my judgments quickly, I am intelligent but I allow my intelligence to lead to arrogance at times. I tell the internet way more information about myself than any actual person probably wants to know, and lately I’ve probably been telling real people way too much about myself as well. I make mistakes that I’m not willing to talk about online.
The point is, I am constantly messing things up. Learning from mistakes is important, but I would never, ever want to erase those mistakes from my life no matter how hard they hurt. Think of what I would miss along the way…
Don’t be afraid to see the beauty that is within every mundane moment. Don’t be afraid to do something completely idiotic and then laugh or cry or forget about it later. Don’t be afraid to spend time imagining, and when you come back from those imaginings, try to remember that those moments aren’t great because they’re not your life. Fantasies and pretends are only wonderful because they come, intrinsically, from you.