My mind was in the sky, but gravity wasn't having it.
Art by Sylwia Holme
For about as long as I remember, I have always been a daydreamer. I remember spending my nights riding in the back seat of my parents’ car, my imagination coming to life as I stared out the window at the blurred world before me. I remember staying up late at night, looking up at my ceiling and painting all the stories I could, because they were so much better than any of my actual dreams. I remember spending days exploring through the open field of my brain trying to avoid the potholes of responsibility and the weeds of my future. I remember creating kingdoms in my mind and adopting new imaginary friends that I would keep to myself. In the stories I envisioned in my head, these friends of mine kept me company on the days where I felt like no one understood me, and for a long time I felt content in spending my days daydreaming with these friends. Growing up, my family was prone to picking up our stuff and traveling all around the United States. Although now I look back on the experience as a very positive recurrence, there is no doubt that during that time I wasn’t very fond of the moving. The daydreams that constantly ran through my mind like an old DSLR video camera where the closest thing to lifelong friends that I had.
Daydreaming is a very significant aspect of my childhood and I still hold it very close to my heart. Creating these stories helped me feel as if I had some sort of control in my life despite many of life’s events not actually being in my control. In my head I could control all aspects of my stories, because I was the author. My large imagination had its very own playground for it to run free without fear.
I remember very clearly sitting in my third grade classroom at school, forming daydreams of where I desired to be, sitting on a train awaiting the adventures ahead of me. I remember for a very large portion of my childhood daydreaming my days away, and then almost instantly I remember it all ending. As I grew up, these stories I would craft in my mind became fewer and fewer, as they were replaced with the responsibilities that come with growing up. Now instead of dreaming about the soft lights and humid air of sky scraping rain forests, I plan where I will attend college in the next few years. Instead of imagining myself as a courageous college student or a daring director or even the president, I invest my time analyzing what career field I will plunge into. And in all honestly, it is exhausting.
Currently I feel as if I am a dancer standing on her toes slightly leaning forward, not to the point where I am a part of what comes next in my life just to the point where it is constantly on my mind. Daunting topics like career choices and college have stifled my daydreams and I have been forced to come to terms with the reality that I simply do not have time to waste my days with my thoughts. Though it came quite naturally as I matured, my breakup with daydreaming was one that was very disheartening. There are days however that the life ahead of me gets much too daunting, and that is when I like to return to my seat on the train.
Daydreaming now has become much less of a lifestyle for me and more of a moment of relief for my overworked brain. When the stresses of life become unmanageable as they sometimes do, I slip out of reality and dip into my own imagination. Just as a book will wrap you in its arms and pull you into them, my daydreams are the daily vacations I take to keep from going mad.