There was never much to do at my grandparents’ house. My brother and I used to go every other weekend when we were young; inevitably we would end up watching one of five action movies on VHS (Air Force One and Mission Impossible were our favorites), but that only took up a small chunk of time. While my brother would want to play, however, I would just want to sit, alone.
They had a covered patio with an aluminum roof, and I would sit out there for hours. Thinking. I imagined a day when I would popular at school. When I would have the boys over and we would laugh. I would imagine the house I would have with penguins that lived in the skating rink underground. I would just close my eyes and daydream.
When I was in the hospital, almost four years ago, sleep was pretty much impossible. Staff would come by every fifteen minutes, shining a light in your face, to make sure you were still alive. I spent these nights thinking of the home I would have someday, with the red ticking stripe curtains in the kitchen and the loft upstairs that guests would sleep in. I thought of our kids, the ones that didn’t even exist yet. What they would look like. Where they would go to school. What their names would be.
I once imagined a love story between a girl from Kansas and a moviestar. She was shy and a baker; he was People Magazine’s Sexiest Man alive.
Daydreaming is so important in life. If it weren’t for these dreams, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I probably wouldn’t be alive, honestly. I wouldn’t have published a book. I wouldn’t have gotten married or started a wedding planning business. All of these things were brought about because I allowed myself to dream and plan and create.
I’m currently reading Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. I know, everyone has probably told you to read it by now, but here it is again: go read this book. (Disclaimer: it has a bit of Christian themes in it, but I just replace any mention of god or Jesus with a faith in myself and the world around me. If you aren’t Christian, it’s a good tool to find inspiration from more traditional sources).
As I read it, I realized that I haven’t been daydreaming enough. My imagination has always been one of my strengths, and I’ve been neglecting it. I made a commitment to myself to start dreaming again, and the results have already been impactful. I’ve realized, with clarity, what my purpose is and what my next project should be. I’ve said no to the things that just weren’t supposed to happen, and I’ve allowed myself to focus on what I need to do to get myself to the next phase of my life.
Daydreaming is essential to life and success because it gives you the opportunity to imagine different scenarios, and work toward the things that you really want to happen. You obviously won’t think things into being, but at least you will gain clarity as to the steps you need to take to make things happen.
If you’ve never allowed yourself to just sit and think, try it. It’s different than meditation, which encourages you to clear your mind. Instead, allow your mind to wander, and see where it takes you. Imagine what your dream life would be like. What does your house look like? What color are the curtains? What is in your fridge? It may sound like these things are small and insignificant, but it’s the small things that make up a life.