In preparation for a trip, I might not create a strict timetable or map out a route, but I do find myself engaged in rapturous, absurd fantasies. These fantasies involve who I’ll see, where I’ll go and of course the gorgeous super-heroine exchanges that I’ll have with everyone because I am so fucking captivating. I run through imaginary conversations in which I’m witty and insightful and that leave the other person wanting more, more, more. In this world, everyone thinks I’m beautiful. Everything is sunshiny and 70 degrees. Yes, in my fantasyland I ride through the world like an irresistible unicorn leaving glitter in my wake. Clamoring onlookers swirl their hands through my air; a futile attempt at grabbing some of my castoff sparkles.
Such fantasies are not only ridiculous but also a dangerous game. Nothing… NOTHING could ever be like what they are. And it isn’t only because they are unrealistic in their perfection. Part of it is that they rely on others to behave in a way that you want them to. That doesn’t happen. Placing any kind of faith in fantasy execution is a recipe for failure and heartbreak.
I’m not saying that whimsical fantasies aren’t worth having. I’m simply saying that they need to be recognized as such. Someone like me really needs to learn to appreciate the oft-overlooked charms of reality. There is beauty, grace and humor woven throughout a day. It’s terrible to be so distracted by the unattainable perfection of fantasy that I don’t realize I’m already living a beautiful dream.
In stark contrast to my imaginary life, what usually happens when the rubber meets the road is that I move around with tired, puffy eyes and hopelessly tangled hair. I do this in silence because I don’t feel like talking to anyone in my sphere. I don’t want people looking too closely at my dirty windburned face or my grubby nails because it makes me feel self-conscious. It’s cold, it’s hot, it’s rainy, I’m hungry, I’m not sure I made the right decision. Far removed from the graceful ballerina of my dreams I’m more of an ungainly rhino who’ll pull up to a place and hope that I don’t tip over because my bike is slightly too tall. I probably don’t even look like a woman in my lumpy textile gear.
But, you know? It’s alright.
Here’s the thing. All of the superficial stuff that eats away at me? No one really cares about it. Everyone is so absorbed in their own doings that you merely pass through as a shadow. On one hand, if you’re looking to make a connection it could seem like a bummer. But on the other hand? It’s like a bell ringing for freedom. No one cares what you’re doing! No one cares what you look like! No one really wants to talk to you! Isn’t that great?!