On daydreams.

Perhaps it is the feeling of imminent freedom (17th april!) and the fact that I don’t have to do anything productive until the 3rd of July, that makes me so damn lazy these few weeks. But 17th April is still going to come around, which makes me a bit anxious because my brain can’t seem to focus on accounting. Instead, I have been staying in my head, thinking about what the future might look like and writing down things that I want to do with my first pay cheque. Answer: set up an automatic redirection from my OCBC Frank account to a savings account because I am a legitimate adult now, who has to pay insurance bills. Also, giving my parents pocket money because that is a very adult thing to do!! Not to mention the fact that I owe them 23 years of upbringing fees. Willingly given, because I do appreciate all that they have done.

I was reading an article yesterday- something about the pleasure squad of the North Korean dictator, he has 2000 virginal girls who are split into massage/sex/song and dance divisions. And apparently, he spent over 1.7 million on fancy lingerie? I would like to see his collection. I then moved on to another article about ‘What if I just want to be mediocre’, because yours truly is not very interested in the rat race. I don’t see people being any happier once they have climbed the corporate ladder. Being in a managerial position means you get to see more projects and network with more people, but it also means heavier responsibilities and longer working hours. I want work life balance! I want an unlimited supply of kinder joys! If I do climb the corporate ladder, I want it to be a by-product of the interest in my job and my willingness to lead other people, and not my goal.

The article wasn’t very well-written but the point is simply that the author wanted to be a stay at home mom, or just a normal, plain-looking administrative staff, with a 9 to 6 job. Just because she could do a lot more doesn’t mean that she has to do a lot more. In the bible it is said that you have to be faithful and use your gifts wisely, and that God measures you not according to what you have done, but what you have done with your gifts. It doesn’t matter that you have less than others, because you started out with less. If your talent lies in leadership, go and lead. If your talent lies in prophesy, go ahead and prophesy. We all have different spiritual gifts and talents. Using the standard of society of a fast car and a big house won’t do anything concrete for your happiness and how you feel on a day to day level, unless you are literally happier when people marvel at how much you earn.

Speaking of my brain, I realised that I really do daydream a LOT. Sometimes I get so lost in my thoughts I don’t notice where I am, or what I am doing. I forget what I came into the room for. When I was younger, in primary school, I used to lie on the bed and just kick my bolster up in the air and then daydream for hours. I had short legs then as a 11-year-old, I can’t quite replicate that movement now, where the bolster does a sort of prata-man flip? I think it was a coping mechanism because I hated school and I didn’t really understand true friendship then. I guess if you are ugly, you will daydream about being beautiful, because that is a sensation that you do not know. And if you lack any visible talent, you will dream about how one day, you will be acknowledged for the beautiful little artist that you are?

Now that I am stressed because it is 10 days before finals, I don’t just daydream about happy things in the future, I daydream about being a tragic ‘suffering martyr’ or a ‘celebrated heroine’, which apparently are the two main categories of daydreams. It helps to release my stress because tears are the crying of the soul, and I can’t cry over bad grades because it is such a trivial thing to be bothered about. It’s easier to cry over a lost child or a suffering baby dugong that I dug out of the Arctic waters. Forgive me if I seem crazy, because I am.

A lot of things happen in my head. Which is an issue because if I allow myself to drift away too much, I will start to value the possible things in the future- the trophies, the clients who love me, my possible freedom in living alone or with a really hot ang moh roommate, and I skip the whole process of being in the present and living out the next few years. Because my head is too easily caught up in the future, I don’t put in enough effort in the present. Daydreaming becomes preferable to interacting with real-life people. I generate your own dialogue, shine the whiskers of my made-believe characters, and pick my emotions, but in reality, everything is in my head and it lacks that dimensionality of real-ness. To others I am just someone who constantly looks lost in thought, living out an essentially meaningless period in my head.

Which is not to say that daydreams are worthless. I think they are very useful for communicating my personal goals, because I am constantly visualizing who I want to be and what I want to do in the future. If anything, it is a pressure valve that regulates itself. When I am really stressed, I daydream less, because I don’t have the mental space that is ‘blank’ and can be used. When I am free (like the past two weeks!), I can make up elaborate stories about how there was a southern desert princess who had a particularly furry cat which disappeared whenever there was danger. Such a useful cat, isn’t it? Desert princess. Dessert princess. Haha. No I wasn’t the princess, it was more of a third-person view of things?

As Dumbledore once said, it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. For those who are suffering in a hospital bed or under a reality where money is very tight and there seems to be no hope, wherever you look, then daydreams are soothing. Just be sure to understand why you are doing it. Sometimes it gets too comfortable and it becomes preferable to dream and be lost in your inner world of characters and story plots, than to look at the people, places, and situations that you are avoiding in real life.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.

-Matthew 5, ESV