One of my (new-to-me) writers shares that she plays a game when she’s lacking inspiration. She images 5 alternate lives for herself. Then, she goes and does one thing in each of those areas and helps her feel more like herself. How is it that pretending to be someone else makes her feel more at home in herself?
I have no idea. It makes no sense to me, but I am almost certain that she is smarter than me; if not smarter, then she is definitely wiser. She has *published* work.
I’m taking a stab at this and I wonder how amusing my 5 imaginary lives are going to be. So here we go.
In one of my imaginary lives, I am a great writer of literary fantasy with multiple published series. Additionally, I am single and hot, because that makes sense, right? I mean, this is a fantasy, right?
Dude, do I fantasize about being single? Hmm. Yes, but not in the usual sense. To me singleness represents a world where alone time is mine anytime I want it. As a mom, a wife too, that is my real fantasy. *Please, God, let me pee in peace. I swear I won’t curse while changing diapers!*
Imaginary life number two. I’m Josh Groban’s long lost love. We meet, date, get engaged and start touring together, because in this imaginary life I am DEFINITELY as good a singer as Joshy.
Imaginary life number three, I live in Africa and have a home where I raise tons of orphans. There is no struggle, because all medical care and financial needs are met by my various generous donors. I am single in this experience as well.
I’m starting to be scared by my secret desire to either be single or engaged to Josh Groban. Also, I have no interest in being married to Joshy. Not sure why, really. Apparently, my imaginary self is commitment phobic.
Imaginary Life number four. I am Oprah’s REAL best friend. Enough said. I am not afraid of this commitment.
Imaginary Life number five is an interesting one. I am a pastor’s wife. Dude, even my imaginary self is inhibited by gender roles. Damn her! I have many children and am revered church-wide for my awesome mothering, wife-ing. Maybe I am even in charge of the women’s ministry and I make it so awesome that I become famous in all the best church circles.
Eww. I don’t like that last one. Rather, I judge that last one, but seriously, it sounds awesome to be lauded for just being a woman. Interestingly, I feel that there is very little that is laud-worthy in my mothering, wife-ing right now.
Alas, this silly exercise has relieved some of the anxiousness I am feeling pre-period. It also shows me the things that deep down I am wanting, craving. Here’s the breakdown:
- Imaginary Life 1 – I want to write. I want to write fiction. Hmmm, interesting. I don’t do much of that. Maybe I’ll try after I post this.
- Imaginary Life 2 – I want to sing. I even want to sing with people. How astounding! Normally, I don’t like people that much. Ha! Yet, I know this is true.
- Imaginary Life 3 – My mothering/parenting isn’t constricted by finances or medical needs.
- Imaginary Life 4 – Obviously, Oprah can make imaginary lives 1-4 happen. Oprah is like the scapegoat for dreaming. Don’t know what to dream? Dream that Oprah is your best friend and then anything you want subsequently will be handed to you. Because I’m sure Oprah is that enabling. **Massive eye roll** Even Gayle has worked for her spot in the light.
- Imaginary Life 5 – I want someone to notice, to see – me. To see all of the little things and actually think they are freaking amazing. Wouldn’t it be nice to be extolled for sweeping, scrubbing dishes and pee stains, human or otherwise? Yes, yes I think so.
So what’s your imaginary life and what does it *mean*?