Nov 25, 2010

Week of Giving Thanks, pt. 5: Imagination

Have you ever met anyone who didn't have an imagination? And they give you that really strange look when you tell them about the dragon living in your pipes? Yeah, what's up with them?

Ever since I was little have had an active (sometimes too active) imagination. I was (and sometimes still am . . . what? I didn't say that, that's embarrassing!) constantly involved in my "stories"--a game of make believe where I created a life for myself either as a character I made up, from a book, or just as me living and amazing life. Two of the earliest instances of this were when I made believe I was in the Babysitter's Club, and my little imaginary family: my husband, Thomas Benjamin Franklin, and my three daughters, Meghera, Polly, and Charity. To my knowledge I didn't use my imaginations in the way most kids used them. I didn't talk out loud to them, or blame things on them. I did talk about my little imaginary family, but I never thought of them as real or insisted that they were.

As I grew I would use my "stories" to take my mind off of unpleasant things. I would be Cinderella during our weekly cleaning, for example. They became more and more complex, and there were times when I had several "stories" going on at the same time and then I would pick and choose which was best for the situation. I would revisit certain scenes and change things about them as I learned more about the world (or if I just wanted to change something).

So, why am I letting you all know about something that is actually kind of embarrassing? Because I'm grateful that I have such an active imagination. Sure, sometimes I need to wake up from these stories and face life as it is. But, I think that the stories have given me a good outlet for all of my secret desires, hurts, and needs. I don't like getting mad at people, so instead I will play out a scene in my mind where I do get mad at them. After that, I feel better. It's cathartic. And it is an escape. Sure, I read and watch movies/TV to escape too, but there are times when you just need to put yourself in a complete different situation, one where you are the star.

Also, my imagination has given me a gift: the gift of writing. I know that I'm not the best writer out there and I may never be published, but taking my stories out of my head and putting them on paper (read: little metal complicated pieces belonging to a computer that I have no idea how they work, but they do and for that I am grateful. As long as they don't crash) is such a wonderful feeling. Maybe someday someone will read my writing and it will be an escape for them just as I have used other authors' imaginations to escape.

So, yes, I am very grateful for my imagination. And am very sad for those who don't have one. What do they do?

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