I daydream. I always have and I always will. I suppose that it’s harmless, though it does sometimes mean that I pin a bit of hope on the happy endings I (almost) always allow myself in my fantasies.
Right now, I have a wonderful daydream that runs through my head. It’s all based on my current life’s stresses and desires and goes something like this:
It starts when I arrive at the airport for my flights back to America. There, the boy that I like—but whom I’ve had an irreparable falling out with—shows up to fight for me. There are tears and angry, hurt words exchanged (mostly by me). But, eventually, we make up and agree to figure things out.
Then I board my flight and moments later (it’s a fantasy, remember) I arrive in America where my family is eagerly awaiting my arrival. Once I settle in at my folks’ house, I apply for my new student visa then I hop on my bike to go meet George for coffee. The next few days are spent going here-and-there visiting family and friends.
Of course, my visa is approved in record time and without problems, which means I am able to start planning for my return flights to Scotland. Then I spend a few more days visiting family and friends—and training for my marathon. (My training runs are extremely easy and I feel energised the entire time I’m pounding the pavement.)
Next, I’m back in Scotland, making my way across the finish line at the Loch Ness Marathon—where I’ve finished well-under my goal time. (And I even beat my friend who’s running it with me. It is, after all, a fantasy.)
As my daydream continues, I find myself settling into my PhD programme with ease—and finding things more financially stable than hoped, meaning I can get my own flat. The daydream also includes the boy who is still in the picture, and we’re getting along very well. (He’s committed to me, of course. Otherwise he wouldn’t be there.)
Yes, life is wonderful in my daydreams.
However, I know the reality is that the boy won’t show up; the flights home are going to take forever; the visa process will be stressful and not necessarily quick; I will be half-dead when I cross the marathon finish; I won’t have the money for my own flat; and the boy will never be in the picture again.
The reality is that I will fly back to America on Thursday and will be greeted at the airport by one of my sisters. I will then be taken to her house for a night or two before I drive over the pass to my folks’ place. (I’ll be driving a loaner Jag. Bright red. It will be like a daydream!)
The reality is that my visa will take 2-3 weeks to process and I will be on edge the entire time, waiting on pins and needles for my future in academia to be determined.
The reality is that my marathon training will be slow and painful. And that if I’m back in Scotland in time for the race, I will be slow and will be in vast amounts of pain at the end.
The reality is that my PhD programme is going to be hard work and I’m going to hate it at times. (In a good way.)
The reality is that money will be tight and I’ll be lucky to be able to afford a pretty new dress, let alone my own flat.
And the reality is that the boy will never, ever speak to me again (I did ask him to never contact me again, after all) and that I will always regret that. (But the reality is that is probably for the best.)
But I suppose the realities aren’t necessarily bad things. They’re just not as lovely as the daydream. And that’s OK because I have to live in my reality, not in my fantasy. And who knows! Maybe my reality will include better things than my daydreams could ever contain. After all, I was once madly in love in reality and it was better than any daydream I’d ever dared to dream.
So, here’s to realities. Let’s hope mine is a good one!