Daydreaming is an underrated art form. In my opinion, being able to daydream should be seen as a positive characteristic, not something one should sweep under the carpet for being a distraction. Nothing can be achieved through daydreaming my teachers would often say. Many report cards expressed the same sentiment; "stop staring out the window and get on with your work; you may learn something!" Those wooden blackboard eraser blocks were often thrown across the classroom in an attempt to lull me back from the depths of my often more interesting than what was happening in class thoughts. And as I stared at these teachers of mine, I'd regularly and exhaustively wonder how daydreaming could possibly be so wrong, when during the process I come up with some of my best ideas?
As I enter my 34th year of life, I've come to realise daydreaming could be my best asset yet. My teachers may have attempted to show me the tools I'd need to go on and do wondrous things in life, but in my opinion, I already had the tools I'd need. Disappearing into my mind allows me to forget everyday distractions that hold my imagination back, and as I tumble into a place where no one else can enter, I find my best ideas are shaped and formed, and the creativity within comes alive.
I can't draw very well, I definitely can't paint, I was never very good at math or geography. My smorgasbord was always dialect and diction, phrases and expression, chapters and ink. Reading and writing were my passions. I was your typical book worm; my fondest memories being the library in Truro. I'd head there for fun at the weekends to spend countless hours mulling over the enticing covers, trawling the variegated spines with my fingers to see what stood out next for me to devour. I'd find several books, pile them up beside me and taste the first chapters of each to see which gripped me most, before making my final decision of what to take home. If you've read Roald Dahl's classic; 'Matilda', you'll get a realistic portrayal of the child I once was...except for being able to move objects with my mind; believe me, I tried.
"Would you like an adventure now or shall we have tea first?" The Mad Hatter
My favourite book is Alice in Wonderland. If ever there was a character I unreservedly related to, other than Matilda Wormwood, it would be Alice. To me, Alice represents a child struggling to survive in a confusing world of adults and to this day, is something I still wrestle with. She isn't afraid to challenge the status quo and although she makes a few daft choices along the way, it is after all a story about a young girl growing up and maturing away from home. Reading it as a child, it was full of fantasy and adventure and I used it as a way to escape my own reality. As an adult, I find the underlying themes a little more sinister, but over all, a book full of morals and themes to which I relate to even more so now.
"If you knew time as well as I do," said the Hatter, "you wouldn't talk about wasting it."
Since establishing Cornish Ramblings four years ago, I have finally been able to combine by love for daydreaming, passion for walking and fervor of words into one. Not only can I spend hours upon hours walking the undulating terrain and voluptuous curves of the Cornish coast, but I can do so with a group of like-minded people who share the same passion I do. I can then come home and write, in my own words, about the adventures we went on. When walking on my own, I am able to daydream to my hearts content. As I take in my surroundings, I often find myself going off on a tangent in my mind and by the time I have finished my walk, I've either made a decision about something I was undecided upon, come up with an idea for a blog, or simply given myself time to organise the blockages and countless thoughts that had come to a standstill.
Back then, daydreaming was perceived as a negative trait and although I may not have been as studious as some, since growing up and paving my own routes through life, I have found it to be the main tool which has guided me to where I am today; the job I'm so lucky to have and love; the people I'm fortunate to know and accept into my life; the ability to write and think the way I do; the creativity and escapism; the strength to overcome negativity and grow into a stronger woman each day.
I choose who I allow in my life and am no longer afraid to leave someone behind if they are no good for my mental and emotional well-being. Surrounding yourself with people who only want the best for you is integral to your very existence and although it took me a while to get here, many daydreams later I feel more solid as an individual and ready to take on whatever else life has to throw at me...including a global pandemic!
"I can't go back to yesterday, because I was a different person then." Alice
“Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality” The Mad Hatter
During this abnormal time we currently find ourselves in, the safety of daydreams can sometimes be all we've got. If, like me, you find solitude and peace within a daydream then dive right in. There is so much going on in the world right now which we can hardly compute, and whilst it's not always healthy to stick your head in the sand, taking a break away from the worry and pulling your attentions to creativity or a world of fiction can be more propitious than letting negativity seep in and damage your already delicate disposition.
"How puzzling all these changes are! I'm never sure what I'm going to be, from one moment to the next." Alice
With it recently being mental health awareness week, I feel it even more important to talk about topics which have a tangible link to my own experiences. Alice in Wonderland is still my go to book for when I need reminding it's okay to let your thoughts wander. In some ways she is a role model, someone I can relate to even as an adult. I read somewhere how daydreaming is a vacation for your brain; how it can give certain areas of your brain a much needed break and according to Merriam-Webster, is “a pleasant visionary usually wishful creation of the imagination.” I'm inclined to agree with this and encourage anyone who is a daydreamer like me, or who has kids who tend to let their mind wander off for a short while; let it be. Because whilst your mind wanders, wondrous things can happen.
“I’m not strange, weird, off, nor crazy, my reality is just different than yours.”
The Cheshire Cat