Daydreaming

When I was in grade school, I came home one day with a report card that made my bottom red. Oh, I’m sure whatever I brought home would have met with satisfaction in another home, but in my family, bad grades meant not getting my head in the game. Much of what I’d gone through growing up I’d have to blame it on one thing—daydreaming. And for this edition of Freedom Friday, I’ll tell you why.

Dr. Doom

Dr. Doom

Throughout my childhood, my brain would not shut down. While other kids studied their ABC’s in class, my mind drifted, wondering what it’d be like being a superhero. In my mind’s eye either I was swooping down to rescue a kid being bullied in the schoolyard or rescuing the world from the evil Dr. Durge. You see, Dr. Durge was my archnemesis growing up. He was a perfect amalgam of DC ComicsLex Luthor and Marvel’s Dr. Doom. In my world, Dr. Durge’s villainy had no end. And no sooner had I put him away for good in a New York state federal penitentiary, he’d escape for his next crime spree on humanity.

Of course, I had to pay a price for immersing my imagination too much into a world of my own device. My report cards would reflect my inattentive behavior. And my bottom would reflect my being unable to sit for a week. Naturally, by the end of the school year I’d have learned a valuable lesson and moved on.

Or did I?

I’m happy to report I never stopped daydreaming. In so doing, I imagined my life years later as to how I’d like to see myself. Again, I’m happy to say my life turned out exactly how I had seen it being. Would it have happened had I not pictured it in my mind? I don’t think so. Having the thought and the forbearance to continue on the imaginary road I’d set for myself made my life the way it is now. That imaginary road becoming more real as the goal materialized with every step I took toward it.

A long time ago, I learned a quote I can’t forget from now until the end of my days. It comes from the movie Flashdance, if you can believe it. The quote goes something like this:

“When you give up your dream, you die.”

It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do or what you have done, if you pictured your life as a doctor, a businessperson, a sailor or even a ballerina for that matter, and it doesn’t happen, that nagging feeling won’t go away. In some cases, the slow death is irreversible.

At the same time, I’m here to say it’s never too late to get it all back.

A 65-year-old woman I know had always wanted to learn to play the piano. She had that nagging feeling all her life, daydreaming how she’d perform for others and how happy she’d make others feel with her music. When she was fifty-five, she began to learn piano. Her dream to perform for others drifted closer as she got better and better.

She now plays piano for her church in songs of worship.

Field of Dreams (Photo credit: Chicago Tribune)

Field of Dreams (Photo credit: Chicago Tribune)

It’s never too late to fulfill your dreams. What’s that quote from Field of Dreams? Oh, yes: “If you build it, he will come.” Don’t allow a slow death to take hold so as your dreams disappear before your eyes. It’s never too late.

Build it. Live it.

As for Dr. Durge? He’s still around. Every once in a while he’ll appear only to meet once again with my superhero alter ego in a battle of good vs. evil. But he doesn’t have a chance. He always ends up in prison until the day he unleashes another wave of destruction on humanity.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale October 22.

Do you daydream? If so, what do you dream about?

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16 Comments

  1. Great post. As with the others who have chimed in about the parental reaction to a grade they were not please with, I feel your discomfort. I am happy to learn they didn’t break your spirit and you are still a daydreamer. Fantastic things come from daydreaming. Keep dreaming and reaching further into them.
    Leslie

    Reply
  2. Not to speak ill of your parents, but it’s unfortunate that they placed such an emphasis on the things you didn’t do well and failed to see where your actual interests and strengths were.

    Reply
  3. Daydreaming is often the best place to be. I always try to slide it into what I’m doing – my mind is always moving rapidly, fixating on some fictional world while I am also participating in the real world. The tricky part is finding a balance. The important part is to keep dreaming, and keep trying.

    Reply
  4. Space, the final frontier…I daydream… still…. of becoming an astronaut (albeit clearly an astronaut in some distant time, for I clearly do not adhere to current technology in my daydreams). Daydreaming is a creative outlet for me and I do it with abandon. Thanks for the visit. 🙂 I’m enjoying your perspective.

    Reply
  5. Picasso said something about all children being artists and the trick is to keep them artists. I believe in a variation of that theme. “All children are dreamers. The trick is to keep them believing in dreams as they grow up.”
    My favorite concept artist is Iain McCaig. If you have 40 minutes, here is a great interview with him about art and dreams: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNu4xzHTP60&feature=youtube_gdata_player
    If you don’t have time, here is my favorite quote, “Nervous as you feel, as much as you think someone’s done it better, no one will ever do it like you.” (10:45 in video)

    Reply
  6. I used to daydream about what was happening on Jupiter or Saturn that very minute. Or what dinosaur might have roamed one day right where my school sat.

    Who am I kidding? I still daydream about these things.

    Reply
  7. Catherine Johnson

     /  October 18, 2013

    I used to be such a daydreamer and my son is very inattentive in class just like i was. He has to stay in at recess all the time bless him. Too bad you got a spanking for it though. It’s finally paying off to dream, Jack :0)

    Reply
  8. Thanks I needed that!

    Reply
  9. I daydream at work, about not being at work 🙂 I also daydream about being an invincible cyborg from the future…

    Reply
  10. Like writing, daydreaming helps my brain reboot. I suppose that’s why enjoy the writing first drafts so much: They’re really just partially organized daydreaming.

    Reply
  11. I thought it was just me! I never achieved anything really until I started actually using my imagination and began writing. I was never happy in any job, never satisfied. I was always inside my own head fighting bad guys. I was like Gary Cooper in High Noon.
    If ever you need backup against Dr Durge, give me a shout – I’m still pretty handy fast-drawing a Colt.

    Reply
  12. Great post and love your archenemy’s name. I was a chronic daydreamer and still am if I’m not being interacted with. Thankfully, my last name put me in the back of the room where people forgot about me. I think daydreaming leads to a retention of imagination as you age, which can be a useful problem solving tool in any job. People don’t realize how great an employee is if they can create unique solutions with ease. Everyone should daydream from time to time.

    Reply
  13. Yes. Is important to dream. Cause every great things in life started from a dream.

    And always remember that dreaming is not just a privilege only for children.

    Keep dreaming! 🙂

    Reply
  14. First, I am sad that bad grades met with pain in your house growing up. 😦

    Second, I am now and have always been a daydreamer. Nothing compares to the mind of the individual. 🙂 I never intended my daydreams to come to anything, however, so this is sometimes still kind of weird, to me.

    When I daydreamed? I was always full of awesome. 😉 Triumphing against all odds, take-no-prisoners, persevering in the face of storms (real ones, in my dreams), and being appreciated for so doing. *laughing* Ah, my ego knew no bounds, eh?

    Reply

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