My mother used to tell me to “get out of your dream world” and clean your room, dust, practice the piano, hoe the garden etc. I usually obliged and did the mundane and boring task she had requested of me. Even when I was doing those things (especially dusting), my mind would revert back into that dream world I had concocted.
When I was really young (around 5), I was a singer. We lived close to a very small town. I sang at church, community events and anywhere somebody needed free entertainment and a cute kid. Sometimes I sang alone, other times with a couple of other kids. I imitated singers of that time period; I imagined that someday I would be a successful singer on a stage somewhere. When I got a little older and more self-aware and experienced stage fright for the first time, I realized that becoming a famous star was not going to happen. My first dream shattered.
I recovered; I was a virtual Walter Mitty. There I was, riding my imaginary horse and galloping through the imaginary fields (ages 8-13; horse obsession). I think I used my imagination a lot when I was a child; I did live in the country miles away from other kids after all. I never had an imaginary friend or anything like that, but I always found new and fun things to do. We had hundreds of acres of land to explore and I would go off into the trees and observe the birds and other animals. I loved to see what the farm animals were doing. The farm cats and dogs sometimes accompanied me, but often I was on my own. I imagined all sorts of crazy things. Witches in the grove of trees near our house... there was a huge black cauldron out there! I read a lot as a kid and I think that helped to fuel my imagination. Ursala Le Guin was a favorite author of mine.
Of course from age 13 my horse obsession turned into a variety of obsessions that changed throughout the years! Back in my young adult years, when I was working two jobs and going to school, I don’t think I had the time or energy for my imagination. If I had any free time, I was sleeping!
Now that I’m older, I still find myself day-dreaming now and then.
Often just a picture or a fragrance can send my mind off to another time and place.
Perhaps it’s a memory or an imagination of what might have been or what could be.