The word "dream" can refer to a variety of things. It describes what happens and what we see when we sleep, but we also use it to talk about goals that we have as well as scenarios we play out in our mind while we are awake. I consider myself to be a dreamer in every form of the word and it's something I've come to take a great deal of pride in.
Through my entire life, I have always had some of the wildest and most vivid dreams. In fact, when I was a little girl, my parents thought I was making these dreams up. They thought there was no way I could remember every last detail like that. It had to be made up, right? There was no way someone could dream like that.
But as I grew older, my parents realized I couldn't be making it up. I was too old to be making that kind of a thing up. I think this was the first sign to my parents that I had a wildly imaginative mind. In other words, a dreamer.
When I was young, I also had an imaginary friend. In fact, my family still teases me about it. But the thing is, I really didn't have kids my age in our neighborhood to play with. My sister had friends that she would run off and play with, but I didn't have anyone. But rather than sit and mope around, I created my own friend and she and I went on our own adventures. At one point, I even decided to create a whole family for her. And maybe that was the first time I created a character so to speak. As a writer, I'm always thinking up different characters and listening to their stories. Maybe my imaginary friend was just the first of many characters.
Every day I get swept away into various daydreams. Some are simply thinking about a situation that will happen later and mentally preparing myself for it. Others may be things I hope or fear will happen. I also travel back to a memory and relive it in my mind in that moment. I'm a visual thinker, so if I'm sharing a story or hearing someone's story, I picture it in my mind as the story goes on.
For years I took figure skating lessons. I took tests, competed, and performed in shows. Between the routines that I skated and the ones I would watch my friends skate or even those on TV, I started to link music with skating. Every so often when I listen to music, a certain song will stick out to me. And suddenly I'm thinking of what sort of a skating routine I would choreograph if I had to. A jump goes here, and a spin there, some footwork through this part, etc. It's been years since I've taken lessons, but I still to this day picture skating to a wide variety of songs I listen to.
And finally, the dreams I have for myself. Everyone takes time thinking about their life and the things they want to achieve. I dreamed of traveling the world. I also dreamed of becoming a writer. I dreamed of having my own home and my own car. As time went on, I bought my own car. I got my own apartment and still have a dream to get a house of my own one day. I traveled to Germany and Egypt and still have many more places I want to go. And finally, I stopped just thinking about becoming a writer and started writing.
When it came to making my dreams a reality, I learned that I had to start looking at them as goals instead of dreams. Yes, I still have my dream life and have things that I would love to happen. But I've also found that having something be a dream leaves it as something unattainable. By saying to myself, "this isn't a dream anymore. It's a goal," I have forced myself to come up with a plan to make these things happen. Others may be able to make their dreams a reality without having to force themselves to make it a goal, but however that's not how my mind works. As a dreamer, my dreams are this magical place just beyond the reach of reality. But I've also learned how to toss a lasso around those dreams and pull them into reality.
I've always known myself to be a dreamer. And at times, I looked at it as a fault. Others seemed to have a better grasp on reality while my head was up in the clouds. But once I stopped comparing myself to others, I found that being a dreamer was one of my favorite qualities about myself. The inner workings of my mind feels like this magical land. I've thought at times that I wished others could dream like I do. But then I'm reminded that if everyone was a dreamer in the same way that I was, suddenly it wouldn't be so special and unique to be the dreamer that I am.