Listen While Reading: It All Feels Right // Washed Out.
More often than I would like to admit, I find myself sitting in one of the many large lecture halls at my school, wondering how I got there. I am surrounded by silent students—some listening carefully, intently taking notes, and others scrolling through Facebook, trying to lift their heavy eyelids for fifteen more minutes, but I feel isolated. Last year my dream was to be sitting here, getting one step closer to my future each and every day. But ever since I got to university, my mind has been wandering far from essays, grades, and potential careers. All of my dreams that had been lying dormant for years have finally made their way out, occupying the space between the unknown and the possible.
I have always been labeled a “daydreamer”. The word in itself is tricky—to one person it may mean an unrealistic space cadet, but to another, it could be a sign of a truly creative being. I used to see it as a flaw that I needed to work on, something that only people who needed to escape their own realities would do. There was a time when I really was that person. When I was having difficulties in life, I would let my thoughts go, allowing them to run in the craziest, impossible directions. Over time, I have learned that you can, in fact, constructively daydream, as contrary as it may seem.
Dreams—goals, desires, and longings—whatever you want to call them, can be overwhelming. Here are my suggestions to freeing these thoughts and being one step closer to realizing them:
Talk about it with someone who understands. If you can find someone who shares similar aspirations, you can bounce ideas off of each other when you are feeling inspired. While keeping them to yourself may be tempting (trust me, I know), bringing someone along can make your plans seem more realistic. A friend once told me that the best way to leave your comfort zone is to take someone with you. There’s nothing like making memories with someone and having those stories forever.
Make it enjoyable. Go to your favorite coffee shop, take a drive to somewhere with a nice view, put your headphones on and go for a walk. If you are in your happy place, your ideas will be too. Sometimes you need to get out of your head to see what’s in it.
Write it all down. You don’t need to keep a diary in the traditional sense of the word. Buy a quality notebook and don’t worry about keeping it perfect. Draw, paste, and write whatever comes to mind and you’ll be surprised by what you can create. Sigmund Freud came up with the term “free association”— a technique he used on his patients where he told them to talk about whatever popped into their mind. His rationale was that something deep and meaningful would eventually come out if he pushed far enough. While I think we have passed the days of believing all Freud had to say, he may have been onto something. If you take a quiet moment to record your stream of consciousness, so to speak, something wonderful may appear on the paper.
Travel. You do not need to jet off half way around the world, but seeing new and different places can open your mind to things you never thought were possible in your world. Gaining new experiences and connecting with other travelers who share similar values can teach you what truly matters in life.
Good luck, and keep being a proud daydreamer.
Words by Martha Beaven // Photography by Grecia Villa.
© 2016 Reef Magazine