My whole life, I have been an active daydreamer. Most often, my daydreams have featured my future. I dreamt about having a child and being a parent long before he was actually born; I can remember walking through the woods years ago in Nashville dreaming about having a house of my own. I think that I have always planned and prepared for my future through daydreams.
In the years that Lisa and I were together, I daydreamed about our future: places we would go together, things that we would do. I had a very active daydream about running a bed and breakfast that was sometimes a daily visit for me. I had planned a trip to England for Lisa's 40th birthday. When Lisa first left, I frantically tried to close off the pain by retreating to my daydreams only to find that they hurt as well. For years I had been spinning daydreams about a future for she and I but there was no us anymore, and no future to go with it. And so what was once a familiar place to take comfort was now just new area of pain in my life. My daydream factory was suddenly shut down.
I quit daydreaming about the future because it hurt so much and because for the first time in years I had no idea what the future might bring. And, frankly, I was so busy trying to manage the here and now that I couldn't really envision the future. I wasn't even sure that I wanted a future.
But this week I realized that very slowly my daydreaming life is coming back. For the last few weeks, I've daydreamed about my upcoming vacation in Florida. I've also daydreamed about camping in the Cape this summer. It's not far into the future, but it is a future, which feels like a huge step forward.