Expectations

The downside to being a person who lives more in their head than out of it is that reality can never quite match up to expectations. The two will always follow a deviating path, and there’s nothing quite as disappointing as when you realize you can’t possibly make them converge.

Perhaps I ought to be satisfied with reality, anyway? Perhaps I ought to realize that there is also a beauty to it, perhaps a quieter beauty, more subtle than the blinding dazzlement that is my imagination.  

The novel “I Capture the Castle” is the kind that’s filled with the observations you nurse inside you, and then makes you smile in wonder when you recognize them articulated in it. The narrator, Cassandra Mortmain, mentions that a sure fire way to eliminate the possibility of something happening is to imagine that thing happening. As a child, I’d always indulge in daydreams, and then have to stop short because I knew that if I continued, they’d never translate to real life.

It seems I’ve kind of gotten back into the habit. I don’t really want to be someone who lives more in their head. As bookworms and writers, a chaotic head is considered to be a good thing, but it’s a little forlorn when that chaos is not reflected in some way in real life. I want blinding dazzlement – though spellcheck’s telling me that’s not a word – in both my imagination and in my reality.

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5 thoughts on “Expectations

  1. Hah, I faced that exact dilemma as a child – stop daydreaming about achieving life goals in order to not screw up my chances. I remember seeing interview after interview of people saying 'never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this' and thinking I should tone down my imagination a bit. Most of my daydreams ended in fame and riches, while also saving the world with my compassion and wisdom.

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  2. Yes, as a daydreamer I can relate. I like that phrase, blinding dazzlement. It's good to daydream from time to time, but reality is better because, well it's real. Living in the present moment is a wonderful and powerful thing. I Capture the Castle sounds like an interesting book.

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  3. It's funny – and exciting – to find our thoughts articulated by others, isn't it? You always think you're the only one – but nope, that's never the case. I wanted to save the world too! I was so sure that it couldn't be that hard, and I told myself that I shouldn't be like other adults who grow disillusioned as they grow up – but unfortunately, here I am. Maybe it's not disillusionment but a better understanding of how complex things are. Anyway, I'm sure there is more than one way to save the world 🙂

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  4. You're right, of course. Reality is more immediate – I guess what I'm saying is that I want to push out what's in my head so that it, too, becomes real. Not that I only want to live in my head. But I think once we start living our real lives, instead of imagining them, that's when things start to get interesting. Or, at least, that's what countless books have told me.

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  5. Over the years (crazy that it has been years, right?) that we have known each other via our blogs, I have always appreciated your thoughtfulness and your insight. I feel like people like us – people who spend as much time, if not more, thinking about things as opposed to just acting – can execute things with more efficiency and bring a more elevated perspective to our endeavors. However, I also think that all traits have pros and cons, and a possible con of spending so much time in our heads is that we might ruminate more than necessary, in a way that disappoints us and makes us feel disillusioned with the world. This tough semester has taught me that we need to find a balance between our internal and external worlds, and we can accomplish that through mindfulness, which you may have heard about. Anyway, just wanted to say that I stand in solidarity with you and your introspection, and I always love reading your writing!

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