I noticed that with my boyfriend, he doesn’t dream the way I do. I dream about what I want in the future, what goals i want. I think of the big things like what state and city I wanna live in to what I want my house to look like, what kind of routine I’d want, how I would want to spend my days. Don’t get me wrong, he thinks about the future but only from a logical standpoint. Or from a planning standpoint. Not for necessarily for pleasure or daydreaming. I thought that was interesting, but recently I’ve been going around and around thinking about why I don’t think like him. I’m use to how my sister and I talk to each other, we dream all day and that is not an exageration. We love to talk about our futures. We talk about the present too, things that happen, and how life is for us. But dreaming is a big thing.
What I’ve come to realize is that Chris (my boyfriend) never had to grow up fantasizing about the future. His life was always nice in the present. On the other hand, life was never really ideal for me. I didn’t have the worst childhood and of course there are good memories from it, but as a whole it wasn’t ideal. I always was dreaming about the future, I dreamed about when it would get good. Now here I am 21 years old and it still isn’t ideal. It’s still not good, I’m still fantasizing about the future being better. I’m still fantasizing about getting out of this phase of life. My sister and I talked about it and we realized that we had to fantasize about the future in order to survive the present. It is once again another trauma response that seems harmless, but can definitely be damaging. We were laughing about it when we were on the topic, but it’s been making me think a lot.
It’s weird because the people who think like my sister and I are the people who have big dreams. Big dreams as in things that are not realistic for the present time, but technically realistic for the future. The people like Chris are busy with present life, accomplishing what they want, confident about the future that they are building. Seeing him in action has been making me wonder, maybe the way I think isn’t helpful for my life.
I was listening to a podcast recently by Dr. Caroline Leaf (a neuroscientist that specialized in brain health and mental health) and basically a big take away from it was that daydreaming is healthy for your brain. I was like “cool okay I daydream literally all day everyday, I have a healthy brain.” But then towards the end of the podcast she was saying that it isn’t healthy to daydream about the future for pleasure. It’s not a good mindset to be in and I was like oh frick. She was saying to kinda consciously let your mind wander to where it wants to go, but pay attention to where it’s going. My mind instantly goes to the future whenever I daydream. I’ve always been trying to get away from my past and present and I think it gives me this negative mindset for my life. In my head, the best part of my life exists in the future because it hasn’t happened yet. I haven’t been through it yet, so it can’t be messed up.
I don’t know exactly what to do with this information, but I can’t stop thinking about it. I think that I want to work on being in the now so that I can have that future that I see myself in. I think I’m so caught up in avoiding the now and I’m in such a rush to live in the future, that I’m forgetting to put in the work. I’ve never had a stereotypical “good life” so I guess I never had anyone show me the ropes. Maybe that kind of life only exists with a mindset change. Maybe a good life could be right now if I change how I think. I don’t really know, but I’m willing to try different things to help. All I know is that I’ve never been consistently, genuinely happy. I act like it pretty much all day everyday, but that’s because I thought that is what you do. I didn’t know it was normal to be content with your life in the moment, until I started spending everyday with my boyfriend.
He is always happy, but genuinely. He solves problems and doesn’t avoid. He plans things and works towards them everyday. He says things and he always keeps his word. I admire him for all of that. It’s different than the people I’ve had in my life. I’m use to empty words and broken dreams and plans that never get put into play. I see myself falling into that same pattern, but I do not want that. I want something more and I guess I don’t know how to work hard for it.
Basically I’m realizing why I am the way I am. Not only did I feel like I had to survive a lot of my life, I didn’t think I would make it this far.
Another big factor is that I grew up Christian my whole life and a big flaw in Christian culture is this thing I’m talking about. It’s as a women of faith, fantasizing about your husband, making lists of what you want him to be like, writing down baby names. It’s the looking forward to heaven because life isn’t always gonna be good. It’s the having faith for a better future because God is providing. Don’t get me wrong I’m not hating on this at all, but I think the way I interpreted it has affected my way of thinking so much, ultimately damaging my mentally health.
My point in all this being that I’m becoming aware that this is a problem for me. I can’t keeping mentally living in the future. I want to learn how to live in the present while making positive strides towards the future. Thinking about the roots of where my problems start really help me figure out how to deal with them. I recommend doing that, honestly. I feel like now I can move forward more efficiently and be able to deal with it in a better way.
If you read this all the way to the end, just know I appreciate you. I write on this blog for myself, but also for anyone who will take the time to read it. Love y’all.