Featured Image: A bunny surrounded by his vices, an ink piece by my friend Jason Correia (@soysaucemustacheman on Instagram)
I’m a daydreamer. It’s a coping mechanism I’ve used since I was at least twelve but I probably did it even before that. It’s certainly a form of escapism (see: my last post) and I’m not convinced it’s any healthier than any of the other vices I mentioned. But it does help me not focus on the present and is usually how I get myself to calm down or fall asleep. My “happy place” is wherever I left off in my last daydream.
When I was young, you often could find me in a near-catatonic state, iPod plugged into my ears, daydreaming up a storm. Back then, that’s how I used to “write”. I often turned my fantastical daydreams into stories that I would then type up, print, and share with my friends. This is precisely how I ended up writing a fifty-page Twilight fan-fic (before I even knew what fan-fic was).
But now, my daydreams lean towards realistic fiction; I like to daydream about things that might actually happen. Sometimes I like to daydream about current romantic partners, like a date I’d like to go on. Sometimes I like to practice conversations with people, nice ones and angry ones. Sometimes I like to think about future events I have planned, and about what I want to happen. Some people might call this “manifesting” but really it just leads to inflated expectations, and major disappointments.
During this pandemic, however, I have no romantic partner, I have a lot fewer face-to-face conversations, and I never have plans. So what am I daydream about? Yes, the pandemic will end eventually, but when? What season am I setting this daydream in? Who will appear in the daydream? Where will I be? My imagination is not what it was when I was a pre-teen; I can’t simply pretend that I will be on a beach in some far-off place with a hunky man beside me. It’s too unlikely …unless?
Massachusetts is vaccinating the general population starting in April, which seems close yet so, so far away. Because how quickly will I even be able to get mine? And what shot will I get– the Johnson&Johnson (1 shot) or Pfizer or Moderna (2 shots)? By then will it be mid-spring or early summer? What will be open by then and what will the world look like? By then will I be looking to travel, or move? Who will my friends be when we come out of this? There are simply too many variables.
I can’t even decide what my best-case-scenario daydream would be! All I know is it’s not this *gestures vaguely to everything*. But too much is up to circumstance as of right now to make a decision.
So, finally, my expectations have been set as low as possible because I can’t even daydream my way into the future. It’s been nice, even, to have such low expectations. I’m rarely disappointed and even if I am, it’s something little like Stop and Shop doesn’t have baby bok choy after I planned a whole recipe with it (where do I find them please someone tell me).
I think it’s best if we don’t jinx 2021 by getting our hopes too high. I’m not saying give up on all your hopes and dreams, but we can’t jump the gun just yet.