I am a chronic daydreamer.
When I was little all I ever wanted to do was play. I would create these incredibly elaborate storylines for myself and my dolls that could occupy me for hours on end. I rarely wanted to sleep, because my mind never stopped spinning.
My best friend moved away after the first grade, and I struggled to make friends at school. I lived the story of the typical odd-ball kid who gets picked on and never has anyone to play with. As much as I longed to fit in, I just didn’t. So eventually, I made up someone who could.
Her name was Skylar, she was blonde, and she lived in my daydreams. Skylar was a pretty eight-year-old with long, Rapunzel-hair that was friends with every girl in my school. She was the first actual character I can recall inventing for myself, though there were many that followed her.
Writing has always been an outlet for me. As a kid I wrote heaps of plays and stories and poems, though I rarely recorded any of the scenes that played out in my head. Those stories were reserved for moments of severe boredom and anxiety, I used them as an escape, though I never really controlled when they would start and end. Some were re-accurring, and I can still remember the basic storylines and characters.
At 21 years old, the daydreams have not ceased. The plots, have only thickened.
Memories play, vivid and ever-changing in my mind. They have been nicely edited and gently stretched into stories with alternate endings and varied characters. In these dreams I often visualize myself as something different than I really am. As if there is a made-up self inside my head, confined to the space of my own imagination. That Samantha has built up quite a life for herself. She has found her true happiness on long, soul searching walks, and in used bookstores. She’s had a dozen romances—each of which have been played out in dramatic, Allenesque scenes. She is a pleasure to look at, possessing the kind of beauty that was born in Romantic poetry and lives on in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s fiction.
In all this time I have never once found it difficult to distinguish my fantasy from reality. It isn’t like that. I’d like to say that there is just a longing inside of me that has always been there and won’t ever leave, at least not in this lifetime.
C.S. Lewis put a name to this kind of a longing—sehnsucht. A German noun which Lewis would describe as akin to a sort of nostalgia, that creates a deep yearning in someone for something that can not be realized or attained. Lewis felt that this sensation was caused by our soul’s deep desire to be at home with our creator, God. There have been countless others who have experienced this feeling before Lewis’ time. The Romantics, after all, wrote from a place of similar longing, and that manifested in their poetry.
I may never write with the wisdom of C.S. Lewis, or the passion of John Keats, but I feel this longing, just the same. For me, it plays out in daydreams. Something inside of me that I can only think to call my soul, craves Truth and beauty that we only see shadows of in this world.
My daydreams have never become my reality, but they have lead me to realize that, whether conscious or not, I am yearning for something so much more than this temporal home. This, to the best of my abilities, is my attempt to share that feeling with you.
“I have found a desire within myself that no experience in this world can satisfy; the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”
– C.S. Lewis