There are many quirks of my psyche that I tussle with myself over whether to embrace or reject.
One of those is that I do better, functionally, if I believe there is someone watching me at all times. If I imagine seeing myself, my words and my actions through their eyes, then my self, my words and my actions improve.
But what is better? Because I judge better through their eyes too. I am so ridiculously malleable, I can conform to anyone’s ideals without realising if I stop putting thought into it.
But maybe this isn’t a fault. Maybe this is feature of my extremely high openness. A trait I value highly in myself and others, and wouldn’t ever want to change. I love that I can see from many perspectives; I love that I can take another’s point of view without needing to effort it. I love that my mind can hear a word and explode with unexpected tangential inspiration that takes me to a place I couldn’t have prepared for, even though it often feels out of my control.
So if that makes me susceptible to the opinions of those I admire, perhaps I should just leverage that as best I can. Curate the circle carefully and strategically. Imagine they love me back, even when they don’t know me. And then let them loose in the room with me, and find out what they see.
There are so many beautiful, brutal, exquisitely illuminating human experiences playing out all over the world every single moment.
Sometimes I imagine them, and wonder if they’re real.
Sometimes I wonder if all our imaginings are simply us being offered a glimpse of another’s reality. Another being; another time; another world. Would that be more or less extraordinary? Is our gift, our skill, measured by our ability to build up out of the abyss, or to say what we see with deftness and clarity, as we peer through the portal we’ve happened upon?
I don’t know, and I don’t think I need to, but I like to imagine what could be true.
I’m laughing at myself a little bit because I just read the first lines of my last post and realised that, even in my correction, I still only went as far as saying in an ideal world I could create the school that I want to send my son to; not that it already exists. But I guess that sounds about right. I don’t know whether it’s flagging control issues, ego or just not wanting to be left out, but it sounds about right.
As exciting as it would be, though, I am too perpetually exhausted to be doing a good job of a project that big. Oh. but wait, in an ideal world, I get a solid eight hours. I keep forgetting the brief. Still, we can take it further, and we should. That’s how we get to the heart of things – by pushing past the edges.
In an ideal world, everything we have collectively learned over our time on this Earth would be harnessed to tailor education to each of our children’s individual needs and potentials, and as parents we would be actively involved in this ever unfolding process, because the value of raising children would be elevated above what we currently consider productivity. Is that better?
It’s useful to think about what we want. What we really want. You know, outside of our self-imposed limitations. Outside of what we’ve learned to accept is possible. If we could have anything, what would it be? If you’re anything like me, you’ll have to push yourself beyond your first few answers before you get to the truth. Before you even get close to scratching the itch of your deepest ambitions. Or even begin to perceive the full extent of your vision.
In an ideal world…
It’s a good prompt.
I have a new fun thing to do before bed. I jog on the spot with my eyes closed and imagine I am running through beautiful scenery.
Maybe it’s the effects of lockdown, but for some reason I find it enjoyable in a way it shouldn’t reasonably be. It might even be better than the real thing, because it doesn’t involve all that much actual exertion.
I’m no stranger to visualisation and purposeful daydreaming, so I know I have a pretty well developed imaginative faculty. But I’ve surprised myself with how effective this is at exalting my mood. It’s truly exhilirating. Which part of me thinks must be lame. But who am I to judge?
Now if only I could solve the problem of losing my balance, or accidentally running across the room and colliding with my desk chair.