From the window, I can see the year above doing athletics on the field.
My eyes hungrily scour the polo shirts and skinny legs. I spot him. I watch as he lines up against the bright white line in the grass, ready to run 800 maybe 1500 metres. I sit back, eyes still pointed out of the window but no longer focused on anything at all. Glazed. Hazey, with the dream of him, of us.
There’s a party on Friday, maybe this is when we’ll kiss. What will I wear. I hold a visual wardrobe out in front of me. The clothes hover over the sports field. Little Black Dress? Red lipstick? Can you wear red lipstick if you’re planning on snogging someone all night? Where will we snog all night? The clothes disintegrate and I’m in the house. There’s a smell of WKD and fags in the air. Bodies everywhere. I know most of them I think, but I don’t care about them.
There’s a kind of mist around my feet as I walk through the hallway toward the kitchen, the bodies part like the red sea. A spotlight shines at the end of the line, he appears. I saunter toward him, far more sexy and beautiful than I am in real life. I’m much thinner, taller, my hair is longer. This is it. This is the moment…
‘Georgina, please could you stop staring out of the window, day dreaming, and pay attention. Your GCSE’s won’t sit themselves!’
This is how most of my secondary school teachers spoke to me. I was far more interested in the thoughts inside my head, than whatever was on the whiteboard.
Occasionally, my dreams were sparked by an idea presented in class. Whilst reading Romeo and Juliet I imagined a masquerade ball in which I met the love of my life. When focusing on the French Revolution, I was basically Fantine from Les Miserable, and almost brought myself to tears. But for the most part, I was desperate to escape the reality of school, I found it insufferable.
This ability to switch off from the world, to create a new reality inside the dimensions of my head, has not diminished with age. When I was six, I would create entire lives for 10 different Barbie’s, all of whom would have their own detailed back stories and reason for interacting with one another. (This was perhaps a symptom of being an only child.) Now, at the age of 22, I still daydream to this level of detail. Painful detail.
I wondered if this is escapism. A refusal to accept reality. When I was rejected from nine drama schools, I spent most of my evenings in the shower or bath rehearsing my BAFTA acceptance speech. Desperate to ignore the fact that plenty of people thought that I wasn’t good enough to be an actress. When I feel particularly baron and lonely, a porno plays in my head, of which I am the star. Most of the time it’s pretty soft and romantic but, explicit nonetheless. Denial to accept reality is a possible explanation however, I believe it’s more of a desire to hope and dream of more. To better my reality.
Certain things are reoccurring in my dreams. When I fancy someone, they live inside my brain. That’s the main reason why I have to stay away from men. They become the protagonist in the movie of my dreams. I’m slightly embarrassed of this fact. I could have known someone for 5 minutes, 2 minutes actually, the casting process does not take very long. Suddenly I’m dreaming of dates, double dates, holidays, sex, lots of sex, marriage (I don’t even really see myself getting married.) But there it all is, rich in my imagination.
That’s the beauty of day dreams. You can visualise the most extraordinarily inappropriate things in the most ordinary of places. Shagging your boss whilst you wait in line for a coffee? Fine! Going on holiday with the person you met at the bar last night, during a manicure? Go for it. The speeches at your wedding all dedicated to you and your amazing-ness, whilst in bed eating a share bar of chocolate? Absolutely.
There are no limits.
I often dream of the future. Staring out of a bus window I can see my future career, my house, my friends, my life. I dream not only of myself but, of how those around me will end up. What will Emily and Brad’s wedding be like? Will George and Faye’s children call me Aunty G? Who will be a millionaire? If I was a millionaire, who would I whisk off on my private jet?
This dream scope doesn’t only aid the imaginary. Occasionally, I gain clarity through this medium. At the moment, I want to write a play. Currently, it lives not on paper, but in my head. The story line plays out in my minds eye whilst I’m in semi-supine or the bath. It shifts and changes without any need for a pencil or pen. I replay it over and over again until details and dilemmas are ironed out.
I have moments of understanding when I see the potential outcomes of certain scenarios. It’s like putting my life on fast forward and seeing how something may turn out. All whilst I’m staring into thin air or waiting for the kettle to boil. These solutions are rarely accurate because I often sprinkle it in favour of myself and life doesn’t always have the same courtesy. I still believe however, that there is a slight potential of manifestation. And if not manifestation then at least a well rehearsed acceptance speech.
If I could go back to the top floor of the History block at the Cotswold School, I would have a better reply for Mr Edwards:
‘I’m sorry sir but I’m exercising my imagination, a place where there are no boundaries and certainly no grades. I’m afraid that if I limit myself to the prison that is these four walls, I will never achieve anything! You may not think that imagining snogging Charlie Vinton is a good use of my time, but one day I will write about it. One day I will breathe life into it. One day, the accumulation of my anecdotes will become my profession. As Shakespeare would say: ‘The very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.’ Please allow me to fuel my ambition and don’t limit me with your text books. Cheers.’
I think day dreaming is important.
Set aside a few minutes every day to dream. Put your phone down when you’re on the tube or waiting for someone and just imagine something, anything. Imagine your wildest dreams. Ignite them. Write them down if they’re amazing. Become intoxicated by potential. Leave the real world just for a moment and imagine what life could be like. When the dreams stay in the sky and don’t become confused with your reality, it can’t do any harm to anyone.
Apart from poor Mr Edwards and his GCSE results.