After reading this entry by Brain Pickings, I realized I often daydream when walking. I enjoy it. It works like this: After walking for a while, if I am not reading a book or absorbed in a problem from work, my mind roams free I end inside a fantasy.
Sometimes I fantasize about the future, but I mostly visualize alternate timelines arising from a past event. For example, a meeting at work last week and the impression I would have left on my fellow coworkers had I predicted the outcome of a business deal. A quarrel with a friend ending in a more amicable way than it really did. Me acting different after an incident from my childhood.
The dreams of my childhood are the most intense and can take from a few minutes–where I fancy myself finally achieving a successful rocket launch using the gunpowder we made on the chemistry lab, for instance–to several hours scattered during a span of days. (I’m somehow able to pause the dream and resume it afterwards.)
These childhood daydreams come in two kinds: Spectacular stories with lots of action stunts, hot chicks and me-as-the-hero scenes, as you would expect from the latest Hollywood blockbuster, and less fancy but nevertheless realistic, absorbing stories. The spectacular ones depict me as the most impressive prodigy, entrepreneur or politician that ends up inventing Facebook 10 years earlier, becoming a Nostradamus able to foretell the important events of the past 20 years, or being president of the world. This dreams are interesting at first but after 10 minutes or so become disconnected from reality to the point of losing their charm. Besides, I prefer picturing them while asleep: if special effects are your thing, lucid dreaming is way superior–I mean, it leaves mind wandering way behind on the sensory, 4D experience.
The most compelling daydreams, the stories that my mind comes back to for days, simply depict a wiser myself without the restrictions imposed by novice, ignorance and shame. This dreams are mesmerizing because they are real. It’s my life lived again, but with the help of the tools and skills only age bestows upon you.
During these dreams I visit my grandfather as a child more often, and take heed of his advice to read more. I stand up to my father during one of his beatings and change our life for the better. I enjoy the time I spend with my fellow schoolmates and I don’t wish it to end soon. I look that girl and not look away once we make eye contact. I grow old and I am able to look back and remember my life with a big smile.
All these dreams have things in common: I are more confident, I pay a little less attention to what others say about me, and I try to enjoy every instant because it won’t come back. And I risk a little bit more.
I am now in the process of taking this advice from my subconscious into my every day life. Because I can’t change the past, but I can change my future.