The inspiration for this post came from the series finale of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and the revelation that Rebecca Bunch was, like me, a daydreamer all along.
If you’ve never seen the show, Rebecca moves from New York to West Covina, California, chasing after her ex-boyfriend because she believes he’s “the one.” It’s full of musical numbers, which in the final episode (spoiler) are revealed to be inside Rebecca’s head. They were her way of processing her emotions, and in the last episode, we see how in real life, Rebecca stopped to daydream the musical sequence while in the middle of a conversation. Her friend, Paula, asks her what she does when she looks off into the distance, and Rebecca tells her the truth, taking Paula into her head.
And then this happens:
Paula encourages Rebecca to write down the songs in her head, which leads Rebecca to discover her authentic self. She studies how to write songs, takes piano and singing lessons, and ends the show by sharing her new passion with the people she loves. Cue the tears.
Much like Rebecca, I spent most of my life as a daydreamer, making up stories in my head. I thought I was a freak, and I never told anyone until I mentioned it to my husband one day. He joked that I should write them down. And though I dismissed him, he planted the idea that would take fruit a short time later.
A daydreamer from a young age
As a child, I dramatized scenes from telenovelas with my Barbies. Once I became a teenager, I began to make up stories in my head, inspired by shows like 90210 and Saved by the Bell. The stories were always in English and I was never the star.
I was shy and a nerd, with no boyfriend, and this was my way of creating another life inside me. I mostly visited the stories before falling asleep, but sometimes I would daydream while I was bored or performing a tedious task. Sometimes the story took hold and I lay down to “watch it”, doing nothing else. No surprise, then, why I thought I was weird!
Moving to Germany
After I met my now-husband, the stories lost their appeal, but once I moved to Germany in 2012, they took hold again. At the time, I was desperately searching for a job and not succeeding. I was depressed and had too much time on my hands. My whole life had revolved around getting a good education and finding a job. I felt lost and kept praying for a sign of what I was meant to do. My daydreams became my refuge.
To stay sane, I started meditating, doing yoga, and writing in my journal, listing what I was grateful for. I also reflected on my life and the choices that had brought me to that point. In 2014, I considered writing a memoir, and in researching how to go about it, I found a website with tips not only for nonfiction but also for fiction. On a whim, I wrote my daydream down.
Finding my authentic self
Writing came to me easily. It was fun. I was in awe to discover a new, creative side to myself.
I really do feel that meditating helped me connect to my authentic self and the writer within me. I realized how stupid I’d been for not writing the stories sooner, believing it was something I was unable to do.
When I started writing, I only saw it as a way to pass the time. I could get the stories out of my head and revisit them whenever I wanted. But eventually, it morphed into the desire for a new career path, which I will discuss in my next post.
Until then, I leave you with an excerpt from my journal entry from November 5, 2014:
“It’s scary and exciting to know that I’ve had this in me all along and never knew. It makes me wonder what else life has in store for me and to look forward to the future and not be afraid. To trust God and myself. The possibilities are endless. It has taken a lot of suffering, struggle, meditation, yoga, and journaling to get to this point. If me facing all these struggles and pain to get here and to find this talent, then I’m grateful and I hope that life keeps surprising me every day.”
Are you a daydreamer? Have you ever discovered a new side of yourself? Share in the comments below.