“Dreams, they feel real while we‘re in them, right? It’s only when we wake up that we realize how things are actually strange.“
Have you ever woken up from a dream wishing you could go back to sleep and continue the dream because it was so beautiful? Have you ever woken up from a dream wondering to yourself what it really means? What about waking up from the dream and realizing that the life you life has nothing of the glamor and beauty you just witnessed in those hours of sleep? That maybe your real life is actually a nightmare in comparison with your dream?
Sometimes a dream may taunt you by showing you a world that you don’t have – and might never have. Or maybe your dream life has been occupying your mind for so long that it naturally trickles into your subconscious and gives you a make-believe world to live in for a few minutes. So maybe it’s making you suffer through taunting, or maybe it makes you happy for just a moment.
Lately I’ve been overloading my imagination to tell you the truth. During the daytime, not just at night. It’s an escapism mechanism that I’ve adopted for the longest time ever. When I was unhappy about something or something was worrying me I tend to conjure up images that take me to a place that is so far away it’s amazing. Sometimes the exercise can last for a few minutes, and sometimes they can last for hours, and I lie in bed imagining things, imagining people, imagining dialogue, and I can get so consumed that it’s easy to shut the system down. It usually works because I tend to project myself to a place and/or time when this thing will stop worrying me. So if, let’s say, I’m worried about an incident that is about to happen on the 8th of March in Masdar (deadline of thesis submission en sha Allah), I project myself to a time beyond it, say, June, in Kenya, and I’ll be telling myself (or maybe an imaginary person would be telling me), “It’s behind you now, see? You were so worried over nothing!”
“But it ended terribly…”[Since I need to prepare myself for worst case scenarios right?]
“At least you learned your lessons, and it’s time to pick up the pieces and move on. Don’t think about it too much. Think about the now. You’re here, you’re happy with other parts of your life, so you messed up one part, so what?”
So by doing that what I’m trying to do is reverse the title of this post; stepping out of a nightmare and into a dream through my imagination.
And this text (taken from a story I wrote once) describes exactly where do I go when I feel like running away in my mind;
“By the time she reached her favourite spot in Mombasa, she did not know what she was feeling. The anger that she had felt at some point in the evening had died down, but sorrow still resided within her. It was nearing sunset. The sky was dimming gradually, and the squawking of the crows became more boisterous. Behind her, there were screams of bare-feet children playing football while beneath her, the ocean breathed as the waves crashed against the pointed rocks. She was seated on a low yellow fence at the edge of a cliff hanging over the ocean. The fence was part of Fort Jesus; a historical monument that was built by the Portuguese in 1592 to guard the harbor. The monument was turned into a museum that was open for tourists. She had indulged in the tourist experience only once, but since she was a local, once was more than enough. Even though it had been years since she last sat there, the contrast of the place still reminded her of her life; the contrast between the ugly fort with the peeling paint behind her that represented her life, and the endless beauty in front of her that represented the hope of a better tomorrow. In her line of sight, she could see a part of Mombasa jutting out into the sea from the left; a piece of lush land with pearly white mansions nestled among the trees. Even though the mansions looked tiny from where she was sitting, they had a dreamlike look – like castles out of a fairytale.
Staring out at the sea had a soothing affect on her. She loved that place because of its beauty and timelessness. It was easy to block out the noises around, and sink within herself in deep thought. When things were going bad, she went there to clear her mind, sometimes carrying a book with her to read, and most often than not, ending up writing. But the real reason why she loved that place was what it meant to her. What it used to mean to her, at least. It was hard to imagine just five years ago, that she would be sitting here again with those particular thoughts racing within her mind. Questions that she felt ashamed even asking herself; three words that kept on repeating themselves over and over in her mind despite herself. She tried to close her eyes and bring about happy images, but the only scenes that passed through her mind were those connected to the incident at the office that morning.”
Below is a pic I got off the internet of the scene from FJ in Mombasa though I have to admit it doesn’t do the place any justice. I’ll see if I can find any pics of my own later. As for the fort itself, you can google it to see how it looks like.
So when life becomes tough for you, what’s your escapism techniques?