Daydreams Essay: Exam Question

Daydreams A day dream is defined as ‘a series of pleasant thoughts that distract one’s attention from the present’. In my opinion, a daydream is not a frivolous activity practiced only by a doe eyed schoolgirl during an unendurable French lesson. A daydream acts as a subconscious portal which allows one to escape from ones everyday life of stress and negative circumstances. One could almost say it is chewing gum for the mind. Of course, some differ in that view.

A critically acclaimed author Ian McEwan said “The cost of oblivious daydreaming was always this moment of return, the realignment with what had been before and now seemed a little worse. ”  his opinion is that daydreaming is a self depressant and that it would only make the persons view of their own life disappointing. He believes that it is a pointless to waste ones time on imaginings of alternative lives that will never become reality. But I wonder if it was these ‘oblivious’ daydreams which lead to him writing many of his books like ‘sweet tooth’ and ‘atonement’.

Where is the fine line between daydreaming and simply thinking of possibilities? I myself am a keen daydreamer, sometimes I just lie on my bed and I quietly slip into a dreamtime of my own imaginings. I don’t directly imagine some event or situation I drift between scattered thoughts in search of that perfect possibility. That perfect possibility which fills me with an unconscious serenity and extracts me from my reality to show me a fictional circumstance.

When I carefully draw that perfect possibility from the shadows of my mind, like picking an eyelash from my cheek, I examine it cautiously so as not to miss a moment of the fabricated thought. My daydreams can vary from the most extravagant and outlandish events to very trivial thoughts formed by my imagination. I often daydream about my future and what it could be like. My mind becomes completely consumed by this image and the steps I would need to take to make it a reality. I very much enjoy watching movies where you see projections of the characters daydreams.

These daydreams normally vividly depict what that character would love to do in that moment; it is usually an action that would not be acceptable in society. For example, an employee humorously insults their boss or a mother-in-law imagines shoving her daughter-in-laws face into a cake. These amusing daydreams provide a comedic outlet. But when I am watching these movies I can’t help but wish my daydream was that vivid. I never get a completely clear image; all I get is a serious of quick flashes of images.

My daydreams are not fluid they are choppy they don’t possess a natural flow like my sleeping dreams have. I often wonder if the fluidity of day dreams and dreams changes for each person. Some psychiatrists believe that the imaginings of one’s mind is associated with mental health and stability, so my question is ‘if people’s mental health varies does their way of dreaming vary? ’ Many famous people have become famous because of their daydreams. Einstein is believed to have begun his theory of relativity while he daydreamed about riding or running beside a sunbeam to the edge of the universe.

This tiny moment where Einstein’s mind accidentally wandered resulted in a huge scientific breakthrough. Einstein’s theory of relativity which contributed to the development of the atomic bomb. Many famously inspired people praise daydreaming, a well known American poet named Rita Dove celebrates daydreaming. She once said “I want to discuss an activity which is barely tolerated in adolescence, never encouraged in school – but without which no bridges would soar, no light bulbs burn. ” She found that daydreaming was like a creative outlet where one can discover something beautiful without attention.

Mozart also believed that daydreaming was a process of greatness “All this inventing, this producing, takes place in a lively dream” I find it amazing that one daydream, just one, can create a ripple effect and change the world. This tiny thought which is considered insignificant, at first look, can cause an action which is very much significant, in the long term. The positive effects of daydreaming are limitless but of course, daydreaming also has its negative aspects. There is a time when daydreaming can be useful and productive, but other times it can cause you to lose focus and you can miss out.

There is a time for fantasy but there is also a time for reality. But overall, my opinion is that daydreaming is positive when one is not daydreaming constantly and about bad things, which can result in depression. Daydreams can be very influential on a person’s mental health. If one is only thinking about negative possibilities, their outlook on life becomes cloudy and hopeless. I once heard someone say ‘How many of our daydreams would darken into nightmares, were there danger if their coming true. ’ Just because one imagines something it does not mean they want it to come true.

The fact that daydreams are just daydreams makes them free to anyone with an imagination. Daydreaming is an activity for all ages; one does not have to be of a certain height to daydream. One does not have to be a particular age to daydream and one does not require three forms of identification to daydream. When one is daydreaming they are free of judgment and worry. Some say, one man’s daydream is another man’s day, but neither will ever know, I think it is the fact that our daydreams are private that makes them our own personal unwritten diary of hope.

Just like one’s diaries our daydreams change, our handwriting improves and our thoughts become slightly more grounded. When we are young our daydreams consist of imaginary friends from exotic places and tea parties on the moon with the Easter bunny and Santa Clause. Daydreams as a child are not recognised by the daydreamer. Children can often confuse their fantasies with reality and think their daydreams actually happened. We can openly express our daydreams with others and it is accepted in society and cast off as the sweet imaginings of children with active imaginations.

When we are older our daydreams become more refined and closer to reality. The more mature daydreamer imagines what their life would be like if they had taken a different path , some also imagine situations that they are presently in and how they would change if they said or did something. Of course every now and then the inner child in everybody takes charge and we succumb to our childlike fantasies. But these fantasies are not confessed to others often. We never become too old to dream but I wonder at what age one becomes too old for the publication of one’s daydreams.

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