The “What ifs” Of Imagination

Imagination. Without it we would never go beyond what we can see, touch, smell and hear. Creativity and imagination go hand in hand.

I’ve talked about the joys of pretend world. Fantasize and imagining things and then acting or writing them down for entertainment value. I love visualizing and then recreating what I’ve imagined.

Having an overactive imagination is a challenge. I can look down a set of stairs and envision all the terrible things that could happen if I fell. Fear, paranoia and negative thinking right? Well sure I can come up with some pretty gruesome ideas. Yet, there is a flip-side to that too. Me looking down the stairs about to fall and say… someone slips an arm around my waist to prevent me from falling… It takes a whole other spin.

While it’s easier to go dark and see the potential for sensational terror, it can be rewarding to not shake off the imagination process and instead guide myself to see more than the negative. Such as crossing the street. On average one simply gets to the other side – hum drum nothing fun. What if something happened along the way? What if the destination was not what I intended, what if I set out in the morning to go to work and by the time I got across the street and set my foot down on the cracked concrete it’s suddenly night? What if the puddle I’m about to step into is reflecting something different than the actual world around me?

In any given situation my vivid imagination can break off and follow quite a few possibilities. Some will work for a story some wont. I don’t dismiss any of them because what doesn’t work with one story line may be a Cinderella’s slipper fit for another.

Amber straightened her blouse. “I can do this.”  She said to herself and envisioned beyond the door, the friendly greetings she would give and the casual conversation that followed. She took the five steps and went into the staff-room. Conversation hushed to near none existence. John and Burt got up from the table and left brushing past her. Alice, Preeta and Li muttered lame excuses and shuffled out leaving only Rachael behind. Rachel dumped out her unfinished coffee and headed toward the door before Amber could start in on her. 
“I’ve become the social pariah.” Amber said quietly to herself.
Rachel stopped in the doorway smacking her hand on the metal door jamb and turned. “You haven’t become anything. That would imply you were ever liked by any of us.” 
Amber swallowed her bile at the harsh comment. “I’ve been nice lately.”
Rachel rolled her eyes. “No Amber you’ve been quiet, living in your teeny-tiny, itty-bitty little bubble of self-importance. Not being mean is not the same as being nice.” 
Amber closed her mouth, clenched her fists and watched Rachel leave.
“Oooh she’s such a bi-” Amber snapped her mouth shut, relaxed her fists and rubbed her face. Rachel isn’t a bitch, she’s honest and if Amber wanted to be different, she had to make the world see her that way too. 

That was not the only idea I had for relaying that particular life lesson to Amber, but it was the one that fit the best. Amber’s used that staff-room as a bullying platform more than once, therefore it seemed fitting that she get gobsmacked there too.

My advice about vivid imagination.
Let it roll, play it out in your mind, but don’t forget to imagine from multiple angles good, bad and every possibility between.

-Sheryl

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6 thoughts on “The “What ifs” Of Imagination

  1. My mother told me when I was young that I have an overactive imagination. That time I thought she miscalculated the truth. Lately I believe that there is some truth in her accusation for the reasons you’ve mentioned above- crossing the street and imagining all the (for me doomed) scenarios. Now I have to learn to focus on the positive possible outcome as well.

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