I think we all have imaginary relationships with the people we encounter throughout our lives. While we’re walking down the street, minding our own business, we see someone across the street, someone that catches our attention. They’re wearing something attractive or are themselves simply attractive, and we imagine who this person might be. How do they live their lives?, we wonder. This beautiful person must have beautiful friends, a beautiful family, a beautiful life. We’re curious as to what kind of effect they might have on our lives, our empty and sad and lonely life. They can be that spark that can ignite that fire within ourselves, that can show us the true possibility and joy of life.
We imagine ourselves walking up to this person and talking to them1. We don’t really think about how we start talking to them, but just that we do. We start telling them about ourselves, and they, to our surprise, love everything about us. They find our hobbies and interests and jokes so engrossing and funny. We imagine going on a date with them, a date that is full of laughter and attraction and joy. Everything’s perfect. We take them home, and they love everything about it. The way it’s decorated, the way it reflects our personality, and the way it feels. We turn off the lights, start playing some music, and things begin to get serious. We spend the rest of the night making love, and the whole experience is magical. We wake up the next morning, and they’re still lying next to us, asleep and beautiful. We grab their hand and simply caress it, feeling every cell of their skin. This is true pleasure, we think.
But then our life comes back to us, and we realize we’ve been staring at some stranger across the street for who knows how long. They turn the corner or they meet up with friends or they, tragically, meet up with someone else, someone they immediately kiss and walk off with. We continue on with our lives and simply wonder what if? What if we stopped imagining and started doing? What if we took control of our lives and started living it the way we wanted to? What if we became that person that’s better than even our imaginations could imagine?
Nothing’s impossible. We can be whoever we want to be, and that idea is powerful. We don’t have to coast through life and go through the motions, living each day of our lives mindlessly until one day we’re lying on our death beds wondering where our lives went. We can go talk to that person we think we might be interesting, we can hop on that airplane and go to that place we’ve always yearned to go, and we can start that project we know will make us happy when we finish it. All we have to do is to start.
Imagining what we want our lives to be is only the first step. Taking the next step defines who we choose to be. So take it.