Lots of children have imaginary friends. My little brother had a friend called Mr Nobody who went everywhere with him. Like most imaginary friends, Mr Nobody was able to speak up about being afraid of the dark when my little brother didn’t want to admit to his own fears. Mr Nobody had a seat at the dinner table every night and was happy to eat the beans and broccoli that no-one else wanted.
I didn’t have an imaginary friend as a child, but I always had an imaginary life usually modelled on whatever book I was reading at the time. I imagined myself as a princess in a castle and as an orphaned child making my way in the world. When I got older I imagined myself in a variety of jobs ranging from famous record producer to famous writer. I’m not sure why I wanted to be famous as I don’t particularly like being the centre of attention.
Even now, I like to daydream about jobs I’d like to do. I particularly like to imagine myself working in the publishing industry, perhaps as an editor or book cover designer. Lately I’ve been wondering why I haven’t actually tried to take up any of these things seriously. I guess this is for a variety of reasons, including lack of opportunity and family responsibilities, but deep in my heart I know that I actually could have a pursued a career in publishing if I had really wanted to. Is it too late? Maybe, maybe not. I would have to be really brave (and a little bit stupid) to make a career change now.
Thankfully, the marvellous internet allows us all to be writers and publishers. You don’t actually need anyone’s permission to write, and you can publish with the press of a button. So here I am writing and publishing away to my heart’s content. I never really wanted to be famous so it’s all good. I guess I have ended up where I wanted to be, after all.
What does your imaginary life look like? Is it within reach? Is there something stopping you that you can overcome with a little bit of confidence?