i've always had quite the imagination.
when i was little, it was a huge aid to me. i could entertain myself, a skill i'm sure learned from my mother, grandmother, and grandfather who always encouraged me to make up my own games. it pains me when i see children who cannot do that for themselves. on sunday nights, when i watch the kids for the choir nursery, i love seeing how the older kids make up games and stories and plans and schemes, letting their imaginations run wild. one of the fathers called in "save the world" play. i liked that term.
my imagination has also always let me be the most avid reader. i can literally lose myself in the world of a book, letting time go by and dishes pile up and meals go uneaten while the fiction that i have invested in plays itself out. i love that, obviously, since it's what i've chosen to do with my life.
(as a small caveat to that, i wonder if i can still do this really with classic novels. i can definitely do it with young adult novels, which is why i have a burgeoning collection, but i'm not sure i can turn off my critical eye when it comes to bronte and austen and all of those guys and gals.)
but my imagination has a flip side too. when confronted by the potential for conflict or confrontation, i can imagine my way into many a scenario that has little grounding in any kind of reality. i can imagine whole conversations, how they'll go. if there's any gap in my information about anything, you can be assured that, in that case, i will fill that gap with the most negative potential solution.
i don't think i do this because i am a pessimist, though you may not see how that could be true. i think i do this because i am a worst-case scenario preparer. you may not see those as different, but i do. i firmly believe that life takes courage, so if i can imagine surviving the worst-case scenario, i go forward without question. even if i think there's a chance that i can get through without being scarred for life, i usually go for it.
(regrets are worse than battle wounds.)
i am actively trying to fight this tendency. there's one area of my life that is very difficult for me to do this in, but i am trying very hard. my imagination just desperately wants to go full force in one direction, using any and all evidence that might possibly support that idea to make me sure of its truthfulness.
but, see, i've been wrong before. so i'm trying to keep myself grounded, take every day as it comes, and wait and see. that's not at all standard operating procedure for someone like me, imaginative as i am. if i actually am right and not jumping to some serious conclusions, i'll know. i always do.
but in the meantime, i'm trying to let reason rule the day. it's a challenging road to travel, being both imaginative and a woman.