When was the time when I feel like I was that character from an anime series, or making up my own? When was the time when I was drawing some made up characters in their unusual getup? Looks like I’ve already made up a lot of fantasies… but of course, it’s unlikely to happen, unless you go ahead and make some changes in your lifestyle, along with some makeover and all that.
Anything make believe is said to be frowned upon by some, but I don’t really care about it that much. I always thought that anything that’s on my mind is much more interesting than anything that’s part of reality. In other words, my life is much more interesting inside my head.
It all began in third grade (about 17 years ago) and a hit anime series, Pokémon, premiered on prime time. Before, such shows are aired in the afternoons, and at times extended into the prime time slot. Friday nights are generally reserved for anime shows due to the fact that it mainly targets the young audiences (mostly students). It just happened that I was hooked to that show, which was then aired during Friday nights, and I often dreamed of waking up in a different world, similar to the one I was watching.
And then it continued during fifth grade, and this time a detective anime series, Detective Conan (also known as Case Closed in the US), aired during weekday afternoons. But I wasn’t fantasizing about being the kid detective, but rather I was having weird thoughts about something else… something mysterious. It’s difficult to explain at this point, but it’s about someone with weird experience. Totally unrelated, but that show fueled that kind of strange thoughts.
And here comes sixth grade, the time when I started making up a few characters, notably the cool looking kid with glasses (later known as the spiky haired cool kid with glasses). At first, I find it quite awkward to portray that character, until I started wearing glasses the following year. Yup, inspired by that anime series I watched three years ago, but with a different plot and not-so-childish scenes that are deemed too serious for a kid to handle. I was portraying that role (usually in my head), at times complete with a few lines and actions, done discreetly out of others’ presence. Nowadays, I do this occasionally… but only in my head.
In college, I just happen to read a baseball novel, The Make-Believe Ball Player by Alfred Slote, which is all about a kid named Henry Smith who loves playing make-believe games until he got himself into a dangerous situation, where he impersonates his dad and his baseball coach to scare away the burglars. The story ends with Henry being hailed as a hero and playing for the Sampson Park Tigers. The book itself is an interesting read, and I thought… I can be like him. Someday, maybe.
Well, if these childhood fantasies may eventually evolve into a dream-come-true situation, mine needs a lot of effort… and a lot of work. Still, I’m living the dream of being a writer, as well as creating my own identity similar to the made-up character from sixth grade. Who knows, even at twenty-six, I can achieve that look and live with it.
Fantasies, dreams, and anything make-believe… these are common to children with a high level of imagination. Of course, they tend to overdo it at times, which can cause annoyance and/or worry from some parents, thinking that their children are talking to themselves and acting out some scenes by themselves.
So why are we fantasizing about something? What makes it quite interesting?
- We all have our dreams and goals, but not all of them can be achieved… just yet. So in the meantime, they tend to fantasize about it.
- We wanted to portray something, like being in that scene or acting like a popular or made-up character, usually in our minds. Something to entertain ourselves, perhaps.
- We sometimes need to escape from reality, so we just imagine ourselves in a dreamy or pleasant situation.
- Sometimes, we treat fantasies as a creative guide in order to achieve something, just like achieving that character’s good looks or outfit, or living that good life you’ve always dreamed of. In other words, fantasies sometimes pave way for creativity, and can help us plan for the future.^
Of course, too much of these fantasies can affect you mentally, especially when you’re mistaking fantasies for reality.^ There’s a possibility of a delusional disorder, schizophrenia or paraphilia if these fantasies go out of control.
Living our fantasies in restraint and in our heads is one thing, mistaking fantasies for reality is another. Sometimes, I often thought of forgetting such imitative fantasies and get in touch with reality. But then, I’m not too old for such fantasies, for as long as I don’t let it go out of control.