WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, I fell in love with a house I used to pass on my way to softball games. It was old and quaint and cottage-y. I thought about that house a lot, and as a writer for a local newspaper years later, I found some silly excuse to write an article about that house, thus getting myself an invitation inside and exposure to the backstory of the place.
But then we moved away for school. The road to higher education was long for us—my husband went for nine years—and I still drove by the house when we visited our folks for holidays.
Then the amazing happened. My husband graduated, we moved home for a job, and three days later, the dream house went up for sale. I kid you not. We had just moved into a rental and were trying to get on our feet after living a life of student loans and rice and beans. It just wasn’t the right time to buy a house, but this was the house. I flailed about and threatened to faint, telling my husband I could just throw up knowing the house was listed. I bet him $100 it would be sold within seven days.
It wasn’t. The next month it wasn’t sold either. And six months later, it was still on the market—price reduced.
So we made perhaps the most desperate move in the history of real estate: We made an offer requesting a closing six months later, which would give us time to get our financial lives in order. The sellers accepted.
We bought the house July 2 and hosted our first Fourth of July bash two days later, feeding breakfast to 75 of our loved ones and feeling almost smothered with happiness.
In 2012 I edited a book about imagination and how to harness its power. According to the writer, whatever you dream up and choose as your focus can be actualized. Your subconscious can’t tell the difference between reality and fiction; it embeds whatever it’s fed. And then it starts manifesting those dreams in your real life, as if they’re already real. And someday reality aligns with daydream.
The author claimed most of us start losing our imaginations about the same time we stop coloring and playing make-believe. By the time we’re adults, it’s all but dead.
And so I thought mine was. After finishing the book, I started wondering if my imagination has worked for me. I’m typically a skeptic, so I kind of dismissed the idea until I realized the power of imagination had worked in my life in a big way. I actually live the life I imagined as a teenager.
Now I can’t explain the workings of the imagination or how that manifestation stuff plays out scientifically or even metaphysically, really. I’m just saying I’m a believer. And you should be too; I’m guessing that with just a little thinking, you’ll recognize your own examples of imagination working for you.
Maybe it’s time to steal back the daydreams squeezed out of you by a more logical world, and maybe you ought to use them to find your own slice of dreamland, complete with your dream house or a pretty dreamy husband or whatever it is you’re after. And when you do, let me know where you took yourself; I’d love to hear about your ride. ♣