2018: Daydreams and Reflections | Opinion | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

2018: Daydreams and Reflections

Daydreams can help you relax and stay on an even keel, but at a certain point, you'll need more practical coping mechanisms

In "APES**T," Beyoncé sings “Call my girls and put 'em all on a spaceship” and I always raise hand and yell, “Call me 'Yonce, pick me! I want to go.” Sometimes anywhere else in the cosmos seems better than planet Earth in 2018. 

I've coped with a difficult year with occasional daydreaming. I let my mind wander uninhibited through random disconnected musings. 

For example, I imagine a real life “Dora Milaje,” the all-female special force serving Wakanda in Black Panther. In my mind, I see a global force of warrior women miraculously summoned by kimoyo-beaded bracelets to protect women and femmes from abuse, violence, or discrimination. 

They emerge as a man tells you to smile while walking down the street. They appear just as your boss is about to say, “How brilliant, Brett!” Suddenly you hear the tell-tale Dora theme, “djah-djah-djah.” The warriors materialize in the conference meeting room. 

“Now Brett, you have a choice,” the Dora says quietly and calmly, hand on spear.

Brett, rightfully scared out of his wits says, “Yes, of course Tamika had said it earlier.” 

The Dora’s piercing unsmiling eyes move ever closer to the trembling Brett. 

“It, ah, yes it was her original idea,” Brett says head lowered. 

Another daydream is closer to home, but no less of a fantasy. I am walking down Fifth or Forbes and enter the Kaufmann’s bakery. I buy not one, but three thumbprint cookies. One chocolate with sprinkles, one chocolate with nuts and one vanilla with sprinkles. The only difficulty I face is what order to eat them or more to the point which one to save for last. 

The daydreaming helps me get through the year, but by December, I usually recognize that, though my daydreams are comforting, they are impractical. I do not own a working kimoyo bracelet, Kaufmann’s bakery is no more, and Beyoncé doesn’t even have my phone number. So, I have to get practical.

I discovered that before going to bed if I did a kind of “grateful meditation,” I would sleep better. Ever since grad school I've had a nasty habit of waking up around 3 a.m. in the morning, working for two hours before falling back asleep for another two hours. 

But I've found that if I take a few moments to consider the good things that happened that day, I had more sleep dreaming time. Something simple, a less than five-minute wait for the bus or grand, NASA’s Voyager 2 entering interstellar space. 

This is what I said last night: “I am grateful that I ate today and had water to drink. I have a roof over my head, I can sleep in a violence-free bed. I voted this year, and it counted. I know where my family members are and that they are safe. I am alive.”

This “counting of blessings” may not be dream building and its also not the sum total of the wishes I have for my life. But not acknowledging my gratitude would be disingenuous. 

Plus, I want to be well rested when Beyoncé calls. 

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