People have traditionally been supportive of my crazy visions through the years. That’s why I try to be supportive of people’s around me. As a teacher I sometimes forget to do it because my job consists of correcting and modeling. I hate that but you really can’t get around it as a teacher. I wish I could blindly support people all day long, but that’s not the job description. Still, it’s so helpful to do in my job. I need daily, hourly, reminders to support the visions of my students. I think the hope of a vision is powerful lifelong and we all need visions to survive. Enough about work, my wife has visions that I forget to support. Lately she’s wanted to make some changes around the house. To me, it sounds like work but the fact remains, that’s her vision. I can’t give advice to 16 year old boys about their girlfriends but I can to married men: support her vision!
Where there is no vision, there is no life. Vision should be cultivated, planned toward, written down in a journal. I just started a Bullet Journal and in it I have a hopes and visions page. I hope I add to it often. I have both small and large visions. Some are almost silly while others are earth shaking. When I have a day when I don’t k ow what I want to dream, that’s depression. Identifying my deepened wants in the form of visions is an awesome weapon against the blues. Out there in the world somebody’s crying or dying due to a lack of vision. Perhaps all they need is moral support.
How much do you use your imagination? It’s a wonderful gift that we all possess and all too often, I neglect it as a way to see the mountain top. If life’s a journey not a destination, like Steven Tyler sings, then why are we so stressed on our way there? I want to be happy now, not after I’ve waited and toiled for a dream that sometimes never even comes. One way to be energized and happy along the way of life is to use ones imagination. The Bridge to Terabithia is a pre-teen classic novel that I know about because of my kids as well as my students who have read it. I’ve seen the movie and it really applies to what I’m writing about here today. A young girl and boy play in a clubhouse they made across a river. The way they get there is through a swinging rope. The river is sort of a metaphor of the boundary between imagination and reality. Once on the other side, they are in a fantastic land of imagination they name “Terabithia.” What happens there is only limited by their imagination. If you haven’t seen it, please go watch it now, it is a wonderful film for all ages. Bring your Kleenex though.
I want to use my imagination more as I move through this life. Like the kids in the movie are prince and princess, I can be king of my world. I am in charge of all the decisions that affect my life. I forget this a lot when I am stuck on the other side of the river. Eventually, when the rope proves faulty, the boy constructs a bridge. It’s as if he accepts the power of imagination and even validates it. The bridge is after all a lot of work to erect. I feel like I could be at that point with my own bridge. I can see everything not as it “is” but as I dream it to be. There are no limitations except those in my mind. Arranging a corner of my room can be like planting a flag on Mt. Everest. A single movie can actually heal a part of my broken heart from ages past. These things can be if I allow them to be. I may not be on the mountain top but I can see it in my mind’s eye. I can describe it better in a valley than I probably will when I get there. That’s what this is all about to me. Blogging, journaling, songwriting … it’s all about describing that place I see and know exists if only for now in my unbridled imagination.
I have a few hats I wear in this life. Some are more subdued than others. I’m in a place now where I really want to dream. I don’t want to stay up all night haunted by racing thoughts as I used to in my life. But I wouldn’t mind some missed sleep now and then if it made some original thoughts come alive. I’m so god damned proud to have this blog. There was a nearly 2 year period where I barely posted. I was telling myself that dreams weren’t important. It was the conservative scaredy cat in me coming out. I’ve ditched that hat in a dumpster and never looked back.
My wife and I were talking yesterday about someone who is decidedly annoying on Facebook. She/he is a bit like the conservative hat I was just referring to. I was telling her everyone has their place in this big collage of people. Why is it that the conservative ones seek to judge so much? I guess liberal folk judge sometimes but never as much. It was fear and self-loathing that caused me to stop sharing my emotions online. I hate it that I had to go through that. Now, I see my life as a control panel with a knob for every hat. My order to the one controlling the system in this: Turn the dreamer up to 11, 12 if you can, and then break off the freagin’ knob. This is not a dress rehearsal. What’s up with you?
As if keeping an online diary and a teaching blog wasn’t enough, I have started a new journaling project. It’s called a Bullet Journal. It’s not a blog but rather an off-line journal with simple guidelines to help organize ones life. The analog format is a bit romantic for me. It reminds me of the days when I had a paper and pen journal by my side at all times. I am hopeful it will help me spur creativity and improve my online stuff like the blogs and social media. Plus it is just for me which is a good thing since so much of what I write these days goes right out as public knowledge. It will be like a warm coat where I keep my dreams close.
The analog benefits are plentiful. There are beautiful journals available at Staples and just about any place that sells books. I love the art of simply shopping for and buying one periodically. The author of the Bullet Journal method gives his recommendation that can be bought through Amazon. I think buying something as an investment in organizing your life is a powerful buy-in. You will work to make it happen whereas most blog and personal organizer systems are free, npte: mine is not free. I use an expensive host because I blog as a part time job. Up to now I have used Google Calendar and Remember the Milk as my planners and organization tools. I can still integrate them but the idea of a paper and pen nucleus truly excites me. It’s an issue of feeling more in traditional control.
The Bullet Journal will challenge me to write longhand. Ironically, the blogger friend who wrote about this on his blog and thereby exposed it to me doesn’t have the dexterity in his writing hand due to a stroke so he isn’t trying the Bullet Journal. Still, he was able to share it in a post and it appealed to me. My long hand writing is atrocious compared to what it could be. I know it will improve through fleshing out my own Bullet Journal. I hope to have a stack of these as I finish each one and put it on the shelf over time. Perhaps one day my kids would get a kick out of seeing what Dad wrote. For now, I am carrying it around in my handbag.
This is just an experiment for me but because I know what journals are, I used to keep copious journals in my 20’s, I think this could work for me. We shall see! So does this sound like something you’d like to do? I’d love to hear your impressions. Have you already heard of it?