Fantasize Your Future
When I was younger, I would lie on the couch and fantasize – sorry, not that kind of fantasy – about three distinct future imaginings my mind loved to turn over and over.
I am going to tell you why these particular fantasies held me back in life, and what kind of fantasies are propelling me forward now.
This was always about Some Guy falling in love with me. I’d picture what he’d think when he first saw me: “Oh she has such glowing skin and irreverent style, she obviously doesn’t know how beautiful she is. I must have her.”
His love would be so strong he’d commit himself and his every waking minute to my pleasure. He’d introduce me to his friends, and naturally they’d all fall in love with me too.
DON’T JUDGE ME.
Not yet anyway.
It gets worse.
What would make Fantasy One even better would be if Some Guy was unattainable and be forced by the power of my allure to choose me over another woman, booze or work.
When this happened in my mind, then, and ONLY then would I have enough validation in my mind to feel confident, worthy and lovable.
I had perfect glowing, hairless skin with no zits, and my body was in exceptional shape – no rolls or no stretch marks. My hair was a tousled beachy blonde, like I’d just come out of the ocean after surfing – it didn’t matter that I didn’t surf, was scared of sharks, and lived in the middle of the prairies.
In this fantasy I had no need for makeup because of my unquestionable natural beauty. I would pull off the impossible dream of being sexy, but not too sexy. (Akin to the fantasy of finding comfortable shoes that are also stylish).
The amount of work trying to achieve Fantasy Two was all-consuming - copious amounts of plucking, waxing and dyeing would take place. I’d spend hours pouring over magazines like a scientist trying to crack a formula with the intensity that could solve world hunger, but usually involved how to create a smoky eye or a perfectly arched eyebrow: Find the iris and have the arch hit just at the point. Line the end of your eyebrow with your nostril, outer corner of eye and eyebrow. (Why? Why do I have these skills in my brain, but don’t know how to change a tire or do my own taxes?)
Fantasy Two is a subset of Fantasy One because the ultimate outcome was to be irresistible to Some Guy, and let’s not mince words: be as fuckable as possible.
I was a famous writer. And won awards.
Unfortunately this wasn’t a well thought-out fantasy, what with all that plucking and moisturizing going on.
I was an anxious girl with highly developed observation skills that were both useful for keeping me safe on the playground, and learning the lessons our patriarchal culture dictated to women. I wrote journals and stories, even a couple unpublished books, but they were mostly just me trying to make sense of the many mixed and confusing messages I received as a girl, and later as a woman.
I had the soul of a romantic poet and lost myself in stories, but the trouble was, I was creating a romantic comedy in my head, but I wasn’t the heroine. I wasn’t even the main character. I was just the object of Some Guy’s desire.
My Future Fantasy
Social media blew my worldview wide open to possible future fantasies when I started seeing women telling their own stories while creating businesses and lives focused on themselves as the central character. These everyday heroines showed up either gorgeous from a photo shoot, or raw and vulnerable in their ordinary daily struggle. However they did it, they showed up. And they continue to show up to give the message to young girls (and not so young girls) that it’s okay to inhabit your glorious human selves - worthy right now - just for existing, without the need for anyone’s approval. They are loving their bodies, shouting their abortions, shouting down racism and sexism, and violence, and creating social movements, while STILL looking fly as fuck.
I challenge you to create a future fantasy where you are the central character of your own story, the heroine slaying dragons, sharing her voice, trying and failing and trying again, because life is short and there are so many wonderful things to create and do.
Fall in love.
A fully formed human who can do winged eyeliner and her own taxes.
The heroine of her own life.
This is my fantasy.