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Friday, February 26, 2016

The real value of imagination


Mental Health
The forces of imagination and creativity save my life on a routine basis, but I swear it's not in a platitudinous or clickbaity way. 
I do not, as I dreamed I might when I was a kid, make my living by creating with words, music, ink, human taxidermy, etc. Whether or not I live a richer inner life amidst fantastic mental creations is a matter up for debate; if I do have such a place, it sure seems that my roommates there keep changing the locks without telling me, and it's getting harder to find windows to climb in through. After I take care of the mundane tasks of daily life, I'm often too exhausted to even think about working on extracurricular projects. My adolescent self would be pretty disappointed with the current state of affairs. 
And that's why I say that imagination and creativity save my life. I try to be a realist, which leads me to believe there's pretty conclusive evidence to strongly suggest (if not outright prove) that most things most of the time are mostly terrible. Still, I plod through existence. I schlep. I trudge. And I can honestly say that I owe that forward movement, however torturous or half-hearted it can be, to the ability to imagine something worth experiencing an hour, a day, a month, or a year from now. Or, for that matter, to look at the terribly sad and ugly world around me and see it through a different lens, not contradicting or ignoring the real horrors but noticing the good or even seeing how to repurpose the bad into something livable. 
I'm going to try to sum this up and be done, here: It doesn't matter if a kid grows up to be an actuary, an artist, or an assassin. To be a living human being day in and day out, in spite of the observable realities, creativity and imagination are some of the best survival tools you could ask for.

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