I’m such a daydreamer. I like to daydream about accomplishing great things. But I like daydreaming so much, I often forget to actually do them. I live “inside my head”.
I think living inside my head has brought its boons and its own drawbacks. One drawback as noted is that I forget to do things in real life because I’ve already done them in my head. One pro is that I don’t mind dreaming big. Whatever I imagine in my head I have the privilege of thinking that its entirely possible. What’s impossible and possible aren’t really a concern for me, as I always find some way to get there… in my head.
A drawback of living inside one’s head is that it can be very negative too. If you hate yourself, or if you believe you are inferior, you won’t be able to easily get an objective view of yourself in reality. I was this way for a very long time, and well, it kinda sucked. It wasn’t until I tried to start looking at myself from a more objective standpoint, one where I did not have an intrinsic value that I gave to myself, that I could see myself as not being special. If I’m not special, I can’t be better or worse.
Another drawback of living inside one’s head is if you’re delusional. I think if everyone’s delusional about something a little bit. I’ve had this delusion for a long time that somehow I’m ‘smaller’ in stature than everybody else. That it’s like I kept getting bigger and bigger, but I didn’t know what to do about it. That inside, I’m just a little boy. I’ve had to come a very far way to even express this publicly. My mother stood me up next to my father one time and pointed out how we’re pretty much the same physical size. Yet, I can’t see it.
A pro is that I could decide, in my head, to view this as something better rather than something worse. When you live in your head you can do that sort of thing. I stopped replacing my self-worth the value I thought other’s saw, and instead decided that in this way I WAS special… and that was okay.
One more drawback of living inside one’s head is dissociation. I have dissociated so bad before I had to be hospitalized. I didn’t have my own train of thought, I wasn’t inside my body, I wasn’t present. I was losing weight dramatically, I couldn’t sleep, I could barely function and felt ‘fast’. I was in the acute unit when Dr. Nagel came in and asked what was going on. He told me that I was gifted with the ability to dissociate, even if it could work against me. I told him I thought I was dying. He waved his hand dismissively and said, “Don’t worry about it Asher, we’ll have you out in a week.” And… he did.
A pro of living inside your head is that you can learn about what has happened to you. My mantra in my life is that everything changes eventually. That no matter how bad, no matter how terrible things get… the way things are now are only temporary. I’ve learned this over a long time of thinking that nothing would change in my life, but in reality, everything’s changed over the years. Two years ago I thought I’d never be able to function like this, with no anti-anxiety medication, no visits to a therapist anymore, on my own. But now, here I am!
Another pro of living inside your head is that you can process what happens in your life in abstract terms. I have a love of ethics. I’m enthralled with ethical theories and what is right and what is wrong. Over time, in all my examinations, I’ve become a pretty black and white theorist. I’ve realized that ethics can be a science, and that justice is treating everything as it is, not what it isn’t, should be, or could be. There are objective motivations and reasons for why something is right, and why something is wrong. One day Maus was reading this book on the ‘philosophy of evil’ and this young checkout clerk asked what it was about. She lamented, “Everyone has a different idea of what evil is. It’s unfortunate.” She was absolutely correct.
I find beauty in these abstract concepts put into practice, and spend every day trying my best to live by seven virtues: Rationality, Integrity, Productivity, Honesty, Independence, Pride, and Justice. If I didn’t take time to introspect or ‘live in my head’ I wouldn’t give thought to these… and honestly where would my life be then? I’d just follow my emotions wherever they led, and not fight them when they’re harmful. Two years ago I would’ve died.
All in all, I’d rather live in my head than the alternative, even if it can get me into trouble. There lies the potential to appreciate beauty, to fight for what’s right, to believe in the impossible, to dream of ‘success’. A life without intellect would be very barren indeed.