Sometimes I like to close my eyes and imagine the life I want. It’s by no means an extravagant life – it doesn’t even include winning the lottery – but it’s the life I dream of having.
In those imaginations, I am happily studying away for my PhD and I’m doing so without the stress of how I will afford day-to-day necessities. My studies are my full-time job and I love every bit of the challenge. My days are spent at the library or analysing data from my research. I carry my notebook with me at all times so that I can write down important thoughts as they strike.
In those imaginations, I share my life with the man of my dreams and we’re ever-so-happy together. When he comes home from work, we sit down and enjoy the dinner I’ve made for him – and then he does the dishes! Our weekends are spent enjoying each other’s company as we wander through farmers’ markets or explore some fantastic little seaside village (or maybe we just sit at the pub laughing and talking).
In those imaginations, I am healthy and active. My kidneys are full-functioning and my platelet counts are stable. I can maintain a regular training schedule and am consistently improving on my race times. My diet is filled with mostly good, healthy foods because I have the time and the inclination to make proper meals.
In those imaginations, I am just happy. I’m filled with hope and optimism and I can see the good in everything around me. I am carefree and I laugh and enjoy every moment of life. I am rarely emotionally stressed and I am full of joy most of the time. My days feel carefree and my future seems bright and cheerful.
Despite most of my imaginations being grander than their potential realities, I continue to hold out hope that some version of my dreams will come true.
I admit, however, that when I’m not imagining perfection, I am constantly looking over my shoulder for disaster. I am constantly worried that something will happen that makes my PhD an impossibility or that when I find love again, it will end in another tragedy. I’m constantly worried that tomorrow will be the day my kidneys go into total failure or I have a brain aneurysm. And I’m constantly worried that sorrow will forever chase away my happiness.
When I close my eyes I pray. And I imagine that all of my fears and worries melt away and that my faith takes over. And I imagine that all of my imaginations come true.