The Good and Bad of Indulging in Fantasy and Daydreaming

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When Rachel Stein not her real name was a small child, she would pace around in a circle shaking a string for hours at a time, mentally spinning intricate alternative plots for her favorite television shows. Usually she was the star—the imaginary seventh child in The Brady Bunchfor example. So she retreated to her bedroom, reveling in her elaborate reveries alone. As she grew older, the television shows changed—first General Hospitalthen The West Wing —but her intense need to immerse herself in her imaginary world did not. It was the first thing I wanted to do when I woke up in the morning. When I woke up in the night to go to the bathroom, it would be bad if I got caught up in a story because then I couldn't go back to sleep.

Greg Brady met my teenage sister around, and they started dating. The act playing in my head was accordingly detailed and entertaining that it lasted 45 minutes. Another day, I imagined myself as the actress who played the seventh Brady sibling. I met all the other young actors arrange the set, and they commented arrange my cute outfit and amazing amateur dramatics skills.

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