A window on life and dreams

?Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life?dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves and every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.? ?NARENDRA NATH DATTA

I?m about to confess something that is part sad, part silly. I?m not saying those parts are equal. I have a desk in front of a window overlooking the intersection outside of my house. I write sometimes in front of this window. I stare blankly sometimes in front of this window, too. (I?m not saying those parts are equal either.)

But a few years back, before, during and after a particular path-altering time (divorce, in my case), I sat right there more than once in front of the window, open computer screen, dreaming of (confession looming)… ?Sex and the City.? Yes, Carrie Bradshaw, Midtown Manhattan, cosmopolitans, Vogue, all of it.

I would shut the door, turn on the laptop, stare at a blinking cursor on a white page and pretend?or wish?I was anywhere except where I was, seeing anything except what I was seeing, experiencing things I?d never experienced, living a life I couldn?t touch.

How far from my reality was this daydream? Exactly. That?s what my mind was looking for.

This, I think, is just one of those things that can happen when the world careens in a new direction or when you feel lost. Or maybe when you get divorced and turn 40 within a few months of each other.

These things tend to set you in front of a window, looking at a dark street with all of two cars passing in an hour, wishing on stars or planets or a streetlight if that?s all that?s shining, that you could transport to a fictional world in a land far, far away.

As crises go, it could have been worse because it can be hard to appreciate or at least consider the possibility (although one gift of getting older is recognizing this earlier) that a ?bad? thing may actually end up being, if not the ?best? thing at least the ?OK-ist? thing that could have happened.

Sometimes OK-ist is the best.

Taking those times of wishing and escaping can be one of the things that get you to the other side. Mine may have stemmed from introversion, which will send me to a quiet corner. Or maybe from embarrassment or self-doubt, both of which tether themselves to divorce, an event some see as a ?failure.? (A label I don?t subscribe to.)

Regardless, whatever drew me to a window and the darkness of my corner shined a light on one idea. One big idea that I could ?make my life…think of, dream of, live on…and leave every other idea alone,? even when I couldn?t yet name what that idea was.

Now I know it was this. To take every minute I could afford, without completely checking out, to roam around a what-if world.

As an adult, the world doesn?t care if someone?s foundation is shifting. It requires you to be that adult, carry on and work, you have to put your kids first, you have to get up and remember to brush your teeth. You have to do it. I had to, too.

But I also had to occasionally shut out the world and ease into an accessible happy place, rolling my hands over my ?precious? window time like a crazy woman occasionally.

I don?t have to use this desk as often as I used to?at least not for a Carrie Brad?shaw moment?because I?m closer to my OK-ist state of mind. If you personally know divorce, I trust you know this. If you don?t, I?ll bet a round of pink cosmos you can empathize through a parallel experience of finding (a new?) normal after the familiar got lost.

I do sometimes still sit in front of this window and wish on streetlights. I also sometimes sit in front of this window and wonder where I get the nerve to wish for anything.

I can assure you, those parts are not equal.

Shelley Plett is a graphic designer with the Free Press and Kansas Publishing Ventures.

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