Catching up on the news this morning, I read an article about a recent study showing that daydreaming – not texting – is our biggest threat on the road. In fact, it’s FIVE TIMES more dangerous than texting.
So…is this why when I get off my exit for work, I suddenly “come to” and realize I don’t remember the last five miles of my trip? Which, considering the length of my commute, is most of my journey. Sorry, fellow drivers. Whoopsie! I’m so silly!
In fact, I was so disturbed by this revelation that I decided to work from home today and not brave those dangerous streets.*
(*Disclaimer: I did stay home today, but because I needed to have freedom to lay in the fetal position at any given moment. Doubt my colleagues would have appreciated the view, so I kept to my abode).
If anyone could be inside my head on my drive from home to work, and vice versa, you would be equal parts terrified and, perhaps, full of wonder and pity. Despite my appearance as a normally-functioning adult, the thoughts in my head are bananas.
I used to listen to a Spotify mix that, while I didn’t name it as the “Daydream Mix,” was carefully curated with songs that inspired my mind to wander. (Try to guess which one it is, Spotify friends).
So for l’example:
Coldplay’s “Fix You” – I think about this playing at my funeral. But not just any funeral. Oh no. A Mia Michaels choreographed funeral.
Anyone who knows me well knows that watching dance is one of the only art forms that makes me weep like a baby. I can’t watch So You Think You Can Dance – where Mia is a featured choreographer – without a box of tissues at the ready.* This may be a sickness. I don’t care – dance is my joy. I danced my entire life and while it’s not likely I will ever get back on that stage – I can barely bend over to pick up a cookie** – it’s something I’ll always treasure about my younger years. I worked for The Joffrey Ballet in Chicago and broke the “no crying at work” rule at least once a week.
So when “Fix You” comes on my playlist, I picture my family and friends filling rows of seats during a memorial being held for me near the top of a mountain. It’s dusk, and the sun is setting over the blue ridge mountains.
Cut to 2:25 in the video. It’s at this exact moment, in my daydream, that the dancers come out from the surrounding trees and start to fill the aisles like a flash mob among the living and twirl and whirl (obviously official dance terms) until the tears are replaced with laughter and joy for a life lived, not a life lost.
It’s only when I lightly tap the bumper of the car in front of me that I realize I’ve been crying.
Totally ridiculous, right? I know that a lot of people think about their funerals – who will show up? what will I be holding in my hand? did my friends make sure to erase my texts in my phone before anyone read them? – but I doubt these thoughts are ever choreographed…….right?!
*In case you’re wondering, I do not, in fact, have the same teary reaction when watching Dance Moms. Because. You know.
**Note: Scratch that. I will bend any which way to get a cookie. So, this statement is untrue.
And one more example for the road….
Lennon & Maisy covering The Lumineers “Ho, Hey” off the Nashville Soundtrack – This song recently replaced another one that evoked the same daydream.
If I wasn’t dancing as a kid, I was singing. It’s a little secret I don’t like to share for fear that people will ask me to sing in front of them. And singing on demand makes me want to poop myself. When in reality, I’m actually a pretty decent vocalist. Just terrified for anyone to hear it when I actually try.
So listening to songs like that – and many others that populate the playlist – I close my eyes (KIDDING! DRIVING! WHOOPS! SO, SO SILLY!), and I’m transported to a low-lit, slightly raised stage at the back of a dive bar in Columbus. My friends and family are crowded around me – mostly because when I sing, I’m barely audible – but I can’t make out their faces but for the lights that are shining in my eyes.
It’s open mic night, and I’m checking off a life list item – learning to play the guitar and performing an acoustic duet with a friend in front of actual human beings with actual ears. As opposed to actual human beings with fake ones? Ugh. Megan.
Anyway. In my daydream, I don’t wait for applause because I don’t need it. And likely don’t deserve it. But it’s the performing and the vulnerability I crave. The lights go down, and all is silent.
Heavy, right? I wish I could explain away some of those thoughts that make me a perilous driver – and there are many. Want to hear more? Buckle up.
(No, really. Like, you should really put your seat belt on. Daydreamers be crazy!)