When I was little, my best friend would carpool to school together every day. Only we spent the greater portion of the car ride arguing over what we’d be doing in the car rather than actually doing anything. She wanted to listen to music, likely Katy Perry, or whatever else was playing on the radio. I, meanwhile, stubbornly insisted that I required complete silence in order to pursue my favorite activity – daydreaming.
To this day, I might still consider zoning out as one of the best pastimes. Only I don’t need dead silence anymore. I can daydream just about anytime, anywhere, in anyone’s company, and amidst any sort of noise. It’s an extraordinary talent really. At least I think so. My vision blurs out of focus, the thoughts pooled inside my head begin to unravel, and I’ve never felt more at peace.
The older I get, the less time I have to indulge in this luxury. As a junior in high school, it’s not something I can usually afford to do anymore. If I start to space out in class, I remind myself that I’ll miss the lecture; if I start to space out outside of class, I remind myself I could be studying, catching up on social media or current events, or doing something “productive.”
I wish daydreaming was considered productive because I feel like it is a form of self-care. One of the few times that I actually feel good about zoning out, is at the end of my physical therapy sessions when I do electric stimulation and am given an ice pack. It’s almost the opposite of meditation. In meditation, you try to block all internal dialogue and focus on your outside senses, and daydreaming is the vice-versa. I lay there, my back pain fading away, and my thoughts racing in.