My imaginary life has taken many twists and turns over the years.
The first significant chapter began at age 10, when I decided to join the Peace Corps and move to Africa (that one ended soon after when my mother informed me about living conditions for your average Peace Corps volunteer in Africa). Later, I did an complete about-face and wanted to grow up, live in Manhattan (the promised land that I could only vaguely see from the haze of the suburbs), carry a briefcase and "go to meetings". I would work in "international business". This future was nothing if not well planned out.
Later my imaginary life involved following the Grateful Dead up and down the East Coast. Oh wait, that one was real. It's just a little dreamlike and the details are more than a little fuzzy.
When I got to college and met my husband we soon began imagining a life together - in Israel. That one my parents wish had just been imaginary, because Tel Aviv is so very far away from the suburbs of New York City.
I later found myself actually living in Israel, working in international business, going to meetings (with briefcase in hand!), traveling abroad to do "very important things", the whole nine yards. And it wasn't quite as I'd imagined it.
I began to imagine a different sort of life. One that involved children, and didn't involve endless hours on countless airplanes. I held on to the corporate job for a while, in fact, I spent most of my first pregnancy working in Turkey, but I learned to downsize, to say no.
As I grew in my own journey, I began to imagine new and different paths - a second child, a new career, an opportunity to work from home.
I still wonder sometimes about the life I might have had had I pursued some of these other paths, and I still fantasize about the life I could have if money wasn't a factor. (I was born to be a wealthy jet setter, if my tastes are any indication. Too bad my pocketbook doesn't match my proclivities.)
At the end of the day though, I sit and look out at the life I do have, and smile. Because I know I wouldn't want it any other way.
Visit the new Writers Island for more glimpses into imaginary lives.