- Books, Literature, and Writing
The imaginary Friends...
Imaginary frineds don't die...
The power to see things not their outside your imagination....
By: Anastasia Vaughan
Growing up as a child from the ages of roughly 4 to 8 I had a few imaginary friends. Though some people may read the first sentence and assume I was quite the psychotic child others will understand and know that it was simply a way of coping with being a lonely only child. When I first started having imaginary friends all my aunts and mother assumed this idea to be cute but as time went on my mother seem to be impatient with the idea( around age 7) of when I would learn to live in the real world once again. I could see the many days that I spend living in my own little world again, just like it was yesterday.
It would be dinner time and depending on which relative I was spending time with all of them would set the table with an empty plate, cup, and utensils for my imaginary friend even telling her to enjoy her dinner as well, except my mother. When I was at home I’d bring my imaginary friend to dinner. I ask “mom can my friend have dinner too?”
My mother would than reply (always in ironic ways) “I spoke to her and she told me she is on a hunger strike for the starving children in Africa and refuses to eat. She’s very politically active and wants you to appreciate how good you have life.” (Of course that line was followed by pictures she had found of starving children and a conversation on what poverty is as well as how lucky a person who hasn’t had it happen to them is. Yes, my mother unlike most was an opportunist who used all my experiences as a gateway to put a spin on life her way that included the imaginary friends and punishment as well. One day I did something I can’t remember what it was exactly but I will never forget the punishment. She slapped my face for about 7 times the first slap was for me in whatever it was I did and all the other slaps came from me being the martyr taking in the punishment for the other’s she could not see. You see since she wasn’t able to see all of us she assumed they must have been the bad influence and to her I needed to live a life above peer pressure even early on in life. The reason I got hit so many times was because unfortunately I was a forgetful child who could never remember the names of my imaginary friends but she did, kept score, and than held it against me even reciting all their names which I never could remember. Long story short after many not so cute snot noised filled cries to be punished as a soloist I gave up imaginary friends late one evening when she was hanging up a shiny new thick black belt into her bedroom closet. “Where are your friends?” She asked.
“They moved away to boarding school to board with the others.”
“Will they be coming back for the summer?” (She said laughing in a delicate voice.)
The point of the story is this if imagination is all about seeing what isn’t there, than isn’t childhood development with imaginary friends the first step developing a great imagination? As a writer it up to the individual behind the pen or screen to see all the elements, personalities and ideas that aren’t there yet. Many writers often come up with the same concept recycled again in a new form because they lack imagination when it comes to seeing new world, new people, and new ideology through a fresh set of visionary eyes. All the trials that I myself had with the struggle of living with the imaginary friends under the same roof with my mother when I enter into such activities such as writers clubs, public relations related projects, and even the blogging world I am glad for the way my mother coped with my imaginary friends as I now look back on the experience as a part of developing my mind. I believe once a child is able to make things up using their mind as their guide it is the first sign of creativity which they may just be able to use later on life to develop a career in the arts industry. My mother also despite her own creative defaults helped me maintain sharpness with characters and words by constantly challenging me to remember names from the start of my imaginary friends that I pretended I could do the one that came to life only across the pages of paper in character format. Though vibrantly talented at both writing and painting my mother lacks the ability as an artist to see what isn’t there. If the picture isn’t front of her it ceases to exist which means her creativity on this path is predestined to be limited. In fact even today when I write she carries the same memory that she had when I was child growing up constantly questioning names, identity, locations, and vibes.
If I am writing a story she will ask names and places than several weeks later just casually mention names without identifying the story I wrote where these characters come from. Writing is not only a play on words but a challenge on your sense in order to adequately put a fictional world so well into perspective it becomes realer than reality in the minds of each of your readers themselves. How many times have you read a published book where the characters hair color, names changes mid-way through the book as if the writer wasn’t paying attention? All of that has to do with your imagination and its depth.
Every writer has a set of imaginary friends the moment they sit down to execute their idea. You decide what they look like, how they dress, how they act, where they live, who their friends, and which pieces of your personality that you’re putting into each character performance. Your friends can be people or worst one, stranger can become instant lovers, and your cracked broken family structure has a fresh start of hitting the rest button all over again. The combination are endless, the world for the moment you dominate is boundless and your heart goes back to a place of childhood mind play where what you say goes.