We didn’t have one of those large aquariums, our prompt today, in my city when I was a kid, so it was only when we traveled that I got to visit one. Though I loved seeing all the little fish, and certainly the seahorses, seeing an octopus was the highlight of the trip. I still remember the first time I ever met one, or at least got to see one behind glass. I was entranced. All those crazy legs and that odd little head and face were equal parts cute and weird. I, of course, immediately wanted an octopus of my very own. The giant kind as they were the coolest. But, since I didn’t have a swimming pool in the backyard like some of the rich kids, I couldn’t think where I’d keep one. In my little mind, this was literally the only barrier stopping me from actually having one, though, of course, there were infinite reasons why it wouldn’t be possible. So, I never ended up getting my octopus, but I still remember my imagined friend fondly.
I had so many dreams like this when I was a kid. I would decide I wanted something or other that was a pure impossibility much of the time. But I had so much fun imagining various scenarios and seeing it all happen in my imagination that I wasn’t upset that those dreams didn’t always come true. I dreamed big and in full color and for those moments spent imagining, the wildest things were not just possible, but felt as though they had already happened. As an adult, I still dream big, but find I can sometimes talk myself out of them too quickly. I’ve learned a lot in life, but my ability to immediately rationalize something can be a skill that stops short the joy of dreaming. Sometimes, it’s best to let you mind go wherever it wants and simply enjoy the ride. Sure, the destination might be truly impossible in real life, but spending more time on that dream journey is always more rewarding than telling myself to give up and move on.
I find that the more time I spend imagining impossible scenarios, the more interesting solutions I can come up with for the possible ones. Some little thing I never would have thought about comes to mind and provides an even cooler idea that just might work! Daydreaming is something that I’ve always done and sometimes, yes, it can be a bit of a distraction when I’m meant to focus. Even in work meetings, or especially then, I struggle to keep my mind on the topic at hand. But thankfully, I’ve always held a creative job so this actually helps me do it properly. Ideas would be terribly boring if they only consisted of the presented facts and didn’t include something novel and unexpected. So, when I find myself in a boring meeting I’ll still try my hardest to engage and be polite, but in my mind, it’s also possible I’m actually just thinking about meeting an octopus.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Opus (Vivid Pink), Benzimida Orange, Cobalt Tuquoise, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!