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i am totally special and unique.
just like you.
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)

I think I might have hit my head. I haven't noticed any unexplainable bruises or swelling. There's no memory loss. I didn't recently wake up in a tub full of ice missing a kidney or two. But something has changed. I'm missing something that used to be a huge part of my life:

My dream world.

It's been a really long time since I spent some alone time in my own head, just sorting through my own thoughts. I should do it fairly often, since knowing oneself is a good way to stay grounded. In the past, though, I spent way too much time thinking. Daydreaming, really. I stayed in my “dream world” so long, I was disappointed by reality. Allow me to explain what I mean by that.

For as long as I can remember, up to and including last week, any time I was disappointed or upset, I retreated into my dream world. There is nothing bad in my dream world. It's essentially the same world I live in, except in my dream world, everything is perfect. *I* am perfect. Sometimes I find myself in a situation where I unzip my 'fat suit' and underneath it's me, and I'm physically perfect. (It's all about the physical perfection, in my dream world) Sometimes I win a boatload of money (I forgot to mention it's all about the money in my dream world, too) via a lottery (I never dream about a rich relative dying and leaving me a wad of cash. That's too morbid). The first thing I do? Liposuction, nose job, boob job, cheek implants, body sculpting...the works.

Then I wake up and reality is a disappointment. I'm disappointed to be MYSELF. That's...not healthy.

A variation on these dream-sequences can be: being swept off my feet by a movie-star-slash-Prince-of-Someplace. Despite being married in reality to a pretty damn awesome guy, in my dreams he's never big enough, handsome enough, strong enough, rich enough. Once again, I set myself up, via my unrealistic dreams, for disappointment upon my return.

Sometimes, I catch myself – and this is embarrassing – living as if I'm on a tv show. I eat, drink, walk, put on makeup, get dressed, shop and interact with people as if every movement is being watched. I get embarrassed when I do something stupid, because my audience of millions will laugh at me. I celebrate my successes a thousand-fold because the world is celebrating with me. I love this world because...well, because in this place I get to be perfect. Never make mistakes. Always be beautiful. Never grow old. I love how I feel, and I never seem to want to leave. It's addictive, being the star of my own show.

In my mind, I'm far more important than I really am. I'm not saying I'm not important, but I just haven't been able to grasp the fact that, in reality, The World Does Not Revolve Around Me.

I have had the tendency to drag my self-importance into my real life. Drama where drama isn't necessary. Drama for the sake of drama. I build things up in my mind, creating bigger problems. Making mountains out of molehills. At this moment, that behavior strikes me as an exercise in being self-centered. Instead of working things out, asking questions and pro-actively resolving issues, in any given situation I made a minor problem into an Insurmountable Obstacle just so I could say “Look at me! Look at all the issues I have! Look at how hard my life is! Love me! Feel sorry for me!”

I know for a fact that I have nudged some of the problems my husband and I have had into MAJOR ISSUES because of this kind of behavior. I'm not saying that it's all my fault, or dumping on myself. I feel like I'm taking responsibility where I refused to accept any fault before. Once an issue has been resolved it should be left in the past, not trotted out to prove a point in the future, right? Yeah, guess who is guilty of flagrantly disobeying that relationship rule? Definitely me. Definitely a way to create drama.

A few other things I'm also guilty of:

Not being able to 'let something lie'. Instead, I nitpick something to death. In doing so, I make it nearly impossible for either of us to get over little stuff.

I change my mind violently and without warning. Kind of like throwing a car in reverse without actually braking.

This one makes me cringe: I've spent a lot of time in the last few months trying to make my husband jealous without cause or reason.

The time I've spent thinking about my own thought processes, and the development of this column has been a massive reality check for me. I'm actively trying to step away from a self-centered point of view. I'm realizing that the world doesn't revolve around me – and that it's okay. I'm amazing and special, but I'm also a normal person with a normal marriage and normal issues.

I've spent so much time in the last ten years not living up to my own dreams and finding fault with my reality. I am so negative and judging of myself, while trying to portray myself as a positive and happy person. No wonder I'm confused and wondering if I need to seek therapy! My thoughts and actions are struggling to sync and I have consistently forced them not to.

What I'm hoping to do is continue working on better behavioral conditioning. I need to keep giving myself positive, realistic feedback. If I notice I'm building things up in my mind, I need to change the behavior without judging myself. That way I'm accomplishing change without giving myself a bigger complex that exacerbates issues. If I can do that and learn to communicate better, I think my reality will become more positive. I won't have a need to retreat to a dream world – my world will be sweet enough as it is.


Maigen is simple. is smart. is wholesome. is skeevy. is spicy. is delicate. is better. is purer. is 100% more awesome than yesterday. She';s traveling the world and writing about her experiences with life, love, yoga, food, travel and people. Mostly people. Because they';re funny. hear more of her random thoughts @maigen on twitter.

more about maigen thomas


40 days is long enough to form new habits...
...try to make sure the habit is a good one.
by maigen thomas
topic: general
published: 3.26.07

you really can have a wedding for $1000 or less.
...why are you still laughing?
by maigen thomas
topic: general
published: 10.16.06


alex b
9.24.08 @ 3:59a

Sweetie, always remember to judge yourself compassionately. We all have dream worlds, and I'm glad you are open with yours- and know what to do with it.

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