The Sweet Escape
As a professional daydreamer,
living in my own head is what I’ve always done best. It’s what brings me respite from everything I find tedious and dull. Allowing my imagination to run free— uninterrupted—has been crucial to my personal growth and understanding of myself, not to mention my appreciation of and understanding of others. This might sound exhausting, but to simply sit down and think can be really calming.
As a child, I had an obsession with the number three and applied it to various aspects of my daily routine: washing my hands three times, locking the door three times, checking under my bed three times, and cleansing my face three times. All in all, I was a bit of a disaster during this period. I had no clue what my problem was and neither did my parents—I would finally have a name for my disorder a decade later. My “love” affair with OCD started around age 10. Despite the nightmare I was living, I knew I had to keep it together and not unravel. I also knew that since no one in my family understood my battle, I was in it alone and had to figure a way out of it myself.
Music is what really saved me and helped me disconnect from my overwhelming disorder. I was blessed with an older sister and brother who both had great taste in music. My sister would put together epic mixtapes, which would later become CDs. Depeche Mode, New Order, The Clash, Tori Amos, Dylan, Cohen—the works. I started listening and meditating on the lyrics and music. The way these artists expressed their thoughts and feelings really inspired me, made me dream of a life beyond OCD, and, over time, helped me manage it in an effective way. By tapping into their songs, I created another world in my head, far from my reality. This mental exercise would go on to guide me spiritually and continues to spark my best ideas.
Through this experience I learned that escaping with purpose can be really powerful. Letting your mind travel boosts creativity, sense of self, and soothes your soul. In our latest holiday issue—the last one before we ring in the New Year—we wanted to expand on the various ways we flee the everyday, particularly during the holidays. For some, this is a time filled with joyous family reunions, while for others—with family not within reach—it’s an opportunity to expand their horizons and travel somewhere new, or merely gather for a big dance party.
Wherever you might find yourself this holiday season, I hope you unapologetically do what makes you most happy and escape from the mundane.