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My Imagination and My Reality Don’t Match Up.

paintbrushwithcolorsThis morning, I had a very strong yet puzzling emotional experience, and I realized that I’ve felt before. I wish there were some wonderful term for this (perhaps there is, in German or Japanese).

I was reading a description of someone, and it said, “He lives with his wife and children on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.” As I read this line, I had a fleeting yet complete vision of what that life would be like–the life of a person living with his family on the Upper East Side.

But in the next moment, I realized, “Wait, that’s my life, I live in that neighborhood myself, with my family!” Yet the reality of my experience doesn’t at all match my vision of what that “life” would be like. And oddly, my imaginary version seems richer and more real, in a way, than my actual experience.

I realized I can provoke this feeling, just by putting my own experience into words. If I think, “She went to an all-girl school in the Midwest,” I have an idea of what that was like–but I did go to an all-girl school in the Midwest, and it was very different from what my imagination kicks up.

Maybe “parallax feeling” is a term to describe this.

Have you ever experienced this feeling? It’s hard to describe.