One of my best friends lives in a run-down part of town with an alcoholic husband, in a house they most times don't bother to pay for. Nearly every choice they've made in the 7 years I've known them has been wrong. They are in debt up to their ears and do not seem to understand the concept of paying it back. Stolen cable fires up their rented big-screen TV. 20% of the natural cedar siding shows through the red barn paint on their dilapidated home.
My friend seldom leaves the yard. She's passed up many a job because it's too far away. I lent her my truck so she could find work, and she stayed home again when she found out the rear license plate lights didn't work, and again when she realized that there was no front license plate. She acts like the roughest, toughest chick on the block, but in reality she is afraid of everything. The fire in the backyard is too big. If you go to the mall alone, you might get mugged. Driving to my house in the dark is dangerous because of the way people drive "out there" (5 miles from her.) The list goes on and on.
And yet, she likes to fantasize about how she'd like her life to go. How if she'd win the lottery, she'd build me a house next door and we'd have long driveways and would need to ride our 4-wheelers to get the mail. This was her daydream a few days ago, and I had to bite my lip so I didn't point out to her that when we went 4-wheeling at another friend's house, she wouldn't get on it. She also wants to go on a trip to Jamaica together. I seriously doubt that we'd ever get that girl on a plane. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that if her financial problems were solved, she'd be the same paranoid hermit she is now.
I think we all fool ourselves, some to a larger degree than others. I spent some time the other day thinking of what it is I fancy myself to be that just isn't true at all. Some of it has to do with things I've been told by other people. Either I wasn't told the truth, it was exaggerated, or I exaggerated it in my own mind. It occured to me that I might not be such a talented artist, that I never would have made it as a professional oboeist like my teacher said, that I wouldn't make it if I tried to hike the Grand Canyon, and that I'm not a nice girl. I suppose you don't know these things until you try, but the focus here is that I believe these things. I think I'm that good. And maybe I'm not.