All of us had a favorite pastime as a child. Some kids really enjoyed outside activities like playing soccer or hide and seek, while others seemed to be more attracted to indoor fun like video games or dolls. As for me, my number one activity was to daydream and fantasize. That movie I just saw on cinema? I would run into my room, close the doors and put myself in that world, willing never ever to get out. A random storyline that would pop out of my head? I would sit down in my little chair and would write and draw all of that just so I could spend the whole afternoon picturing myself on that planet. A song I was really into? I just needed a mirror, a little boombox, and a music video or choreographed dance would be born in a few minutes.

Although a lot of children would have fun with these live action dreams as well, recently I have discovered it has influenced who I am and what I look for until this day. It was not like my childhood was bad–not at all, in fact– and neither is my present reality. But my fantasies were centered on being someone so far away from where I was and what I could be, that today, as an young adult, these dreams are the only things that push myself forward to reach huge goals people around me don’t seem to have, and I would be seriously judged if I talked about it with them.

These faraway fantastic realities would also be composed of feelings and people, that highly (and kinda sadly) have a huge impact on how I look for love and tend to be in a romantic relationship. Boys and girls who were mysterious, or had the fashion sense and future careers that tend to be in movies, were people I could easily idealize, building an everlasting and beautiful love story, when most of the time, what was actually going on was pretty abusive and toxic.

It seems like an innocent childhood game turned into a huge curse and blessing on my present self, that allows me to feel striking pain and joy, a will to give up forever but at the same time, to keep going and never, ever stop. This trait is with me all the time, in everything that I do, think, and feel. It’s a power–a secret one. Even though I might feel lonely, it makes me very excited to know that other kids share the same ideas in their beautiful minds, while the world is happening around them.

I would like to dedicate this and talk directly to those who feel what I’m sharing: We should be open to receive help by our “down-to-earth” pals and hopefully balance both worlds. I mean it’s not like we are Amy Adams and our friends are Patrick Dempsey in Enchanted but a little spark in our daily lives isn’t all bad, OK?. Most importantly, it’s crucial to always be able to remember that our society puts enough pressure on young kids to be productive, never feel anything bad, and only offer the possibility to dream and change for such a small portion of privileged people. Therefore, it’s our duty to use this power that came naturally to us to help the pals around us change their perspective a little bit, looking at life with more magic. Hopefully we will be able to create things that we were once told were impossible, and we can transform a damaged world into a more diverse and positive planet to inhabit, like the ones we made up in our dreams.

By Pétala A., 19, Santos, Sao Paulo, Brazil