So I am sat watching Drop Dead Fred (a classic flick from the 80’s), relishing all the silliness and brilliantness of it and giggling like a girl again. Then I realise I’m missing something. Something pretty major. I’m missing my Fred . The imaginary friend that we all crave at some point, to come back into our confusing adult lives and shake things up a bit. The Fred’s of the world make life more interesting, more do-able and way more fun. For those of you who haven’t seen the film, do it now. It’s a bucket list thing. I can’t remember a specific name for my Fred equivalent but he/she definitely existed and encouraged me to do both good and bad things. But the thing is, I need one even more now I’m a grown up.
1. To remind you of who you really are
It’s all too easy to get lost in life’s tangled web of who we should be. We’re trained to think about how we come across to other people, are we showing the best version of ourselves and are we making other people happy enough? When really this is all bullshit and not what life is about. Yes we should care about some things but not most of the things society and the adult world says we should.
My almost 3 yr old daughter doesn’t answer to anyone when it comes to her happiness but herself. She is mentored by me and taught right from wrong but at the same time she does what makes her happy. I don’t label her with stereotypical gendered remarks such as ‘princess’ nor do I make her feel bad if she wants to dress up as Elsa from Frozen. If she wants to stand up and start clapping in the cinema midway because she’s loving the film she can. If other parents look appalled at her for this, at a screening of a kids film, screw them. My point is she isn’t aware of the prejudices and judgements that are put on us and that we put on each other as we grow up.
Now if a 2 yr old can have a more happy care free attitude why can’t I? The small me did. An imaginary friend definitely doesn’t judge you. They actually bring out the more creative, hidden side of you which is beautiful.
2. To be naughty sometimes
As a child we were all naughty at some point. Usually the imaginary friend has a hand in this. One of my naughty feats was making my younger sister who couldn’t write yet, follow me downstairs at midnight to the wall outside the bathroom, whilst I drew her name and mine all over it. I blamed it on her the next day because obviously it was genius. That was naughty but clearly I wanted/needed to do it. I’m not saying write on peoples bathroom walls but let some of your inner naughtiness out. You can even do some good with it. It feels good to be a bit naughty and it’s in our nature to let off some steam.
3. To boost your self-esteem
Imaginary friends love you and you love them. Everything about you is perfect – including your imperfections because that’s who you are. You can be yourself wholly and not worry about a thing. Which relaxes you, making you happy. Kiss the worries goodbye and say hello to being you. Thanks imaginary friend!
4. To live in the moment
When you were playing with your imaginary friend you were just playing there and then in the moment. Taking it all in. You were enjoying yourself and hadn’t a care in the world about anything else. That’s pretty lovely. And that’s why you enjoyed it. We didn’t have to worry about work deadlines next month, tax bills to pay, everyones anniversaries or birthdays. Our heads were happy and uncluttered and we lived more because of it. Summer holidays lasted longer and we made every second count.
5. To teach the assholes a lesson
Negative life suckers are everywhere. At work, school, people who barely know you, even family and friends. When you were being bullied or belittled the imaginary friend was there to comfort you, give you confidence to stand up to them or to just make you smile when you were down. Mine is definitely in my head telling me all the things I wish I could do or say to these people. I
f I had one around now they would send a rude mother-in-law a trout in the post and make sure it was 1st class. We’d be standing up for ourselves and not tolerating the crap. Naughty pranks would be the best form of revenge. Or we’d simply not let these weasels into our headspace. My daughter woke up from a bad dream and told me there was a monster in the room with us. I said let’s flick him away. So we both did and she looked around and said that’s better it’s gone now. If we only flicked away some of these negatives in our lives they wouldn’t have so much of our time.
Miss that imaginary friend? Let them back in , they miss you too!
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