I play games of pretend with a few friends every once in a while, and it is never planned. A statement or question will come up organically in a conversation and we roll with it. Most often our games of pretend revolve around getting on a plane this afternoon and where we will go. On bad days we end up in a resort somewhere with an unlimited amount of cocktails and a suitcase of books. On really good days we end up in a faraway city having adventures and seeing things that we have only dreamed about.
My games of pretend of aren’t always about travel sometimes they are about aliens, pirates, time travellers, private investigators and a myriad of other things. I like to think that I still play ‘pretend’ as an adult because I have an active imagination. I see this as something that as required by anybody who wants to write and by somebody who is an active and vivacious reader.
I’ve had a few discussions recently with friends about reading and writing creative fiction and how it is really just an act of living vicariously through others. When I ‘play pretend’ I am not really being me I am being somebody else. Just like when I am reading a piece of fiction, for a few moments I am in the mind of somebody else therefore I am them.
At the end of these conversations I am left wondering if my enjoyment of ‘playing pretend’ is healthy? By pretending that I am heading off to an island in the South Pacific am I forgetting to pretend to be myself?