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How to Be a Space Cadet

Are you a space cadet? Photo by flickr user Moyan_Brenn.
Are you a space cadet? Photo by flickr user Moyan_Brenn.

The other day, I asked my friend how I look when I walk. She promptly stuck her hands in her pocket and, feigning my feet that stick out, proceeded to meander about as she glanced skyward with a dreamy look on her face.

An accurate depiction; I gave her plaudits for a fine performance.

For most of my life, people have described me as “ditzy” and “absentminded.” Admittedly, I must attest to these various titles. Too often I have zoned out in the middle of a class and end up scrambling to figure out the mechanics of stoichiometry on my own. I stop getting dressed in the morning for stretches of time to ponder the questions of the universe and then have to rush out the door without breakfast. I constantly walk into the wall near my bedroom door because I’m lost in a thought.

Still, I wear the honorific of Space Cadet with pride. Though my New Year’s resolution was to get my head out of the clouds and to start treading solid ground, I know I will always have a penchant to wander off in the landscape of my mind. I don’t know what your mind is like, but would describe mine as wacky and colorful, like the landscape of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

I would rather ease the strain of a long school day by losing myself in my own reveries now and again than go stir-crazy from the sheer weight of reality. I would even go so far as to say that it’s beneficial for people to retreat into themselves once in awhile, that maybe if more people were proud to call themselves Space Cadets we would have a much more tranquil world. Or a much weirder one.

While it may be “healthy” and “socially acceptable” to engage in the real world, I find that too much reality can be almost as detrimental as living exclusively in your own head. After all, it seems that we are living in a time when the universe is heaping warfare, environmental damage and emotional turmoil all on our spindly shoulders. And sometimes the best way to handle such distress is to take a step back, close your eyes and build a world all of your own, one where you are in control and you can create all the problems for other fictional people to solve. Don’t forget your handy dandy notebook to write it all down.