When I think about the future it’s always the start of autumn. I'm inside my house, but I can't get enough of being outside in the crisp air and crunchy leaves.
I keep the windows open so I can wear a jumper for the first time in what feels like forever. The windows are aplenty. They run through the house, bordered with a deep, dark wood. They’re always open wide, with curtains and blinds brought to the sides so the house fills with as much natural light as possible.
My imaginary future doesn’t have a specific location, but the autumn colours surrounding it are striking. The rest of the house is a bit blurry, apart from one room.
There’s a giant computer surrounded with books, notebooks, magazines and pens. Post-it notes decorate the edge of the computer, with illegible scribbles and curls at the corners. The desk chair is jet black and shiny, and looms over the desk with an authority that steals the room's focus.
When I picture myself there, I experience what can only be described as an unsettled feeling. My imaginary home is well-loved, but I sense that a lot goes on outside of it. Perhaps I travel the country and lead an exciting life – my mind hasn’t dared to go that far.
It’s a comfortable, calm and still Sunday afternoon, and the ability to cook has miraculously found me. The smell of freshly baked pain au chocolat makes its way up the stairs and into the office, where I’m curled up on a second chair, whose job is to relax me, facing the window.
There are reminders all around me of all of the people in the world who love me. My most treasured presents from my parents stand on the windowsill, intertwined with such closeness that might make them uncomfortable if either of them were to see it.
I’ll have my favourite notebooks stacked up neatly, including my favourite, burgundy notebook that I write down the best things I’ve ever read. By now it’s almost half full – I’m very selective of what goes in there but I will have read thousands of books.
The windows are wide and distracting. Outside there’s rolling fields, and it pleases me to witness the gradual shift to shades of browns, reds, oranges and yellows. When the window is open I hear owners call their dogs who have gotten lost in the long grass. When the window is shut I only hear the flickering of the candle on my desk.
When I imagine the future, it feels like a dream. I’m not in control of what it looks like, and some things need explaining. And just like a dream, I can almost believe I’m really there. I feel content, edging on sleepy, slightly peckish – just as the future me would be feeling in that moment. The best thing about my image of the future is that I’ve stopped obsessively picturing my future.