Two of the strongest influences in my life, upon my character, have always been Fantasy and Love. Always inspiring, as well as defining, my powerful imagination, but never quite touching my experiences, I guess I might say I was fascinated by them.
‘Wouldn't it be so great if fairies existed?' I remember thinking as a child. And I positively adored those novels which insisted that their fantastic plots were real life events and had a truly convincing nature, produced by that thrilling style of an excellent author. Even when I was surely too old for fairytales, a small voice in the back of my mind encouraged me to keep the spirit of my youth alive by indulging in the occasional game of pretending that magical creatures were part of reality.
And romance... I would be a traitor to myself to deny the impact romance had on me.
I used to be extremely prone to saying "Aww" when seeing or hearing something related to love. I used to get excited by the thought of the ‘suggestive look' which inevitably preceded a kiss - but that faded as the word suggestive came to possess another dimension to its meaning which was much more dominant than my innocent conceptions. The naïvety of the young, eh? ...
My longing for love was a massive feature of my teenage years. That longing to be held, to be kissed and be cared about more intensely and passionately than one's standard rocks of support. I also suspect there was a certain aspect of possession to romance that was attractive, mingled in with my innocent desire for a person I could share elements of the world with: a desire that is very much still a part of me.
Mostly, the real world, seemingly lacking the two concepts so greatly important to me, is a disappointment.
But, being a fabulously optimistic person, I am absolutely certain that I will at least achieve perfect happiness before my life is over.
(I doubt I will ever find Fantasy but I shall cherish that pretty blossom tree in my mind forever.)