Do you remember the first time you visited the city or at least, the first time you laid your eyes on a much-anticipated monument? How about your first Hamburger or the first time you set through all five acts of an opera?
I love first timers. The anticipation sparks our creativity. It allows us to combine our knowledge, to dream big, to personalize the experience we are about to have. The first timer is associated with.
- What we have so far seen & heard, therefore the seemingly known
- A chaotic bundle of Dreamy Add-Ons, therefore the unknown
Anticipation is made up of these two components and their weights differ according to your personality, your experience, your interests, your access to information.
Even though I am German and largely enjoy researching & planning, I believe that my dreamy head-in-the-clouds character often outweighs my pragmatic self. When I therefore, anticipated how it would be to see the Guggenheim the first time, I had a completely different picture in mind. My admiration for art & architecture prompted me to imagine the building as a huge, radiant white shrine. The reason I did and still have a lot of respect for art & architecture is because of my dad. Ever since I was little we were surrounded by art and ever since I can remember he would show us pieces in auction catalogs. On the other side, he was also the one who sparked my interest in architecture. If a real estate investment needed reconstruction, he would proudly present the new floor plans and take me with him to the construction site. Since then, I have rarely, if ever, seen so much creative genius in an otherwise largely pragmatic businessman.
Going back to how much I actually know and much my imagination influences my first timers. I therefore, believe that I fall somewhere in-between the 30/70 range. I love researching the monument I am about the visit, but what I love much more is falling for a certain image, glorifying the experience, rendering it ideal in my eyes.
But even though it seems like a perfectly harmless and romantic idea, it is not the best approach at times. The size and aura of the Guggenheim building therefore, disappointed and forced me back into reality. It is almost like reading a good book and watching the movie afterward. If you allow your dreamy add-ons to take over, you cannot guarantee you will enjoy the experience as much as if you would have only relied on facts.
Still, I believe that imagination is key to anticipation. Even though it is often short lived and even though many regret it afterward, I don’t think it deserves to be credited with so much negativity.
Because what does it allow us to do after all? It allows us to embrace innovative thinking and if our imagination differs to the original, it may even prompt us to create ourselves.