What if only

I make a lot of wishes during an average day. Many are what I consider wasted wishes — I wish for some moron in trafic to get off of my ass, I wish for the ladies’ room to be empty during my brief forays into it, I wish for just one moment in the day in which I shine … and I wish that somebody would witness it, were it to happen.

In these cases, if wishes didn’t come true, then I would suffer little more than mild annoyance and would keep on wishing for the same things the next day.

But, I often wonder whether I should “save up” my wishes for something special that I truly covet. Nothing material, really, is on my wish list — I want our troops to come home, I want an end to homelessness, I want good health for my beloveds and, most importantly and perhaps selfishly, I want some love and luck for myself.

And therein lies the bulk of my wishes — inner peace, outer beauty, someone to hug me when I need it and even when I seem like I’m fighting against it. (Note: After I wrote this, someone told me that I am hard to read. Everyone has told me that my entire life. I’m really not hard to “get,” though — I am emotionless on the surface. And only there. Until, of course, someone asks. Then I can’t fucking stop feeling and my mind can’t stop racing.)

And speaking of making wishes, it’s almost as if they pop into my head unprompted. Today, seemingly out of the bloody blue, I reflexively made a wish after thinking about someone I know rather peripherally. I’d had a vivid yet completely unexpected vision, and it was a pleasant one at that. I found myself immersed in what it would be like if that day would ever come. And I wished for that day. So be it, and so it is. *wiggles nose*

And then, I bludgeoned that thought with the nearest cluestick. Ka-Pow!

I wondered whether that thought were in response to something (or, more likely, nothing) happening in my life and in my heart. Or, maybe, it had been lurking within my subconscious for quite some time and only today did it pop up and ask to be noticed … only for me to sledgehammer it like a pop-up gopher in the game at Chuck E. Cheese.

People constantly tell us to be careful what we wish for. But, what if the dreams we start to have are actually worth having?

Wishing isn’t a bad thing — seeing mental pictures of the life ahead of us and wanting good things for ourselves truly are the first steps toward achieving happiness. When you aspire to nothing, then you get what you paid for, so to speak. I think it was Peter Drucker who said that we all rise to our own level of incompetence — my question, then, is what happens to us after that? Do we resign ourselves to being comfortablein our own mediocrity, or do we envision where we want to go next? And can we get anywhere without some kind of mental roadmap?

To bring this back down to earth, you won’t be surprised to hear that I would rather be alone than wish I were. And, while you can applaud me for having standards, take a moment to ask me what it is that I do want, then. *crickets chirping* Yeah, my point exactly. I used to know what I didn’t want. And that picture has changed a lot over time, bringing less focus but more possibilities — like one of those create-your-own-ending novels I so adored in second grade.

So, when something intrigues me to the point of occurring to me, shouldn’t I at the very least entertain the thought? I cannot tell you how many times I have squelched an otherwise tantalizing thought and refused to consider it because of its impracticality.

But, dream with me for a moment. What if the mental boulder didn’t obstruct the path our minds wanted to take — what if we lived out the fantasies that ripped us straight out of reality? That has to happen for a reason, right? I mean, really — what’s the harm in entertaining the unexplored, especially if it is our razor-sharp minds that are taking us there?

I believe we get too wrapped up in the fear of how we will meet someone’s gaze after that — or we fear what it will be like to greet our (temporarily) mundane or otherwise “broken” existences after having glimpsed a moment of how things could be, if only. But, isn’t there something to be said for not being able to look at someone or something the same way again? We are constantly becoming better versions of ourselves, and why can’t we picture what we will be like? Why can’t we picture who and what should — and will — be around us, and in what capacity?

I think we so often fear reality not measuring up to our fantasies that we choose to put the kibosh on our dreaming the second that it begins. I mean, it hurts when things don’t go exactly as planned — even if we tried not to get too excited about them in the first place, “just in case.” And, we justify it as the intervention of the universe. The smarter and stronger among us write it off — apparently, what we wanted wouldn’t have made us happy, so we didn’t get it. Others pine for the proverbial one that got away, whether it be a person, job or opportunity.

In any event, dreams aren’t so bad to have. Unlike actions, nobody has to know about them and, even better, dreams can be deconstructed and rebuilt if you don’t like the way they turned out or if, as you get older and wiser, you have learned and accomplished enough to allow your dreams to get bigger and more elaborate.

Of course, you do wonder if some fantasies are productive to have and, thus, if you really want to wish for a shot at making them come true. Wishes do come true — I’ve seen it and I will always believe it. But, I guess we all get more than we bargain for, on that front. Maybe we get what we want and a whole lot more. Perhaps it’s just a matter of truly thinking things through so you can decided whether you want is, well, what you want.

What do you want? What are some possible barriers to getting it? What are some struggles you can foresee in making it work for you and in keeping it? Will it be worth the effort? Then make that wish with conviction in your heart. But, what if you dream on it a bit and the wish isn’t really what you wanted? Then free it up for someone else who wants it more. Perhaps if we wished with all of our hearts, then the reality would be just as good as (or even better!) than the seemingly “big” dreams we’d had in the first place.

On iTunes: Liz Phair, “Extraordinary”

3 Responses to What if only

  1. Dave Tepper :

    Really the only two things I want right now are a smooth move to my new place, and love.

  2. Frostbrn :

    Very well said. This one really caught me and made me take a look at my own willingness to dismiss what I used to wish for because it seemed so unattainable. Time to figure out what I really want!

  3. apollonaire :

    I keep dreaming about making love to a professor in my department.

    The fantasy consumes me.
    I can think of tudor england and having sex. I need to go to the store/having sex.

    I don’t know why I’m so drawn into this one…..