At five or six years old, our Wish lists are anxiously long, fervently passionate and deliciously uncomplicated. Its no secret: We know exactly what we want; we have dreamt it a million times have tasted it's sweet taste on our tongues and have just almost touched it in everything we do.
At five or six we make sure the whole world is aware and well-informed of our wishes.
We have absolutely no qualms about setting up a campaign in order to get what we want. No mountains too high or rivers too deep. We will shamelessly throw that tantrum, innocently offer that bribe, make public manifestations, outright demands, steep bargains and endless chantings even suffer the occasional spanking to achieve the contents of our Wish list.
Somewhere along the way though, something changes. We learn that wishes should be only made at special occasions, at birthdays and christmas and especially after performing some heroic grown-up act of stoicism.
We learn that we have to deserve what we wish for; be silent about it, hide it, submerge it, deny it, shut up about it, don't be a pain about it, question it, see it for the selfishness it really is, be ashamed of it, ridicule it, castigate it, (strangle the damn thing!) and finally forget about it.
Just blow out your candles and make a wish. Watch a falling star and make a wish. But DON'T!-
Don't breathe a word of it to another living soul. Telling it ensures it will never come to pass.
And thus we learn and grow and even teach....
We learn to swallow our wishes. We learn to hide them from everyone; especially from ourselves. We learn to suppress and be coy and quasi enlightened: Only needy, lowly, pathetic beings have wishes. Everything I need I already have. A true enlightened soul is devoid of all earthly desires..... Plus more of where all that came from.
Needing an escape vent for all this unnatural suppression, we learn instead to heap attention on what we don't want:
I don't want a nagging wife, a lazy husband, a boring job, a nosy neighbour, a cheap wristwatch, a fat butt, an ordinary kid, flappy ears, an overbearing boss, a demanding friendship, high bills, responsibility, nightmare in-laws, the neighbour's cat pooing in my garden, people looking at me too closely, commitment, questions that hit home in senstive areas that i prefer to ignore, being reminded that I'm lost, acknowledging that something sad happened to my magical child.
That my Wish list is lost or has somehow ended up in the shredder.
So today I started a Wish list and discovered that it was infinitely easier at six to make one than at thirtyfour. I discovered too that the fact that my birthday is in two weeks momentarily flashed a greenlight in my mind; a justified permission to pick up the pen. Bah!
Here's my number one wish:
I wish to learn how to make seriously magnificent, shamelessly public and utterly selfish Wish lists again.
Now how is that for a start?