I seemed to be plagued with tremendous wants as of late. I want everyone to buy my book, I want an income as a writer, I want a wardrobe (not a better wardrobe, a wardrobe, period), I want a city apartment, I want emotional fulfillment—which is another post entirely. And since I believe that most emotion is cyclical, I know that my deep wanting period will pass—but here it is—as annoying as mosquitos overhead. Damnit. I hate when this happens.
In Laura Oliver’s memoir and essay class, we were once given the writing prompt of “I want…” Two hundred and fifty words, short, concise, and for me, an incredibly meaningful assignment, one that I took quite seriously considering that this class in itself was a step towards understanding my wants (must add that I took all assignments seriously). Two things of note about this piece: I remember that I may have been the only student to be so specific in my wants. It seemed as if the other wants were more esoteric or ethereal. And this task was maybe 3 or 4 years ago, and interestingly, my wants have changed very little, if at all. I’m perfectly pissed off that I’ve lost the original work, but I have replicated it pretty well below, even though I’m way short of the intended word count. Regardless…”I want…”
I want to live alone in a city apartment with a view, with a balcony or patio big enough to hold large plants. I want my husband and children to come stay with me and I’ll cook holiday dinners for all and it will be wonderful. I want a living room with round wooden tables and beautiful lamps and humble boxes on top, and a bedroom that is perfectly romantic and covered with sumptuous fabrics and a boyfriend who never minds spending the night at my place. I want beautiful dresses to wear when my boyfriend takes me dancing, and we will go dancing a lot. I want to live close to a coffee shop, a drugstore and a grocery store and work park time in a consignment shop, spending the rest of my time writing stories that people love to read. And then, please, and then, let me be free of this incessant wanting.
I understand about working towards your wants, the options, the obstacles, the effort required to make them come to fruition, but I seem to moving at a snails pace, and often I find myself stuffing the wants down, mostly because of self-doubt. But I think that it may be a good thing to have my wants smacking me in the face right now, to motivate, to inspire. Carry on. That’s it, just carry on. MAKE IT WORK, and thank you, Tim Gunn, my mentor, my pasty, white God. Keep your eye on the prize. Will I ever be free of wanting? Probably not. But oh, that fancy bedroom may satisfy me for a very long time.
p.s. Try the “I want…” exercise—a perfect fit for introspective types.
art: Anne Taintor