Tuesday, March 16, 2010

This Is How I Want My Life To Go

Very rarely are you afforded the opportunity to truly revisit your past. I was blessed (or cursed; after you read this post, you can decide) to have had just such an opportunity this morning. I was trying, somewhat unsuccessfully, to organize my upstairs office. I kept coming across "mementos" from my past...a letter here, a photo there. Shows you how long it's been since I've really cleaned out my files, huh? Tucked deep inside a manilla folder with various other notes, poems, and short stories was the following missive...written by me, on May 26, 1998. The title of the piece I wrote myself is "This is How I Want My Life To Go." Here it is:

This is how I want my life to go


I want to be a known and well-respected writer of fiction in the novel form
I want to be twenty-nine years old when my first breakthrough occurs; and thirty when my first book is published
I want to make 100,000+ per year, within the first three years after my book is published
I want to publish a second book at thirty-two and an additional book every three to five years after that
I want the words to flow from me as easily and effortlessly as my thoughts do
I want to tap into the emotions of the reader through character-driven stories.
I want people to feel I’ve reached them on a level only their most intimate friends and family do
I want to connect with the reader so they will know my characters as they know themselves
I want at least one of my stories, at some point, to be made into a movie, or have a movie based on it
I want to be focused, committed, and driven to finish my stories


I want an improved relationship with my mom
I want to be closer to my sister and help her through the problems she is dealing with
I want to believe in Jesus as the Son of God, not just as a peaceful teacher
I want the connection of spiritual belief
I want to maintain a healthy, loving relationship of mutual respect with Dave.
I want to marry Dave within the next year and a half
I want to have my first baby when I am thirty-two years old and my second when I am thirty-four
I want to stay at home with the children and raise them to be productive, happy people           
I want to find a unique balance with my writing and my family life
I want to keep Dave inspired and in love with me through the duration of our relationship so he continues to provide the emotional support and affection I need
I want to wake up with a positive frame of mind every day


I want to find a group or organization in which I believe so I can volunteer my time and money
I want to have a circle of close friends with whom both Dave and I blend perfectly
I want those friends to be in approximately similar situation to us; with children close in age, live in the same community, share similar values and believe, and still be different enough as t provide stimulating friendships
I want to be physically fit so I can do the things Dave and I enjoy; bike riding, rollerblading, hiking, etc.
I want to enjoy exercise more so I won’t be bored by some physical activities
I want to read one new book each month, of any type, whether fiction, biographies, or histories
I want to nurture and maintain a close friendship with Maureen, despite the long distance between us
I want to go to cocktail parties and holiday events several times a year, so I can dress up in lovely clothes and see Dave in a tux

Living Conditions

I want to live in a spacious, attractive home with a view of the ocean
I want to live in a community of upwardly mobile young professionals who take a great deal of ride in their homes and families
I want to get to know my neighbors
I want to live in this home by the time I am thirty-one years old
I want to have beautiful furnishing; yet usable and practical
I want to have two fireplaces in my home and a very large yard
I want to entertain in my home, so that friends and family come to thing of my home as the gathering place so special events
I want to be close to a lively, fun restaurant/shopping area


I want to be able to buy virtually anything I want if I need it, so can think of a compelling reason as to why I want it, without worrying about the cost or its effect on the family budget
I want to be able to treat people to dinner and lunch, just because
I want to be able to buy a gift for someone without worrying about having to have a reason
I want to wear better quality clothes and not worry about the price
I want to be able to take the family on vacation every year


I want to buy a newish (two years or newer) car every three years
I want buy Dave the convertible Porsche for his 40th birthday
I want to have my wedding outside in a garden, with just 60 or so guests
I want to honey moon in Europe
I want to go to sleep every night with Dave’s arms around me
I want to be happy

I wrote this essay when I was 29 years old, and all things still seemed possible. I am turning 41 on Saturday; more than a decade has passed since I typed this up. Reading it now, from the distance of 13 years, stirs up  feelings of nostalgia and unease. I'm peering back at myself through time..and seeing myself as I was then. Would the person I was then, if she happened through some magic to meet me now,  be surprised and a bit disapointed that the dreams did not come true...or would she be excited by the things on the list that were checked off...I just don't know. I would like to think she'd like me...and appreciate my efforts, my sincerity.

One thing reading this essay has showed me, though, is that despite the fall of years I'm still fundamentally the same person I was then...a bit of a dreamer, but not unfoundedly so. I'm going to study this missive from my former self. Finding this has been like finding a gift to myself from my past. I've been in dire need of an infusion of passion in my life the last few months. Of hope. This short essay, written by a girl with dreams in her eyes and hope in her heart, may be just what I've been looking for. Happy birthday to me...

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