I made this list just after New Years in 2006. I was in Paris at the time and being 29, I felt like it was time to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. What better way than to make a list?

Some things have been checked off, some not yet. Some have evolved, some I no longer have an interest in doing. That’s okay. It’s not written in stone. If I decide I’d like to do something and then later decide I don’t, I’m really okay with that. I know that sometimes I lock myself into a reality and regardless of how little interest I have in creating that reality I’ll stick with it, convinced that if I bail it’s a weakness. A lack of ethics, of ability to commit.

I know I have an inability to commit. I’ll give myself hell about it all day long. I’m now almost 37 and while some lovely things on this list have been seen to, there is still way more I’d like to do than not. But I’m not going to spend time beating myself up for the things I haven’t done yet. That takes away from the things I have. It’s difficult to not think of myself in terms of what I’ve done or what I was and try to carve a new path out of lands uncharted. The ease of falling back into something I’ve done before, because I know how. That phrase, you’ve always got (insert whatever here) to fall back on suggests the potential inevitability of failure. It’s not very positive. I know that every new thing that is tried, might not always work out exactly as I’d hoped or envisioned, but I think trying can sometimes be more important that succeeding.

I’m in Victoria right now, not sure for how long. My brain is doing that thing it does when it panics. It’s recommending school. It’s suggesting that I should enroll and take the inboard/outboard course up the island in Nanaimo come september. It’s only 9 months my brain says. And then you can be a marine mechanic! Light duty, get jobs with whatever small outfits dotted around the zone. Inland on the larger lakes. I bet they have boats in other places too! The whole world is open to you if you can start with this one thing. Brain has the ability to make things sound really good and be right about the possibilities. And they are endless. Of course, as soon as school is mentioned, other parts of brain start making uncomfortable noises. Saying things like “remember last time you tried to go to school? And the time before? And the 3 before that? How many enrollment deposits are you going to lose before you understand that it’s just not for us?”
Which makes me rebel. I can do what I want! I can go to school if I want! I can find a way to go to school in nanaimo while living somewhere that would keep me and the little black alien dog who hangs out with me sane.

Is this my pattern? A forever of starts, a never of finishes? I recognize the pattern. it’s consistent enough that I have to at this point. Is it merely a matter of giving myself permission to…
I don’t know which it is. Maybe both. Permission to be upstanding and go to school because I’ve found something that interests me, that engages me, that makes sense. Permission to cast off all delusions about needing to have something to fall back on in order to sanely move forward and just leaping facefirst off that cliff in the hope or knowledge that I’ll land in something as soft as pie. I do make the best pie, it’s not a bad bet most days.

The List!

I want a fire hula hoop
I want to spin fire and delight in my skill
I want to work in a bookstore that has lots of comfy chairs and likely a cat
I want to write stories that make people chuckle and grin and cry and laugh and think and blush
I want to go to Spain with Janice
I want to work in a circus that doesn’t make me feel strange and slightly uncomfortable
I want to fall in love. No wait, I do that every day. I want to be wooed
I want to watch my friends grow
I want to live someplace where I can watch flowers grow
I want to learn to sew and make supercool clothes that are comfortable and perfect for acrobatics and performing in
I want to sing in a band that plays music I feel passionate about
I want to dance barefoot on a beach in thailand
I want to dance barefoot on a beach in mexico
I want to see what it looks like above the canopy of an amazon rainforest
I want to teach children english
I want to learn spanish
I want to learn Italian
I want to try foods I wouldn’t have thought to and like them
I want to snowboard in the alps
I want to surf many places a wetsuit is not needed
I want to eat a banana I’ve picked off a tree
I want to eat an orange I’ve picked off a tree
I want to eat an avocado I’ve picked off a tree, cut it in half and pour lime juice on it from the lime I just picked off a tree and eat it barefoot
I want to see and swim in an ocean that is an incredible shade of blue because it’s so warm.
Same as above, substitute blue for green
I want tattoos on my hips, my feet, my back and shoulders
I want the aforementioned tattoos to be acquired on different continents
I want a home
I want a room of my own
I want to live and associate with like minded individuals who can maintain communal living and sharing without descending into petty or flaky temperament and losing that lovely edge that goes with sharp wit and fine tuned balance of humour, generosity and a desire to learn
I want to live with cats and dogs and goats and ducks and bees and hummingbirds and butterflies
I want to sit on the porch and have a smoke now and again without feeling dependent or stigmatized
I want the freedom to spend a whole day in a tree if I choose
I want to build tree forts
I want to have picnics
I want to have dangerous tea parties without casualties
I want to celebrate without being intoxicated
I want to take naps in sunbeams
I want to grow old willingly
I want to enjoy myself
I want wrinkles that suit me because I spent so much time laughing and earning them
I want to learn to drive a motorcycle
I want to stand up straight
I want long, healthy red hair
I want to walk more than 3 steps on my hands
I want to do 10 pushups in one try
I want to do a chinup from dead hang
I want to be flexible in body and mind
I want to go skinny dipping in the moonlight. When I`m 80
I want a flower garden just for colours and scents. Pure aesthetics
I want a herb garden right outside the kitchen window so I can spice the soup easily when it`s my turn to make soup
I want to fly kites
I want to watch the sunrise where it happens first
I want to learn to sail
I want to go sailing on a sailboat until I can’t see land and then go swimming
I want to build amazing rope swings
I want to swing those amazing rope swings
I want to bathe in a warm waterfall
I want to remember to send birthday cards on people’s birthdays
I want to be an old woman
I want the right to make an ass of myself, whenever I choose
I want grandchildren, whether mine or someone elses’ doesn’t matter
I want to make cookies for grandchildren when I’m old and kooky
I don’t know if I want to have babies, I imagine that’ll work itself out
I want to live somewhere my bed is a hammock
I want to learn as much as I can
I want to teach as much as I can
I want to work in a movie theatre
I want to be a graduate of the jack kerouac school of disembodied poetics
I want to practice yoga enough that my body thinks I’m awesome
I want to be financially comfortable
I want to encounter miracles everywhere, not just at the corner of 18th and Fairfax, though that’s not a bad place to start
I want a Perello to teach me how to make paella
I want to dance as much as I can can
I want to laugh for all the right reasons
I want to make puppets and put on puppet shows
I want to make dairyfree cheesecake without soy
I want to see the Taj Mahal
I want to see Taj Mahal in concert
I want to walk the giant’s causeway
I want to ride sideways on the back of a vespa being driven by a lovely man wearing a shirt as white as his teeth, pants as dark as his eyes, a smile as infectious as mine and a longing for joy that overwhelms his machismo
I want to drink an irishman under the table in my grandfather’s home town
I want to make films, not movies
I want to scuba dive around the great barrier reef
I want to see ayers rock over an entire day
I want to play a didgeridoo that was actually hollowed out by termites
I want to ride a horse in Mongolia
I want to ride a yak in Tibet
I want to ride a manta ray in the ocean
I want to swim with dolphins because they want to, not because they have to
I want to read don quixote and cheer out loud
Same as above, many other books
I want to see the mona lisa
I want to climb the eiffel tower
I want to drive from alaska to argentina
I want to weave gardenias in my hair
I want to dance the tango, everywhere
I want to see the haida gwaii
I want to go dancing in Reykjavik
I want to go to montreal
I want to go to egypt and make friends with a camel
I want to see the east coast of canada
I want to see a black lion who lives in the ngorongoro crater
I want to take a bath with an elephant
I want healthy teeth
I want to hang out in a banyan tree with my sister, again
I want to play piano more often
I want to be kissed like I was on new years 2005 as often as humanly possible
I want to make love, lusciously and langorously whether it’s with food, music, dancing or crazy naked romping in a field in midsummer
I want to stretch my mind as well as my body every day
I want to feel inspired and stimulated and joyful and passionate and alive
I want to be satisfied with who I am and comfy in my skin
I want to have a wonderful time, wherever I am, whoever I’m with