What I Want

What I want is not to want what isn’t mine” -Tori Amos, “Another Girl’s Paradise”

It’s the end of the marking period. Stuff to grade. Comments to write. Paperwork to be done. And a trip to Buffalo to visit my sisters over the long weekend.

So much to do, and so many thoughts swirling in my head. I’ve been retreating into my journal and teacup these past couple of days, searching for that grounding thread of introspection. Yesterday, feeling stressed and overwhelmed, I listed all the stuff I could think of that I was worried about.

It was a big honkin’ list, yo.

I intended to come back to it today, to tackle the stress-items one by one, deciding which I could do something about and which were out of my control (and hence off-limits for worry). But I didn’t feel like it. This morning, I felt like dreaming. So I made a list of what I want. Not stuff–there’s not any stuff on this list, I realized as I was writing it. Nary an object on this list–not even the non-leaking-into-the-basement shower I’ve been craving. Because the important stuff is not the stuff. It’s the other stuff. If all that stuff makes sense. I’m kind of out of words. This list was long. Even longer than the worry-list. Four times longer, in fact.

I think that’s probably a good thing.

My brain is all fluttery today, skittish as a half-wild kitten. It doesn’t want to settle. Today doesn’t feel like a day for being coherent. It feels like a day for messy vulnerability. So here is my list, for what it’s worth–contents of this writer-human’s brain.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, I highly recommend a little dream-time.

You knew there would be dragons.......
You knew there would be dragons…….
Dear Santa, for Christmas I would like some Barbies that look like actual human women, a flying unicorn, world peace.....
Dear Santa, for Christmas I would like some Barbies that look like actual human women, a flying unicorn, world peace…..
.......and otters, and hedgehogs, and liberty and justice for all, and ALL THE CANDY.
…….and otters, and hedgehogs, and liberty and justice for all, and ALL THE CANDY.


9:11p.m.–p.s.–that was the official end of this post, but I am attaching pics of the complete beast for Barb, because she asked and I like her.

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15 thoughts on “What I Want

  1. Brenna, Have you read a book called How to think like Leonardo Da Vinci by Michael Gelb? This reminded me of a 100 question task he has that can also be quite revealing. Nicky

  2. Making a list of what I want is my go-to therapy when I’m feeling lost or discouraged. And somehow it doesn’t surprise me at all how many of the items on your list we share. One thing I want is to start honoring your request to share and talk about our writing very soon. Also, three things (because my mind seems to be thinking in threes these days): I have always been afraid of flying–ever since I was a tiny baby–but I’m not anymore… the best way to overcome that fear is to learn to fly a plane (it really works, but it helps to date a flight instructor), it makes me ridiculously happy to see Santa Fe on your visit list, and please give my regards to Buffalo, there are people I love there (my family is from Rochester, and I often consider moving back).

    1. Lauren, I would love so much to share and talk writing whenever you’re ready! I also like this idea of learning to fly a plane…..I’ve been to Santa Fe once, long ago, and it is the only major city I’ve ever seen that I think I could happily inhabit. So, so magical. And I will say hello to Buffalo for you!

  3. Miss! Cocktails seems like a hard one. It may not actually be possible to determine the origin of the word (upon quick investigation – there seem to be a million origin stories)…but that’s off the point. Thank you for sharing this, what a good practice for focusing on the good and the motivating to keep moving forward through the muck. Thank you!!!

    1. Let’s make up our own origin story! Ooooooh, I smell a writing prompt……Thanks so much for always reading and responding. You are one of those peeps who really, really keep me going through the dark nights of the writerly soul.

  4. Okay, so I wanted to read ALL the wants and was disappointed that I only got to read some of them – BUT, I did notice that traveling to the Pacific NW was on your list. :O) You have a place to stay if you get here! Also, I absolutely LOVE that you want to learn how to raise one eyebrow. OMG. I think that I will make a list, too. You’ve inspired me, yet again!

    1. Can you not raise one eyebrow either?? Those talented people who can…..man, I will never be able to totally knock envy off my list until I can do this. I would love to visit you! The Pacific NW must be an awesomeness-magnet–I know so many amazing people there. Did I not post all the wants? Okay, I’ma go fix that now. Thanks so much for reading, dear writer-mama-friend!

  5. This is lovely. And makes me want to make a list of my own. That’s not crawling inside a book you wrote, but inspiring others is a great start, I would think. Thanks for not giving up on dreaming. And three cheers for the PNW!

  6. I agree with all your readers here – I loved reading your list if dreams, and it made me see how perhaps I’d forgotten how to let myself just dream and allow all those beautiful wishes to emerge and be captured on paper. So inspiring (and I love your cute dragons . . .)

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