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Birth Week Day 3: Dream List

1 July 2009

Beautiful June night, just listening to ADELE and writing on my back porch. Pineapple Whip and The Wire is in my future. It doesn’t get much better.

A new tiny neighbor cat is being super friendly with me, and Jenksie is consumed with jealous rage. She glares at me from within the apartment, wide-eyed with ears back. I can’t resist the new affections, though.

So tonight’s topic is a fun one. At MSA in PSD every year (wow acronyms. Missouri Scholars Academy. Personal and Social Dynamics class.), we do a Dream List with the kids, which is exactly what it sounds like. Taking a few minutes to think about nothing else but dreams and goals, both practical and outlandish. Such a great thing to do at 16 years old, right? And still good to do ten years later.

I remembered doing one sometime this winter, and I found it in my journal. I wrote it, go figure, six months ago today on New Year’s Day.
Dang. Time flies.
Thing is, I know that fall and winter weren’t the most fun months of my life. Gross understatement. But reading my journal makes me certain. Yeeesh.
This is a rare happy passage to revisit though, and it’s good enough that I don’t really feel the need to do a new list. So here goes.

January 1, 2009: the mid-MSA-year non-MSA DREAM LIST: (in no particular order, of course)

    Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Times Square
    be interviewed by Terry Gross
    participate in a large, public dance number
    be on Jeopardy
    slow dance to When A Man Loves A Woman, in a spotlight on a gym floor
    own a huge personal library
    play piano well
    keep in touch with, and frequently see, faraway friends
    possess John Leonard sized vocabulary and allusion base
    have a tearful reunion at an airport
    be onstage at SNL
    meet and befriend Tina Fey
    contribute to This American Life
    be a part of important change
    learn another language
    publish a much-loved children’s book
    create catch-phrases that become part of the lexicon (Forrest Gump-like)
    Go to London, Portland/Seattle, New Zealand, Africa
    meet Oprah and be a Book Club author
    become a confident cook
    travel and write
    make enough money to be able to give a shit-ton away
    win a Kennedy Center Honor
    Act, be funny, be part of a talented ensemble
    surround myself with brilliant souls who have generous spirits
    surprise myself
    live abroad
    live in a big city
    work for Hallmark
    own a well-designed comfy home and entertain there
    get “discovered”
    find love throughout life
    make a difference for mental illness
    live a life that fulfills my quirky interests, curiosity, desire to help lonely people, creative urges, and desire to learn and grow.

So see, I don’t want all that much, right?!
I’d say this is enough stuff to keep me busy for at least another ten years. You know what would be really funny is finding my list from MSA 2000. I’m sure I have it in some shoe-box of nostalgia at my parents’ house. I know a few things I’d be surprised to learn were true:
New York, India, Italy, Vietnam
running a marathon
been in a movie
perform improv every weekend
shoot, kissed a BOY (that’s right, 16 year old me. more than one.)

This whole process may seem a little silly, but it’s so fun to do, and also valuable. After all, think South Pacific: If you don’t talk happy, and you never have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?
(another item for the list: find a purpose for all the useless showtune lyrics in my head…)

Now make your own! Bonus points for commenting with your list!!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jim Meyer permalink
    2 July 2009 8:38 am

    Dream it up, Sarah J! Reading your list helps me realize that my list is becoming much too pedestrian. Perhaps i need to do more tincan brainstorming =).

  2. Yve Yve permalink
    2 July 2009 9:11 am

    I read posts like your last few (Ted forwarded this one re MSA to us MSA people), and I feel, I must say, a tad inferior. I don’t know who John Leanard IS! I do love This American Life, and there are both things you do and you mention in your dream list that I do/want to do, and things that I don’t do/want to do. But if I blogged, it would have more uncertainty, more criticism and negativity (although not all), less well-roundedness. And yet, at the same time, I love my life. I love everything I do – I just don’t have enough of me to do all the things I want to do. I have often advised others that radical change is possible, and that sometimes it is good to shake things up in your life. I feel like I need radical change, yet I am hesitant to make radical change for the first time in my life. Perhaps it is getting older, perhaps it is adopting kids, perhaps it is the economy… But reading your blog, it makes me yearn for quiet joy. The kind of feeling I get when I’m reading a book that I absolutely love – and eating Love Hearts or Fizzers. I love quiet joy. It’s been too long since I’ve felt it. I have happiness, all is well; but I’ve been thinking lately that perhaps it is time again for radical change that provides me with quiet joy. Hmmm…

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