It’s a usual November evening, or I suppose I should say the dead of night knowing it’s a little before 11pm, and I seem to be the only sign of consciousness in our home. I’ve just finished watching 10 Things I Hate About You for the hundredth time on television, so I’m obviously in a nostalgic mood as I walk to the room I’ve been sleeping in since I was about 9 (with the exception of college). As I’m making my walk, winding down, I’m thinking about how the movie was a perfect end to a rough, long week. I was physically ill, at multiple points was emotionally downcast, and used everything I had left to hide the fact that I was mentally unhinged. Never before had I felt that life was coming at me from every possible angle, kicking me while I was down, taking the mile when it saw an inch, seizing a hell of an opportunity to remind me that not everything is rainbows and unicorns, but instead guns and roses.
Sadly, that last metaphor isn’t exactly just that. This same week there had been a shooting with multiple lost lives and there are fires scattered all across California, causing many to leave their homes behind, some for good. As I have been struggling to keep my own little internal world together, the world around us had been undertaking its own immense trials. While I try to heal myself, I recognize that there is a world in need of healing around me. Though I feel for those who have so recently experienced such great loss, I know that when it comes to doing my part in sending some kind of love, some kind of healing, some kind of change, it does have to start here, with me. That change begins with even the smallest decisions.
Since I had recently fallen ill, I decide it’s probably a good idea for me to go to bed earlier than usual- meaning before midnight, a little something to help my physical facet along in her healing process. As I began my bedtime routine, I decided to take the time to do a little self-care and indulge in a skin-nourishing, soul-nurturing, face mask. Somehow, putting on this mask gave me a surge of energy to be productive, delaying my usual bedtime routine further. It’s incredible how much a person can change on the inside when hiding their face on the out. There I am, reaching for the glass cleaner and a rag while everyone else is asleep in their beds. I end up cleaning the full body mirrors that are my closet doors until they are so spotless, that the stranger with the facemask in the mirror almost looks like I could shake her hand and ask where she picked up the awesome skincare routine. Seeing this extra, crystal clear person standing in front of me in my room was a little too unsettling so I grabbed a dry erase marker and turned my mirror into a full sized (not-so-)whiteboard. Face mask facade still on, I took that marker, went ahead, and charted out all the main points that were coming up in the pending week: work, required “adulting” tasks, and a couple of encouraging notes to help the future-me get through the week, anything to help that girl find herself in a good mental state. But still, something else was missing.
At least 20 minutes had passed, and in my novice experience with facemasks, I was pretty sure I had more than maxed out my time with it. In the bathroom, I shed the mask to reveal my brand new, fresh face, ready to tackle the to-do list laid out on my pristine mirror glass. I walked back to my room and happened to glance at the minuscule digital clock in the upper corner of our security system console on the wall, and I stopped. I squinted to be sure I saw it right – 11:11pm. A time that I read in my head with an automatic subsequent “Make a wish.”
If you’re not familiar with the millennial superstition, the idea is that if one is serendipitous enough to catch the clock at 11:11, you get to make a wish on the numbers that so resemble the wishful candles on a birthday cake. This is honestly a moment that I am rarely lucky enough to catch. I’m not necessarily an incredibly superstitious person, but things like this give me, at the risk of admitting vulnerability during a rough patch, hope. And the way I see it, hope doesn’t hurt- especially now. So I stood there, staring it at it for a second because I felt like it was finally my chance to make my wish. Then I realized- it’s November 11. It is 11/11 at 11:11. Time for a wish, indeed.
I ran to my room, jumped on my bed, closed my eyes, and centered myself- ready to hope, ready to wish. For the life of me, with everything happening and everything that has happened, I couldn’t hear anything but the whirlwind of assorted things that I would wish for if I knew those digital numerical birthday candles would make them come true.
Asking what you wish for, bodes the question of what you want. And for some reason, when done honestly, that can be a terrifying internal conversation.
I had 60 seconds, so I did what I knew how to do and what felt right: I grabbed a pen and paper.
“11/11 @ 11:11”
– to live my own life
– to start that life with the people I love
-to care for myself physically, mentally, and emotionally
-for the transition into my own life not to be harder than it needs to be
-to just get my sh*t together, do some adulting, and start on my own terms
-to be unafraid of doing “something”
-to be unafraid of not doing “nothing”
-to know my passions, to live my passions
-to not care what other people may think
-to nurture my inner world so that I can it to spread it to the world around me
here’s to wishful thinking.
In my head, I’m aware that these aren’t written as “realistic, specific goals”, but in my heart, it doesn’t matter, it’s spoken.
Physical care? Sleeping early- check.
Mental care? Getting organized for the week- check.
Emotional care? Choosing to wish, choosing to hope- check.
With some small decisions, some serendipity, and some wishful thinking, that’s what this evening has brought me.
We’ll see what tomorrow brings me. We’ll see what I bring for the world.
Here’s to wishful thinking.