I heard this saying a lot when I was growing up, in passing, and from my own mother. Everytime I would utter the words "I wish", or hear someone else utter them, there was always someone waiting in the wings, ready to follow up with (insert sing-song phrase). It was foreboding. The thought of it scared me back then,and it terrifies me now. Because now I’m an adult. I’m not wishing for a teddy bear or a hula hoop or to be asked to a dance. This is real life honey. The stakes are higher.
When I think about the things I’ve wished for over the past few years I smile. Many of them did not come true, and not only did they not come true but they hardly stood a chance to begin with. And if they would have come true, oh if they came true, how unhappy I would have been. When you make a wish and it is to get something back, to make someone stay, or you are bartering in some way….what are you really doing? You are desperately trying to reverse the change in circumstances that has left you reeling. You are clinging to hope that there is repair, that you can go back to the way things were and not have to feel the hurt that was left in it’s place….change can be terrifying. But the thing is whether we like it, agree, resist, or disagree, change is going to continue on it’s dirty little journey. We have no say in the matter. And it usually knows what it’s doing.
Funny thing about these wishes….they are usually incomplete. We ask for a ‘piece’. Please let ‘this’ happen. Well, well, well that was naive wasn’t it because guess what Lucky…that one little piece …. it’s only a small part of the whole package….and usually comes with a price. What did you do to get it? What did you give up, what boundary did you cross, what sneaking suspicion or little voice in your head did you ignore that was warning you it was too good to be true? Your wish comes true, you are over the moon, you can’t believe your luck. Is this really happening? You enjoy every single second of that granted wish, rolling around in your own good fortune…until it happens. Something feels wrong. The key players are there, but the scene is wrong. This doesn’t quite look the way you expected it to…something is missing in this fairy tale. Something is missing.
Oh….(head shake) you didn’t elaborate. You asked for the piece…you got the piece. And there it is….Be Careful What You Wish For. Because who is thinking clearly enough in the moment they make that wish to wish for all of the other things that have to fall into place to keep that wish alive? Who has time to sit down and write out the map of their life? The direction they want to go and the exact path they have to take to reach this ‘perfect’ outcome they have been imagining. We don’t have these skills in moments of desperation…..and that is why we do the easy thing….and wish.
I think I am going to stop wishing now. I’ve fucked up a few too many. But I have faith in the Universe because she brings change…and with change happening all around us we don’t have to wish. Wait it out, be brave in the face of loneliness and pain and fear, trust that in time, change will bring you exactly what you need…what is best for you (because we rarely know ourselves). Don’t try to predict it, and whatever you do please don’t try to imagine what it will look like. A friend just said to me "It’s funny, if we want to see something a certain way we will, and we can refuse to see what we don’t want to." We have to stop trying to manipulate our journeys.
Tonight I thank my last wish for coming true, the Universe for the wisdom to see the flaw, and change for helping me journey through.