Prompt: List 50 Wishes
1. I wish to make friends with like-minded people
2. I wish to retire early
3. I wish to travel to Japan
4. I wish to travel to Italy
5. I wish to travel to Spain
6. I wish to travel to Greece
7. I wish to fall in love again
8. I wish to become more confident
9. I wish to become stronger mentally
10. I wish to become stronger physically
11. I wish to meet Shirley Manson
12. I wish to see Garbage in concert again
13. I wish for a vacation spent at home with no place to go
14. I wish for a secluded cabin in the woods
15. I wish to become an author of several books
16. I wish to own a bookstore or stationary store
17. I wish to have a popular blog
18. I wish for happiness in my life
19. I wish for simplicity in my life
20. I wish for purpose in my life
21. I wish to have complete independence and autonomy
22. I wish to read more books
23. I wish to live without distractions
24. I wish for more energy
25. I wish to meditate frequently
26. I wish to exercise regularly
27. I wish for Ipod speakers that you don’t need to charge
28. I wish for new books about clearing clutter
29. I wish for new books about journal writing
30. I wish for more adventures in my life
31. I wish for less anxiety in everyday life, and more ease with breathing deeply
32. I wish to have more fun in my life
33. I wish for the simplicity of the life I currently lead to continue
34. I wish libraries could be open on Sundays
35. I wish I knew how to cook more healthy meals
36. I wish I was more adventurous and spontaneous
37. I wish to find work that interests me and engages me
38. I wish for as much peace and quiet as I can get
39. I wish for my niece and nephew to live life true to who they are
40. I wish to live without anyone’s influence
41. I wish to continue to make my own decisions without worrying about letting people down
42. I wish to get enough sleep on a regular basis
43. I wish to find a good hair dresser so I no longer need to blow dry and wash my own hair so often.
44. I wish to have the security of a large savings account
45. I wish for a new pair of black jeans that fit well
46. I wish to clear out my home of anything old and/or useless
47. I wish for people to stop trying to tell me what to do or how to be
48. I wish for my parents to find hobbies to bring them joy and help them pass the time
49. I wish to have peace of mind
50. I wish for the courage to say how I really feel, all the time
(Entry below was handwritten on 4/23/15)
Prompt: Writing makes me..
Writing makes me happy, makes me feel like myself, makes me feel that I am leaving a mark on this world- leaving behind a legacy. No one may care after I’m gone. But I still write because it is a must. I have to do it. I don’t have a choice.
I enjoy it so much that I sometimes wish I could call in sick to work to spend the day with my journal, writing books and writing prompts for inspiration. I write when I should be sleeping, like right now. But writing now allows me to sleep better, to unload my mind.
Writing makes me discover what I’m thinking about, obsessing over. Writing seems to give meaning to my life, which at times can feel so small and pointless. Writing makes me feel connected to the energy of the universe- to get the feeling that I do play a role in it and have a right to participate fully in life.
Writing makes me feel heard, as there are so few people in life who actually listen. Writing makes me feel accomplished, whole, connected to who I am and who I was at other stages of my life. Writing is the common thread that has always been there for me throughout my life. I would be lost without it.
Writing makes me relax, helps me breathe more easily, reminds me of who I am, reminds me that I can be creative. Writing allows me to have a deeper awareness, to question things, to work out thoughts or problems, to have epiphanies. Writing makes me feel good about myself, makes me feel that my thoughts matter and have importance.
Writing shows me that my whole mood can change, just by focusing on an activity that gives me pleasure. There are still so many new experiences to be had, lived, written about. There is still all of my life ahead to explore and discover, and I need to learn how to ‘never say never’ because I can’t predict the future.
Writing makes me feel blessed to have a working mind, to have abilities, intellectual interests and stimulations. Written words are beautiful, they are captured energy. Writing is a simple pleasure that reminds me of simpler times when I didn’t have many worries weighing on me.
Writing makes me hopeful, makes me anticipate upcoming adventures, however small and solitary, that I can enjoy describing later in my journal. Writing is something that never gets old or stale. It is always fresh, relevant and exciting. Writing arranges my brain in a way that makes it easier for me to get on with living.
Writing always makes me feel like a fascinating person, exploring her talent.
(Entry below is an excerpt that was handwritten on 11/21/14)
I sometimes wonder, am I just happier and better off on my own? Without anyone making demands of me? Some days I feel I’m too lazy to be in a relationship. I’d rather sleep or rest or read or write or exercise, then get dressed up and go out. Staying in is usually way more fun.
Like tonight. It’s Friday night, and after a rejuvenating nap after work, I got so much done. I sent out a few emails, did a workout, did a meditation, took a shower, put away laundry, washed dishes, had dinner, and now I’m writing.
Sometimes, usually, I want to be writing but then there doesn’t seem to be much to say. I remember when the writing urge used to take me over completely. I let it take over me without worrying that I may be missing out on something. The words that emerged from my own mind were way more interesting than any book I could read or any movie I could watch.
I would not procrastinate on it. I’d simply sit and get to it whenever the feeling struck me, and I was always inspired to write often, and a lot. I went through and completed many journals that way.
I think I’ve come a long way this year. I remember how it feels to be happy on my own again and to have peace of mind. People grow only at their own pace, when they feel ready. This is not something that can be forced by another person- no matter how much that person wants the best for the one they are trying to help.
Maybe my journey through this life requires my being alone in order to learn the things I need to learn- and to do the things I came here to do. Life is a mystery, but I feel that people over-complicate it. People should simply pursue what brings them happiness- even if those things are not the norm: like being solitary, introspective and observant.
I think people beat themselves up way too much over things that can’t be controlled, and torture themselves for not being a certain way that they want to be. It’s good to want to improve oneself, but not at the expense of the true self. A person should never try to go against their primary nature and natural inclinations.
I think if you accept yourself as you are, you can find contentment and peace of mind. You have to be who you are, even as the world and people around you, and family try to make you become the person they see you as.
I need my solitary pursuits and my pursuits of inspiration and spiritual satisfaction. It’s only one life that we get, and we need to let ourselves live in the best way we see fit. Maybe some people are born to make a big impact on the world, to affect it deeply.
And maybe others are here to take in as much as they can, to learn through experiences, to absorb information from others, from books, from creative endeavors, from work and from play.
Everyone plays in their own unique ways. Some play through work, or sports, watching films, writing, dancing, singing, completing little self-created projects, trying experiments in living, volunteering, giving to others, enjoying live music, creating music, journalling, laughing with friends, trying new and thrilling experiences, or simply breaking their routines.
I don’t think there is any wrong way to play as an adult. We are all free to be and do what we want, and we owe it to ourselves to explore those things and ask ourselves honestly: what do we really want?
(Entry below is an excerpt from an entry handwritten on 7/26/14)
It’s Saturday afternoon and it’s raining. So I’m glad I got my errands out of the way. Yesterday I went to a poetry reading for the first time in a long time. It was at a bookstore and was hosted by Afterword magazine. I took 3 free copies of back issues that were being offered, and also showed up hungry so I ate a lot of the cheese and crackers and pepperoni slices they were offering, along with some red wine. They didn’t seem to mind though.
I started chatting with John, the editor-in-chief, and his friend, Pat, also a contributor and part of the staff. We talked about my town and Jersey City, and this Lowe’s theater there that shows many classics like Hitchcock and Carrie and movies like that. I don’t know what John’s day job is, but Pat said he was a train conductor. They were both personable and friendly. And it made me feel comfortable to talk with them.
I told Pat how I used to write a lot of poetry, but haven’t written much lately, so I hoped that I would be inspired by coming to a poetry reading and listening to other people’s words. I told him how that usually works to inspire me and it ‘opens the mind.’ He agreed enthusiastically.
We talked how summer is so busy with friends and family events, and how John hoped people would show up to the reading. They plan to have another reading in October, to celebrate the release of the next issue. John has been publishing Afterword since 2008, which I found impressive.
The reading started late, and I found I was the only female there in attendance, with about 8 guys. Most of them read their work. They were good readers and their poems were interesting. And they even started a ‘collaborative’ poem, in which each person passed around a piece of paper with a poem (a few lines) that John had started, so that everyone could add their own couple of lines. That was fun to do and something I’ve never seen done at a reading before.
The poetry had many of the same themes- loneliness, isolation, heartbreak, some humor, human observation, anger, outrage. All in all, I was glad I attended and was exposed to different perspectives and new images. I was glad for the chance to get out of my own head for a while, and realize that everyone feels fucked-up every now and then. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.
This afternoon, the library was closed so I sat here on my couch and read the 3 issues of Afterword that I brough home from the reading. It was nice to be immersed in poetry again, in the insights of other people. Reading the issues inspired me to write a poem called ‘Adulthood’ – it’s a few pages back before this entry. It’s a fairly OK poem, nothing great but also not terrible. It feels good to be able to write anything at all.
John read our collaborative poem at the end of the reading, and said it would be published in the next issue. When giving the instructions for the collaborative poem, he said to just write ‘whatever is in your head,’ so that’s what I did. I didn’t want to think about it too much and miss out on the poetry that was being read.
John spoke about the importance of creativity, and how the whole point of the evening was to spark the creativity of those who attended. And I think the reading was successful in that mission. He talked about how we all work our day jobs, but when he gets home, he picks up his pen and expresses himself creatively. He said we should all be creative, just for ourselves, just to add interest to our lives, and make them more fun. And he was right.
He said not to worry about writing for money or publication, or fame and fortune, however great those things may be, but just for the joy of it, to be creative just for creativity’s sake. And I found that I could completely agree, and relate. Even though I usually don’t write or create as often as I’d like to, I still long to do it. To listen to myself and rediscover who I am at this stage of my life.
My mother will be retiring at the end of October. Recently, she started thinking about when she started working at her job and remembered that when my sister and I were little, we used to accompany my dad on Friday nights to pick up my mom from work. He had to drive into midtown Manhattan. She worked a night shift so it was too late and dangerous to take a train home.
She mentioned how funny it is that my sister and I were so little back then and she’s been at her company so long that now we have grown up and are professionals, working our own jobs.
It’s amazing to see how time passes and things change over the years. I started remembering and looking back at those nights we would go to pick her up from work.
It was exciting for us, we would get take-out on Friday nights and then leave a few hours later to ride into the city. It was always adventurous and interesting for our young minds. I always liked looking at the tall buildings and the lights on the bridges. I had nothing on my mind mostly, except maybe the song on the radio.
And things are so funny when you are a kid. I remember waiting in the lobby of my mom’s building one night. We had gotten there a little earlier or something and my sister and I decided to get out of the car and play in the lobby.
We had these little bouncing rubber balls that we would skip along the floor and across to reach the other wall on the far side of the lobby. The lobby was huge and empty. A perfect play area for two little girls.
The sounds of the rubber balls bouncing off the walls and across the floors would echo loudly through the building and we would giggle and then laugh again at ourselves because our laughter would echo even louder through the lobby.
We kept trying to play but be quiet at the same time. And this was totally amusing to us. We were simply being kids, enjoying ourselves, laughing and having a great time. Just because we could, just because we were alive.
It was an unexpected moment to remember and kind of relive just from my mother recalling us picking her up from work as little girls. And now she is retiring soon and we are in our 30s and my sister has a family of her own.
I’m grateful for happy, joyful memories of a carefree childhood. Those are the things people relive with their own kids and anyone who spends time with kids. A child’s thoughts are so simple and refreshing. They have no worries or real concerns. They live just for right now.
“Age is just a number,” says the well-worn adage. But is it a number you care about, or one you tend (or try) to ignore?
I tend to ignore my age. I wrote about this in my journal a few weeks ago, a few days after I turned 35. I don’t feel my age or look it. Someone I spoke to recently said she would’ve guessed I was 28, so that’s what I jokingly say my age is.
I don’t think anyone can be defined by the amount of years they’ve spent on earth. I think age and feeling one’s age has more to do with experiences, risks taken, lessons learned and wisdom gained.
I sometimes feel really young, like I’m still 18 or 19 and then there are those days when I feel way older. It’s like a mood thing. When I’m caring well for myself, I feel young and energetic.
When I’m eating the right foods, meditating regularly and exercising, that leads to a whole other perspective. A healthier and happier one. But it’s not always easy to remember to do. I let myself be motivated by how I will feel afterwards. I think how awful it feels after you eat something unhealthy, or forget to meditate or exercise for a long while. And also, when I fail to write.
Writing is something I’ve done consistently since I was about 9 or 10. I started writing poems and stories, then keeping journals. I feel alive and like a younger version of me when I write, especially by hand.
It’s an immediate connection to my identity. I’ve written a lot more lately in my physical journal and thought about posting some of those entries here, but there is some writing that you just feel you have to keep to yourself sometimes.
I still fear getting older, but I try to think of aging as becoming the best version of myself with each birthday that comes. If I’m still here, it means there is something for me to learn in this life, and I look forward to finding out what it is. I look forward to fully realizing myself.
There’s something about turning 35 that makes me want to stop putting up with nonsense, with the bullshit that should be ignored, and just be who I am without apologies. If not now, then when?
Any age is a good age to realize that there is no one else to please, only yourself.
You’re at the airport, your flight is delayed for six more hours, and none of your electronic devices is working. How do you pass the time?
I would hopefully have a physical journal with me, so I could spend the time writing. Airports are not exactly comfortable places for sleeping and there would be little else to do, except maybe people watch.
This sounds like a nightmare for me, since I am such an impatient person. I think I would spend lots of time pacing around, then sitting to meditate. Then finally to write.
I would hope my journal was empty, and I’d have a good number of pens. Trying to write for six hours straight would probably be tough, but I would attempt it.
I would write letters to everyone in my life, and everyone no longer in my life who still resonates in my heart. I’d let out everything I’ve ever wanted to say to everyone I’ve ever known.
I’d probably also write a list of all my favorite possessions, and see if I can get it to be under 100 things. I do this now from time to time, when I let things go and new things come in to my life, so I make sure I’m not stuck in a constant avalanche of new things without discarding some of the old.
Our tastes and lives and bodies and minds are constantly changing. My miserable times usually come from trying to hold on to someone I used to be in the past.
It’s wiser and better to stay in the present, and look towards the future, and realize that the future can be molded by decisions made today. I wish I had my priorities in better order back in college. If I could go back to that time, knowing what I know now, my life would be totally different. I’m getting away from the idea of this prompt. But I think I would write about all this for six hours if I had no other distractions.
I would map out my whole life, decide which decisions I would like to undo and leave behind buried in the past, and plot a course for the future. I never really thought about myself at this age (I am now) when I was younger. I figured the most fun to be had would be in my 20s. But life is what you make of it, and how much you decide to explore it, and explore yourself.
I think it would be lovely to have six free hours to meditate, then write, then meditate some more. Maybe sleep, if I could find a comfortable place. I would write about my dreams, my hopes, my fantasies, my regrets, my wishes.
I would write down my prayers. I would try to recall everything that I’ve ever read that gave me some inspiration or insight. I would probably end up with a fine, completed work. A sort of autobiography.
I guess this is the type of thing writers seek out when they mention dreaming of a secluded cabin in the woods. Every writer’s dream is long stretches of time and days of peace and quiet, disconnected from the world, left alone with his/her own thoughts.
Recording the words of that inner voice is the most pleasurable thing to a writer. It gets us to a euphoric state that we want to constantly return to again and again.
Write for the joy of it. Write off the top of your head, write everything streaming through your consciousness. Write without stopping to think or revise. Write because you are compelled to. Write to make the silence eloquent (I think Anais Nin wrote that).
Write to discover what your thinking, what feelings are flowing through you. Write to empty your mind of clutter so you can have clarity, make way for creativity. Write about anything, write about love, write about rain, write about your parents, your friends, your day, a dream, a wish, something good that happened today. Write about something that confuses you, you may be able to shed some light on it.
Don’t put pressure on yourself when you write, write for pleasure if writing is pleasing to you. Sing to yourself in your writing. Give expression to your soul and deepest self. Be exposed, be real and uninhibited in your writing. Imagine your writing has magic in it, feel the energy of it and the release it brings. Let it make you joyful.
Write to give yourself wings, to journey into your imagination, to explore you own personal world, to create your own world. Create characters, stories, poems, essays, rants, long meandering journal entries. Don’t over-analyze or wonder where you will use or publish a piece of writing, just answer the calling. Make writing your best friend.
The journal is the best listener, welcoming you, accepting you, flaws and all. Fall into it and retreat from the noise of the world. Listen more closely to your own voice for a change, pay attention to your wishes and desires and write them down. Recount your day or fantasize about the day you wish you had. Make a plan to create the rest of your life.
Realize the present moment when you’re writing. Write after meditation. Read a novel, then write your thoughts/reaction/impressions. Write a review of the book you’re reading. Listen to your own words, listen to the feelings flowing through you, explore what they mean, give them a voice. Leave an impression on this world.
Prompt: What bores you?
I am bored by celebrity gossip, by shallow people who have nothing insightful to say. I’m bored by politics, by work when there is little work to do. I’m bored by most television. I’m bored when watching a parade.
I’m bored and disturbed by watching news. I’m bored by remaining stagnant. I’m bored by the same old routine, never venturing out to try new things, see new things, or meet new people.
I’m bored when I have the same old thoughts every day, when I don’t challenge myself to think differently, to act differently, to be more authentically me.
I’m bored in the winter time, when it’s too cold to go out and explore. I’m bored when I’m not reading an interesting book, I’m bored when I can’t think of anything to write about. I’m bored most of the time when grocery shopping.
I’m bored if I ever have to look at Facebook. I’m bored when I look at people and everyone I see is looking down at a phone or an Ipod in their hand. I’m bored when I listen to pop music by the artists on the radio today.
I’m bored by small talk about the weather when I go into the office. But what else is there to talk about with people who you don’t know well? I’m bored with regular nail polish colors, preferring to wear grey or green or blue shades.
I’m bored with long, brown hair and sometimes wish my hair was straight and violet colored. I’m bored with other people taking selfies, thinking that anyone really cares where they are or what they’re doing.
I’m bored when I’m not learning any new information. I’m bored when sitting in a cubicle, in offices that are too brightly lit. I get bored when every day is the same, when I play it too safe, when I forget to live my one and only life.
(Entry below is an excerpt from an entry that was handwritten on 4/26/14)
Prompt: Describe a memory or encounter in which you considered your faith, religion, spirituality or lack of- for the first time.
This was not the first instance when I considered my faith or spirituality, but I remember really being struck by something that was said at my grandfather’s wake. The priest said to all that were gathered, “You should ask yourself, how sincere are you when you say your prayers? Or, how sincerely do you pray?”
And I realized that a lot of the time, I just pray by reciting the words mentally that I have memorized. I don’t say them with feeling. It’s as if I just think reciting them is enough, that it will create change somehow.
I don’t really put sufficient faith or heart behind the words when I pray. I would do it in almost a sense of obligation, not because I believed prayers would make any difference at all. Sometimes I still pray that way, without really considering the words I’m saying, only what I’m praying for.
I think the greatest and most sincere way that I pray is through gratitude, thinking and saying ‘thank you’ when I feel grateful for ordinary things. I enjoy and savor the feeling of gratitude.
I’m grateful that my senses let me experience the world, that my body works properly and I am able-bodied, that I can take steps to become more physically fit.
I feel grateful that I know where my next meal is coming from, that I have enough money to cover my expenses. I feel grateful for my family members, for my free time, for the beautiful jewelry that I own, for hot water when I bathe and shower, and for my comfortable bed.
I’m grateful for my mind, my experience, my education, and my earning power. I’m grateful that people love me, that I’ve never had to go hungry, that I can choose what I eat. I’m grateful that my parents were always so selfless and loving towards me.
I’m grateful to have extra money to buy people gifts. I’m grateful that each new day is a chance for change to happen. I’m grateful for abundance, for the renewal of spring, for the ability to change my environment, for the ability to dream and imagine.
And I’m grateful that I can write, and express myself in a way that feels most natural to me. I’m grateful for simple choices, a low amount of stress, for sleep. I’m grateful for good, absorbing books.