Adventures in Imperfection

I Write Down Wishes So That They Come True

And when you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you achieve it

~~Paulo Coelho from The Alchemist

*****

It’s no secret to the people who live inside my bubble, that I’ve been unsettled all summer. That I’m antsy and tackling bones that won’t rest. On the days that I don’t travel for work, I walk through my flowers in the morning so I can catch the sun’s rays on the petals as well as check for dry soil and droopy leaves. It’s necessary and sets the stage for a productive day.

My evening ritual takes the same route–but it’s a medicinal meander and I use it to meditate and look for a family of owls who join me sometimes. 

My eyes land on bees and butterflies as my heart tries to leap through my rib cage to the huge sycamore overlooking my precious space. 

 

Each evening, thoughts drift to What am I doing? What is my purpose? Why am I here?

 

I was the daydreamer in my family–the weird kid with a penchant for Grimm’s Fairy Tales and wild horses. Someone with a five-on-the-Richter scale fantasy life held back by responsibility and the closed door of a confessional. All curled up on a couch, reading about other people doing all the things I wanted to do: travel the world, save someone’s life, protect the innocent, scribble pretty passages on parchment pages for other people to read.

I’d often be lost in a world of my own, and didn’t require the protection of wool blankets and night lights for me to carry those vivid imaginations into the real world. I knew I’d grow up, and be responsible despite my hankering for the high seas, dragons, and unicorns. I did  go to college, secured a great job, and launched a couple of different careers in healthcare. I had resigned myself to process improvement algorithms and CMS quality metrics.

Then I started to write.

And read.

And I started to have dreams again.

Stirrings.

Passions.

Wishes.

In your childhood, how many times have you heard one of the following?

  • If you tell your wish before you blow out your candles, it won’t come true
  • Don’t get your hopes up
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Think of a vivid dream you’ve had–either now or in your childhood. Remember how it made your skin tingle because it felt so real. How the hair stood up on the back of your neck or perhaps, how you gasped because you could feel yourself falling and trying to wake up.

Maybe you didn’t want to rouse because the dream was so sweet, laced with serenity and clarity. Maybe it was about someone you loved, someone you lost, or that baby sleeping in the room next to you. Perhaps you resisted the flutter of opening eye lids, or like me, would try to go back to sleep to resume the reverie.

How often have you smashed your joy because you thought things were going too well? Didn’t dare to wish for something you feared wouldn’t come true. That the shoe was going to fall off the other foot. 

How many times have you gotten excited about an inspired idea only to have someone you love and respect hack it down with common sense and good intentions? I don’t want you to be disappointed.

What if we were to take a different approach? Stand toe to toe with our wishes and dare them not to come true. Smash the critics, release the dandelion seeds, grab the star, and put the DO in just do it.

Write down wishes so that they can come true.

I’m grateful for my job and the food it puts on the table, but it doesn’t feed my soul like birds and bees and flowers and trees. My heart doesn’t swell with love and awe when I look at a spreadsheet, or hop on an airplane.

On average, I read one or two books/week–devouring words like it’s a last meal. For most of the summer, The Alchemist had been buried under Seven Brief Lessons in Physics and The Atomic Weight of Love. More than once, the burnt orange covered beckoned me to open, but I ignored the siren’s call of pretty parchment and opted for words I thought would be easier to grasp.

The Great Gatsby

Little Women

The Old Man and the Sea

But, Did you Die?

And yet, the book lingered in the spaces between mundane brain fire.  What is an alchemist? Who is the story about? Do I know anybody who has read it? 

I shoved the questions to the side and turned the pages of Thank and Grow Rich and practiced gratitude for thirty days straight. Straight to E-Squared–experiments, revelations, insights from a woman who lives thirty miles from me and travels the world because she willed it to be so. Even then, someone was conspiring to send me a timely message–pre-reads that were a perfect prologue to what came next.

The Alchemist moved from the shelf to the on-deck spot in my reading nook.

Did I move it there? I don’t remember doing so…perhaps the children from Miss Peregrine’s had been playing in the library.

I sit in the library with my husband almost every morning. The birds spray sunflower seeds from the feeders as we watch out the front window and greet the day. He peruses the newspaper while I systematically read the day’s passages from 365 TaoThe Daily Stoic, and Daily Secret. Sometimes, I’ll read a passage out loud, sometimes I’ll snap a picture and text it to a friend who might like the message for that moment. This daily ritual has become more sacred than my yoga practice and more consistent than the walrus-type running that often follows.

For weeks, the parchment orange peeked out from under my iPad. When did I buy this? Why haven’t I read it yet?

Curiosity made me open to the first page–the shepherd boy and his dream made me stay.

I read The Alchemist on two airplane rides–out to Little Rock, AR and then back to Kansas City. I texted my friend midway through, Have you read this? I can’t put it down.

Have you met Fatima? She texted back.  

Her words felt like a promise that somehow I must be on the right path.

Paying attention to omens.

Watching for signs.

Listening to the wind.  Imagining that I could send messages to my loved ones via the Levanter.

Santiago, the crystal merchant, Fatima, the Alchemist and a sycamore tree. My dreams had returned.

The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.

What we put forth, we receive a thousand times over. It’s more than karma, it’s a simple truth and not-so-hidden secret to happiness. We are connected by blood, friendship, experience, tributaries, highways, and faith. The message of love I give to my family is one that reverberates to my neighbors and on down the line.

What you do. What you say. What you think. It all matters. WE all matter.

No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.

This ramble is not only a tribute to Paulo’s words, but a love letter to you and to anyone who has ever shoved aside the naysayers in pursuit of a dream. Even at fifty, I feel the stirrings as strongly as a young shepherd boy who dropped everything he knew, crossed the desert, and ultimately found his  heart’s desire.

Tell me, friend, do you know your heart’s desire? Are you chasing it right now?

 

******

If you’ve read the book, you know why I am so moved. If you haven’t read it, please find me at my Instagram account.

For the entire month of August, I am going to be posting a photographic perspective of Santiago’s story in hopes that you’ll feel as inspired, moved, and full of joy as I was. I’m still searching for my Personal Legend and would love some friends for the journey.

All quotes from β€• Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Find me on Instagram right here!

447 thoughts on “I Write Down Wishes So That They Come True

    1. Oh
      My
      Goodness!
      Sarah Addison-Allen is one of my favorites ❀️❀️ I am speechless. Honored. Wow!
      Which is your favorite book? I can’t choose. If I ever write fiction, that’s who I want to channel.
      Your words are so kind. Thank you from the bottom of my heart ❀️❀️

      Like

      1. My first SAA book to read was Garden Spells, but I really absolutely adored The Sugar Queen. I can hear Sarah Addison Allen in your writing. I would by anything you put on paper (or digitally). Please, please keep writing!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, Wendi! I’ll be over to visit soon. I love both of those books, too and I read them in the same order you did.
        Thanks again for being here! I’m eager to hop over to your site ❀️

        Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s no secret to the people who live inside my bubble, that I’ve been unsettled all summer. That I’m antsy and tackling bones that won’t rest. On the days that I don’t travel for work, I walk through my flowers in the morning so I can catch the sun’s rays on the petals as well as check for dry soil and droopy leaves. It’s necessary and sets the stage for a productive day.

    Your blog somehow reflects the reality of many lives. I liked it the way you have defined the title of your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful photos! This post is everything beautiful and hopeful. The Alchemist is inspiring and I am always reminding myself about my own personal legend and that universe is helping me to achieve it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thank you! I love that you remind yourself about your Personal Legend – it reminds me of an Alchemist quote “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
      Thank you for being here!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words πŸ™‚ I love that you loved reading The Alchemist – books make life so much richer. Thank you again for taking the time to read and comment 😊😊

      Like

  3. Your writing is so beautiful and inspiring. I, at 43, have finally realized that my dreams and passions can become reality and what you have written has touched my soul. You are an inspiration and I appreciate you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My dream is to be a writer and an artist, I am very good at both, but until now I have not made any money doing either. I have been too focused on having a career to support my family. Now my children are grown and having children of their own, and I am ready to follow my dreams. I have been on a wonderful spiritual journey that has made me realize that only I can control my destiny, and I am now ready to change mine. I have started a blog and I am in the process of writing my first book and I am surprised and grateful that my husband has chosen to support me as I take the next steps towards my new journey in life.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I am older as well, and following my dreams in this late stage. All of them. My mother died and it made me realize in a different kind of way, how limited our time is here.

    I hope you’re following your dream. Truly following it, this post was a gift…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello! I am SO sorry! I almost missed your kind comment.
      I’m so sorry to hear about your mother – some of my dearest and most insightful friends have also lost a mom – I can feel the love and gratitude in your words. I am so happy you shared them here. Thank you ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are so welcome. πŸ™‚ Yes, there is nothing like losing your mother + the matriarch in your life. The universe shifts. Much love to your friends.

        And I’m really glad my appreciation communicated, it was my pleasure to share it. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Be well.. xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I think of posts like this as calls to action for ourselves. Only, they’re also out here, so they can inspire us. I feel your stirring. Sometimes nothing makes more sense in this universe; other times, there’s zero clarity, and either way, we try and put words to it.

    Dreams, hope, peace … things that ought never to be given up on. Beautifully said, my friend. So glad I got to read this.

    Like

  7. I absolutely loved this post. I had a similar encounter with The Alchemist. I bought it years ago, sat on my bookshelf, then I finally decided to dive in. I was also very inspired and urged to look deeper into the small stuff.

    Thanks so much for your moving post!

    Liked by 1 person

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