“Why Bother to Wish it Then?”

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“Well, wasn’t that what you wanted? I thought you wished to see the ocean.”

“I did.” said Jane, looking very surprised. “But I never imagined the wish would come true.”

“Well, great oceans! Why bother to wish it then?”

This quote from P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins has always made me catch my breath and stop dead in my tracks. I had it hung on a quotes wall in my school computer lab last year for all of the students to read. I could write article after article about all of those quotes–the books, music, or movies they’re from, the authors who wrote them, and how they’ve helped shape my character. For the sake of time, however, and because I was out shenanigizing until dawn this morning, let’s stick with the Poppins quote.

I’m pretty sure I’m a self-sabotager. (is that a word?)

“Let me explain. No. It is too much. Let me sum up.”

I’ve never had any shortage of dreams, goals, and aspirations, and yet somehow they all seemed like the proverbial desert mirage–unobtainable, feathery figments of my mind. I’d desperately desire to be and do the things I claimed were my dreams, but never actualized any scenario where I would see those dreams lived out.

I would cite varying reasons why I could never accomplish such and such, or I’d do just enough to make it look like I had given my best shot at it; all the while knowing that I had zero intentions of actually being or doing the thing I wanted to do.

Am I alone in this? Does anyone else keep themselves at bay?

I’m sure there are a zillion psychological insights which could tell me why I do this, but I’m guessing fear and control are the primary motivators. You know, like breaking up with your boyfriend because you’re certain he’s going to break up with you, or knowing you’re going to fail so you quit before you fall on your ass in front if a crowd. That type of thing.

This past year, though, has smacked that silly shit right out of me.

Maybe I’m having some type of aging crisis. Admittedly, I have blogged and facebooked about turning thirty-five more than anyone should be allowed to do.

Maybe I’ve just now accepted that my untapped potential is worth a go.

Maybe I’ve finally decided that I am special enough to have special things happen to me.

Maybe it was that Ashton Kutcher speech.

Either way, I’ve personally challenged myself and met those challenges with fireworks, confetti, and champagne. Metaphorically, of course–I hate cleaning up confetti.

This may be the start of a whole new way of life, and now that I reflect on it, I wish I had realized all of this much sooner. Who knows where I’d be or what I’d be doing? I could be singing on the Met stage. I could be autographing CDs for adoring fans. I could be the director for an award winning high school choir.

It doesn’t do for us to worry about the “might have been’s” in life, so today I’m making an official declaration. (cue the royal trumpeters!) Going forward from here on out, I’ll no longer find myself surprised when I get to “see the ocean.” Instead, I’ll expect it–because I drove the car down to Florida myself.

Who’s up for a roadtrip with me?

About sharonthemezzo

Sharon Edwards, a born performer, hoarder of books, pursuer of the highest callings of humanity, and librarian in training resides in rural Tennessee with her home-brewing husband and two beautiful kids. She can be seen, mostly heard, in various community theater productions.

6 responses to ““Why Bother to Wish it Then?”

  1. Personally and metaphorically, I’m traveling old Route 66 from St Louis to the Pacific. I’m traveling in style in my 1956 turquoise and white Chevy convertible – white bucket seats, chrome-trimmed, radio turned to KXOK – rockin’ to the oldies. If you want to join me, we can spend the night at the Coral Gable Motel, stock up on Ted Drewe’s and make it to Devil’s Elbow before dark. Then “All I wanna do is have some fun
    Until the sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard.” At least that’s my plan for my 66th birthday.

  2. I, too, am starting a new chapter in my life. I am 36 and going back to college after a 13 year…. hiatus, we’ll say. I never realized how close I was to actually finishing when I dropped out. (I should have my degree in the spring if all goes according to plan. Which it won’t.) Anyway, I am also a self-SABOTEUR (and grammar nazi, sorry!) and never finish anything I start because I figure I’ll just mess it up anyway. So, congrats on whatever it is you are doing. I’m sure you’ll be spectacularly smashing at it.

    Oh, and kudos for “The Princess Bride” quote!

    • Self-saboteur!!! THANK YOU! I knew that wasn’t a word. You’re now officially hired as my editor. :)

      So glad you picked up the quote. To my knowledge, you’re the first who has.

      Good for you for going back and finishing! It feels great, just so you know.

  3. I only just found your blog thanks to your great post about the Jedi knight, so I bookmarked you and am going to check in as often as I can.

    So I don’t know what challenges you’ve set for yourself or how you meet them, but I do like the inspirational quotes posters and especially the one about why did you wish it, then.

    For as long as I can remember, my attitude towards doing stuff has been ‘try to do it, then figure out later whether it was worth trying to do.” That has applied to 1. going to Morocco, 2. law school 3. building shelves for a room, 4. blogging, 5. raising kids — still trying to figure out that last one HA HA it’s funny because I’m a parent! So I like the idea of telling people not to wish for stuff that remains a wish rather than a goal.

    On the other hand, you were inspired by an Ashton Kutcher speech? That seems… improbable. He wears a trucker hat, which is sort of the clothing-equivalent of using the acronym “LOL.”

    • Morocco! Ooooo! That sounds exciting!
      Thank you for reading. I’m just now “taking writing semi-seriously” so I may need some help along the way.
      I’m glad the Ashton Kutcher line made you laugh. I intended for it to, although it would be easier to be sarcastic with a specific sarcasm font. We should invent one. :)
      Thanks for your comment!

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