The Wish List

dawnI’d had occasion to delve into the depths of old diaries. I had kept them on and off for years, but when I went to work in France in 1981 my mother bought me an A4 book and suggested I keep a record of the adventure.

The opening passage I had scribbled through the tears at the station after saying goodbye. It was short and factual, barely conveying the emotion of the moment. Over the next few weeks, it records the daily adventure in some detail and it is lovely to have the memories held there, the small things that would have been lost in the shadows cast by the bigger events.

Over time, however, living in a land that was not my own, when communication with home and family was by snail-mail and the friends I was making were new and spoke in a language I was still discovering, the diary became my best friend. I confided to its pristine sheets all the small heartaches and joys, the loneliness that was inevitably part of that time of adjustment, the hopes, fears and longings that youth carries through the peaks and troughs of emotion.

I cringe at much of what was written, the outpourings of a very young woman growing into herself, lacking in confidence, fragile yet optimistic. A mouse who hid inside herself from so much. Far too… well, I shall simply draw a veil over much of the diary in self-defence. We have all been young and, if we are honest, probably very silly at times. It is part of the journey.

It is a curious thing to look back at oneself like this from what was then the future. The life events that have passed between have shaped and moulded the raw material and seed-self into the woman I have become. Curious too to see how the choices made at each point in the journey have been responsible for the changes wrought over the intervening decades.

But some things, it seems, do not change. I came across the Wish List.

Reading through it from a perspective over thrice ‘her’ age, I am surprised at how little she was wishing for. All twenty-five points were reasonable and attainable and oddly, it is some of the simpler ones I have yet to achieve. But back then, they all seemed so far-fetched and ambitious that I never expected to attain any of them.

Now okay, it does highlight the need to be utterly precise in your wishes, a principle taught in the Mysteries and illustrated by experience. I did lose the five pounds, exactly where I wanted to… evidently, I should have specified that I wanted them to stay lost. I did manage to collect beautiful antique fans, though they were sold years ago to feed the children. And the only huge bouquet of flowers delivered to me by a florist until very recently was for a funeral… which wasn’t quite what I had in mind somehow.

I haven’t made it to either Carnac or Egypt. But then, I am not dead yet. I did, however, have the joy of throwing my doors open and welcoming friends to my table. I had my ‘je t’aime’ from someone who meant it at the time and have been blessed to love and be loved. I do have two wonderful sons; the dream was always to have one on either side of me towering over me. They took that to extremes as both are a foot taller than I and call me the hobbit… but I can live with that and look up at them with love and pride.

And I have, I think, been of some use. An odd ambition for a twenty-year-old, perhaps, but one I would still include were I to write the list again today, though for a less needy motive.

But on the whole, I feel I have done rather well. Sixteen out of twenty-five… so far.  And a couple of ‘almosts’ that came close enough to count. Still some left to aim for… which is surely better than having no dreams at all.

On the other hand, I have learned and experienced things I could never have imagined in the perceived blandness I saw as life then. There is a richness in the ageing process, a confidence and ease that comes in accepting what life offers, good or bad, and embracing it with a whole heart. Who knows how long a life will be? Why waste it chasing only the impossible when life is here and now and holds beauty and laughter and possibility?

Dream by all means… I still dream of seeing every corner of the globe, painting a perfect picture and holding a star in my hand. Dreams and imagination are the fuel of life. But don’t ignore the moment and all it has to offer. Who knows what you could be missing?

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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72 Responses to The Wish List

  1. What a hopeful and encouraging post, Sue. I kept a daily journal through my teens and twenties, but I’m not ready to read any of it yet, because of that youthful silliness.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Sadje says:

    How wonderful to have those diaries to read and reflect on. I think 17/25 is excellent. I hope you’ll be able to fulfill the rest too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. carasmelody says:

    This is touching and insightful. Thank you for sharing! I wish you a lovely day with beautiful moments to collect!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Darlene says:

    This is a wonderful post. How thoughtful of your mother to give you a notebook to write about your adventure and even more wonderful that you still have it. I didn´t start to keep a journal until I was around 40 years old. I´m sure there is some silliness in those as well. My daughter has them at her place, perhaps one day she will be bored enough to read them. Meeting 17 of 25 wishes is very good. Hugs, Darlene

    Liked by 2 people

  5. beth says:

    how lucky to have done this and to still have it to reflect back upon

    Liked by 1 person

  6. willowdot21 says:

    This is a beautiful and inspiring post Sue how wonderful to meet again the younger you. See life through her eyes and know how much she has grown. I never kept a journal when I was young, I just never made the time …. reading this post I wish I had. 💜💜

    Liked by 2 people

  7. jenanita01 says:

    If I had kept a journal when I was young, it would read like a horror story – so quite glad I didn’t


  8. noelleg44 says:

    A nice look back with good insight. ! never kept a journal but wish I had. I do have some things I wrote when I was in my teens and some seem rather good, considering my age, and some were drivel. Always heartfelt…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s important to have dreams, and it’s lucky if the dreams are sensible ones. Not the ‘I’m going to marry Michael Jackson’ dreams. I wish I’d kept a diary of those same years. We’d know then if our paths every crossed, even if we never actually met.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. memadtwo says:

    I would like to have that glimpse into my young self, but somehow all those scribbling were lost during my many moves. I suspect my dreams were not as wise as yours though. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mary Smith says:

    It’s fascinating to look back on who we were – even if we cringe at times. I think I might have one last read through of mine then shred them 🙂


  12. TanGental says:

    Delightful if leaving me rather wistful for the boy i once was am still in many ways am.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. A lovely post, Sue. How fun to have found that decades old list and look back at yourself as you looked forward. And as always, your words are full of wisdom. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  14. buffalopound says:

    So true, Sue. I remember once, years ago, having a tea towel that had a saying on it that I often recall. It said “Bloom where you are planted”.


  15. Jim Borden says:

    that does not sound bad at all, as wish lists go. good luck with the remaining ones…


  16. We can indeed dream. All I can remember ever wanting was to be loved. Not the parental love, I had that in spades, but the love of a partner with no strings attached. It took a while….. and several trial and error meetings before taking the plunge in 1977 to find it was wrong, then making another mistake for all the wrong reasons in 1981. But I got it right in 1989.
    And I have felt love of a different kind, from strangers and fellow bloggers who have become my extended family. One day, I hope to meet some of them.
    Good luck on completing your wish list Sue. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  17. When I went to Israel, I was a bit older than you, but suffered essentially the same kind of dislocation. I suppose that’s normal for ex-patriots — shot or long-term. Unless you already know the language and culture, the dislocation is the essence of the experience. i needed a diary, but I’m not a diary writer. So every day, I wrote to Garry. And every day, he wrote back. I have never seen him write a letter to anyone since I came back and I don’t think I’ve written anyone a real letter either. But while I was away, for all nine years, we wrote every day — sometimes more than once. When I came back to the U.S., he had all my letters tied with ribbon in one of his dresser drawers. I wish I’d saved the letters. Sadly, they left during one of my insane “when in doubt, throw in out” phases.

    We all need to tell our story as we live it. If only I’d saved those letters!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Eliza Waters says:

    It is interesting to read our old journals. Youth has a simple view of life when seen from the lens of the middle aged. I should go see if I can find my South American journal written when I was 21. The world was our oyster!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Pingback: The Wish List | A Reblog from Sue Vincent’s “Daily Echo” – Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

  20. dgkaye says:

    Love this and the hope embedded in it Sue. Dreams are certainly the fuel of our life ambitions. They keep us going. ❤ xx


  21. I’ve only ever kept a diary once in my life, Sue, and that was during my first year out of school. The year I turned 18 years old. Amazingly, I have achieved far more with my life than I could have even imagined back then. It is interesting to take that journey back through the thoughts of your younger self. I am delighted you have achieved so many things on your wish list, Sue. It must have been very poignant looking back at that time in your life.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Jennie says:

    Wonderful to find that list and reflect. Getting sixteen is quite remarkable.


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