I need a little cheering up today, so I thought I’d update my list of dreams and desires. The last time I did this was seven years ago, when I was just starting this blog. Today, I feel the need to remind myself to hope. So here goes:
- Learn to bake. I feel like it’s one of those things that indulges all the senses. With all the scents and textures and colors, the process itself seems like a feast for the senses even before the first bite of the finished cake.
- Plant my dream garden. This is a crystal-clear vision that I’ve had all my life. Even in my grade school journals, there are pages and pages of drawings about how I want it to look. There will be big, shady trees with mossy trunks, wooden benches with ferns growing underneath, and lots of flowers that fill the air with scent. I want it to be lush, unruly, and magical.
- Write a book about Cuyonon folktales and legends, before they’re forgotten. That means I need to become fluent in the language first so that I could talk with the island’s lolos and lolas who still remember the old stories. I also want to do the same for Pala’wan folklore.
- Explore the Philippines. First on the list: Batanes in the far north. I’ve come to imagine it as my country’s own version of the Shire. After the Philippines, I want to see the rest of the world. There’s so much curiosity inside me.
- Live in a bahay kubo-inspired house, with a stained glass window. I know those two architectural aesthetics don’t really go together, but the house should fit in naturally with the garden, and I have daydreams of lying on a couch with a book while the late afternoon sun throws patterns of colored light on the floor through the window.
- Become a photographer. A really good one. It’s a way to make fleeting moments of beauty last a little longer. It’s a way of remembering not to take them for granted.
- Make writing my main job. This is actually terrifying. I don’t know if I’m good enough, or if I’ll earn enough, or get enough people to read me. There are so many risks, and I have so much yet to learn. Still, I can’t think of anything more satisfying than making a living by following my passion.
- Start a library for kids. I want to fill it with books that made me fall in love with reading when I was a child. So many Filipino children never learn how wonderful books can be simply because they don’t have access to any, except for their textbooks (some public schools in impoverished areas don’t even have that). It’s heartbreaking. I don’t have money, connections, or expertise for such a big project, just a lot of desire. So much that I actually already have a list of titles I want to put on the shelves.
- Build a tree house. I want one where I can spread a mat on the floor and listen to wind chimes, watch the sky changing colors with the sunset, and bask in the fragrance of orchids on the tree branches.
In making this list, I’m getting a clearer picture of my desires. I want a creative, risky life. I want adventure, quiet moments, and an abundance of beauty around me. The world of nine-to-five jobs offers more security, but the more I try to make myself fit into it, the more I feel trapped and frustrated and inadequate. I don’t know how to do this. The life I planned for since I was in high school, the life my loved ones would be reassured to see me living, feels strange on my skin. It’s someone else’s life, and I keep failing in it. But I still don’t know if I’m ready to give up trying.