The purpose of this particular challenge is to put your dreams and goals out into the universe, revisiting them every 5 years to see how things have progressed or changed. It has taken me weeks to complete, but here it is: the 100 things I want to have, own, see, become, and realize in my lifetime, in no special order.
1. To know and be happy with the reflection, whether it is scarred or wrinkled, smiling or tearful, tanned or pale, streaked with red, brown, or grey hair.
2. To live in a place where I can ride a train or subway anytime I please.
3. Overall health that doesn't require frequent doctors visits, medications, tests or unflattering bodily functions…with the occasional cigarette.
4. A good dog sleeping at the end of my bed, even if it sheds hair on my pretty duvet.
5. All of my life's photographs organized in albums so that I can see where I have been.
6. A group of girlfriends that I regularly have coffee with and speak to about the little nothings of womanhood.
7. Fresh flowers on my kitchen table…every week…especially stargaze lilies.
8. A stack of good books to read, no matter the topic.
9. A never-ending supply of music in my head or out loud.
10. The physical and mental ability to write, no matter my age.
11. My grandfather to be present when I find true happiness…or when I have my first child, whichever comes first.
12. Someone who knows how to be a great dance partner…to Latin music.
13. Great food at every meal full of pasta and breads and cheese and chocolate.
14. The money to give great food to those who don't have any.
15. A special stash of wine…that doesn't become my closest companion. And a really good wine opener that is retarded/cut-yourself-proof.
16. A President who speaks of change because he truly believes in it and who causes change because he truly can.
17. To open a store with my mother, like she has always dreamed, where we can sit and read books and drink coffee and eat pastries, and hide in the little back corner of a garden with a fountain and smoke a cigarette together, just like our little hideaway heaven in New Orleans.
18. A great black and white photograph of me to show my children.
19. The ability to trust men…and women.
20. An old wooden dock and an endless supply of fishing gear.
21. A book…that I have written.
22. To have the chance to one day teach.
23. I want to travel the world…Tibet, Prague, Lebanon, Africa, Paris, Bali, Alaska, Amsterdam, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, the Philippines, Peru, Colombia, Sweden, Antarctica, Greece, Ireland…and so many more.
24. I want to own the little apartment in Urbino that overlooks the vineyard and the walls of the castle in which the city sits.
25. To love a man who truly loves me, knowing all of the antics and faults and pasts and issues. I want to be with someone who sees through the mess to the "me" that I hope to become and AM becoming. I want to be with someone who can allow himself to open up about his own fears and faults, who is not afraid of tears or anger, who believes that some things are worth fighting for. I want to love someone who has his own dreams, who believes, like I do, that we can chase our dreams apart, but who chooses to chase them together. And he has to be in love with traveling.
26. I want to learn how to grow a garden full of flowers and herbs and vegetables…and to keep it alive.
27. I want to become really great at yoga and meditation.
28. I want to live in a place with mountains and water, where I can hike whenever I please…with the dog that sleeps at the end of my bed every night.
29. I want to find peace with my father, even if I continue to choose to keep him out of my life.
30. One day, I will look in the mirror and believe that I deserve true love.
31. A clean house with big windows and a large bed with silk sheets.
32. The insanity and strength to quit my job and chase something I would truly love, without the guilt of leaving behind those patients I am helping each day, the company that has worked so hard to get me started, and the teachers who struggled (in many ways) to get me prepared to be here.
33. To put everything I own up for sale or in storage, put on a pair of good shoes and a backpack, and leave behind this mess to go see the world…with nothing but a journal, an ipod, and a map.
34. To be recorded singing an old Bonnie Raitt song, just to say that I had.
35. The courage to believe that I am not going to live the exact same life as members of my family, that my divorce and failed relationships do not define me, and that I will eventually find myself…and my love…even if I'm in my 50s when I get there.
36. Faith in those things I can't see.
38. Ability to slow down, relax, and enjoy the now.
39. The feeling of wanting to laugh and scream at the top of my lungs while I'm driving my convertible down an old empty highway….just because I'm happy and for no other reason.
40. Candles lit by the bathtub with Enya playing in the background, no matter what mood I'm in.
41. The energy to keep educating myself.
42. Learning other languages…like Italian (my first great love) and Norwegian (the next).
43. To have children and grandchildren that are as fascinated in the stories as I always was.
44. The strength to walk into a grocery store and know what I want to buy and cook…for just me.
45. A lifetime of great kissing and sex with someone who wants to and knows how to give a great kiss and have great sex.
46. To live debt-free.
47. To become friends with my stepbrother and stepsister. I would love for us to learn to really get to know each other and respect our differences and faults without comparison and conflict.
48. To have a family reunion, where we each set aside our crazy lives with work and projects and kids and financial struggles and past dysfunctional trysts…to get together and "get over it".
49. To apologize, forgive, and rekindle friendships with people who were so important to me, whom I have lost or separated from over the years…specifically Caroline, Michael, Lauren, and Kiersten.
50. The bravery to always tell the truth, no matter what. This one, I must say, I'm getting better at.
51. Learning to answer my phone when great friends call, no matter how tired or shut-off from the world I feel.
52. The happy ending….that never ends.
53. An inability to blame, but to let things be as they are instead…all faults aside, just acceptance.
54. Letting go of all jealousy.
55. Learning to trust and follow my instinct…before hindsight tells me that my instinct was correct.
56. To take a trip with my mother and stepfather again, around the world, to somewhere new for each of us.
57. An awareness of when I am selfish, rude, cruel, smug, bitchy, pensive, ornery, defensive, and sad….so that I can stop my impending negative actions before they occur.
58. The ability to praise myself…while still remaining humble.
59. An honest appreciation for the blessings in my life…and remembering to give thanks, without a national holiday to remind me.
60. To accept fear…and do it anyway.
61. To learn how to be alone and leave Loneliness alone.
62. The stamina to run…for a long, long time.
63. The ability to realize that I do look good naked.
64. To attract people…for the right reasons. Men and women, friends and lovers.
65. To affect and change others' lives for the positive, just by being me.
66. Stop worrying about the little things I cannot control.
67. I want to gain a barrier between my brain and my mouth, so that I can actually have better grace under fire.
68. To have a daughter…so that I can learn what it's like to walk in my mother's shoes. And for that daughter to have a good father, so that she never has to know what it was like to walk in mine.
69. To drive with the top down...all the way down the coast of Highway 1…stopping only for coffee and to take photographs and to surf. And, yes, I want to learn to surf.
70. To face my ex, Justin…to tell him that I forgive him.
71. To stop relying on the internet as being a source to the outside world…but having the courage, at least once a day, to get out and see or try something new.
72. Learning to be ok with not being the best…or even very good at something, yet doing it anyway.
73. Giving up control…
74. Knowing that I will be ok, even if he stops trying.
75. Releasing the need to be so hard on myself…and those around me.
76. Allowing everyone else to be who they are and do what they choose, even when I don't agree.
77. Realizing that my opinion is not always necessary.
78. Giving without expecting for anything in return.
79. Always remembering to say thank you.
80. Allowing my cat to crawl into my lap, onto my bed, lay on my chest or on my face…whenever she likes…and having the patience not to push her away.
81. The ability to control my anger…and to let go when something isn't worth getting angry over.
82. The ability to realize that sometimes I feel angry when I am really sad…and to know the difference.
83. To learn to pray…and believe in the power of prayer…even if I'm not quite sure to whom or what I am praying.
84. To let go of the timeline…and of other people's expectations of me.
85. Being ok with being defined as a Samantha, Carrie, Charlotte, or Miranda…or a mix of all four. And to realize just because someone can draw a caricature of you, doesn't mean it's a true likeness.
86. To let go of the resentment towards those who have hurt me and to move on from it all, knowing that I too have needed to be forgiven.
87. Being ok when others don't live up to my expectations. And not taking it personally when they don't…because we are all each on our own journey.
88. Enjoying the ride a little more and worrying where it's going to end a little less.
89. Ignoring pride and saying I'm sorry as soon as I know I have done something wrong.
90. Friends who tell me the truth, no matter what.
91. Spending one day dancing in the rain…just like I used to.
92. Taking constructive criticism without offense.
93. Giving up the childlike idea of being invincible…and recognizing that I too, am simply human.
94. Learning to make my own ice cream.
95. Listening more to what my mother has to say, without critiquing…just because she wants and needs to be heard. And being more aware of the fact that she regards me as a confidant, as well.
96. Being my own boss.
97. Learning to say no. And mean it.
98. Getting comfortable with the phrase "I don't know."
99. Allowing rejection to happen without a fight.
100. Walking away when it's time to say goodbye…and recognizing when that time is, before anyone has worn out their welcome.