This morning I sent a text to about twenty people. I asked them what they wanted. I asked them to tell me the first thing that came to mind and to know that it didn't even have to be the most important thing, but just whatever they thought of first. It could be funny or serious and it would be recorded without judgement.
This is a compilation of many of their responses, mixed with things I've seen and heard and felt elsewhere.
It could have gone on for pages and pages and pages more. I stopped here.
I want to feel safe. Always. I never again want to worry that anyone or anything will hurt my loved ones, me or my home.
I want my friends to make more time for me and for each other. I want them to see that having kids destroyed our friendships and we let it happen and we can have both.
I want animals to stop dying for food.
I want people to stop holding the door for me when I’m still so far away. It makes me have to run.
I don’t want to run.
I want peace mostly for my mother. She doesn’t have it. She needs it.
I want the rich to stop getting so much fucking richer. I want everyone else to have at least enough.
I want to be content. And I want my children to have this too, among other things. I want them to have contentment and to appreciate how important it is. To just be content.
I want equal justice for all. Not justice for white or straight or male or wealthy. Equal justice. For all.
I want someone else to make my coffee.
I want to raise my sons not to be assholes.
A sense of belonging. I want to belong. I want to find community and connectedness.
Why are we here? It cannot be just to make money and buy stuff and get sick and die.
I want not to be judged by myself or others. Especially when I’m really okay.
I want my shame to end and my past to be in the past and I want people to be nicer to each other even when we don’t seem to deserve it.
I want Christmas decorations to come out in November, not August.
I want to stop thinking I’m fat and ugly.
I want sex to seem not like either a chore or an embarrassment. I don’t understand why it feels that way and why it always has. What did that to me?
I want women to let me be a little more kind and caring. They say they want that, but then when I’m kind and caring they make me feel weak.
I want to live a simple life.
I want more sleep.
I want people to understand, really understand, that life is too short.
I want to love my life more because I don’t love it. I feel worried or sad or pissed most of the time and it is stealing so much joy and I know it, but I can’t seem to stop letting it happen.
I want to stop just letting things happen.
I want to swim with fish that aren’t captive.
I want to have cash on me once in a while.
I want to stop losing socks in the dryer and never finding them again ever in my life.
I want cancer to go away.
I want to stop buying so much shit I don’t need or even want. My house is full of it and everything is always a mess and I never feel any satisfaction or a sense of being settled. I want to be settled.
I want people to tell the truth. Even if it’s bad. Tell the fucking truth. Say you’re sorry. Don’t do it again. Or do it again if that’s who you are, but tell the truth so I can go if I need to.
So-and-so appreciation days. I want those to be done.
I want hospital and doctor office lighting on dimmers.
I want people to stop killing each other.
I want people to stop starving.
I want to eat food that is good for me, especially since people are starving while I’m eating double stuffed Oreos and Mountain Dew.
I want the planet to be valued. Have you seen the vastness of the ocean lately, or that forest of enormous pines or a squirrel hastily storing nuts or the way the moon lights up your entire yard?
I want to know that everything will be okay.
I want to want nothing.