Today’s post was originally an M&M, but on my reblog account of Tumblr, there was a prompt to make a bucket list. I was surprised by some of the things that I wrote and charmed by the vision of the future my subconscious mind seemed fit to provide, so I thought I would share it here as well.
Well, that’s the list, but that hardly explains what I found so surprising about my own values – I’ll take a moment to unravel my thoughts behind each of numbers below.
1) I am a writer, through and through. I want to be a novelist in the future – it is an aspiration and has no place on a bucket list. I do not wish to write a single novel and do something else with myself. However, I struggle with brevity in prose and the intensity of meaning that can be born from it. I think that if I can build up the diligence to write enough short stories to publish a collection, I would be enthralled, alive, and proud.
2) Some call the place “Heaven’s Mirror”, when really it’s a marvel of nature, just a simple salt flat in Bolivia. However, I have been thoroughly enchanted by the concept of the sight since I was 14 years old – oh, gosh, that was six years ago. However, please, just take a glimpse of these photos (source):
I’ve always been incredibly drawn to the idea of such a place, somewhere that can reflect the expanse of the sky. I think that if I have the opportunity to just stand there and drink in the vision, the surreal instance of the moment, I will be able to experience magic. I feel as if I could sit there in the shallow water for hours, notebook on my knee, pen pressed to the page, and find some kind of enlightenment. Just once – I need to experience this just once in my life.
3) I find it a shame that children are no longer taught cursive in grade school. Not only is it a more efficient form of writing – proven to be faster since, after all, you don’t remove the pen from the page – it is also an early art. Although I am adept at cursive, I lament that I never learned how to steady and control my hand. However, I have inherited my father’s love of fountain pens, and penmanship like any craft can be learned. When I was younger, I dreamed of a pen pal. Even now, I feel that there is something heartfelt and intrinsically lovely about a written letter. I want to be able to not just use my words expressively but to write them expressively, emotions captured by the grace of my hand. Perhaps one day I would like to publish a novel written by hand.
4) As I mentioned before in my post of dreams, I have tried time and time again and utterly failed to lucid dream, to the point where in 2020 I believe I will be publishing my dream diary titled 10 Years of Failing to Lucid Dream. I do not want to do do so frequently, as I enjoy the surprising cinema of my subconscious mind, but I do want to know how it feels to be in control of the world around me, just once. I feel as if being able to do as I please in a world made by my mind would be a fascinating learning experience.
5) I am the daughter of Korean parents. My mother is the eldest sibling in her family, and my father is the eldest in his. By tradition, this meant that my family was the one to host every holiday dinner and, by extension, this meant that my mother was cooking for both sides of the family. I grew up watching her, loving her experiments – Korean turkey stuffing works out very well! – and not at all understanding how much hard work went into preparing so much food. Now that I’ve had the opportunity to try cooking for myself, I am am ashamed of my past naivety and have newfound admiration for my dear mother. Cooking, to me, is not a task but an expression of love. I’ve mentioned before that I have very few people in the world whom I consider friends or loved ones. I think I would find nothing more rewarding than to set a full table, design a full course meal, and have them delight at something I have cooked for them. I want to host a dinner party for everyone important to me and show them that I love them, since I struggle with saying it out loud.
6) I am not an artist, in the truest sense. I am too rigid, too frightened of failure and judgment, and I lack the ability to visualize fine details. With visual art, be it traditional, digital, 2D or 3D, I lack freedom and expression. I can emulate artistry by studying and building technical skills, but it is evident that I find no release or creativity in the task… or that is what I always tell myself. However, I’ve always loved the vision of a painter sitting before an easel with colors smeared across their palette and brush swirling them into something new. I believe, at least once, I would like to try to be that person. I would like that very much.
7) Communication. I value communication above all things, and I believe that the world would be a better place if people, cultures, nations would just learn to be honest and listen honestly, without subterfuge or propaganda. I am fluent in English and Korean, proficient in Spanish, had brief stints with Mandarin and Japanese, and I am currently studying Arabic. You might notice that there are a few language families there. The first two languages I was born into, and I learned Spanish in school. Mandarin was forced upon me, and I learned basic Japanese out of self-interest. I am studying Arabic because as islamophobia continues to grow into the newest of witch hunts, I do not wish to misinterpret the voices of the victims. However, despite my growing knowledge of many language families, when they fall on deaf ears, they mean nothing. Honestly, why don’t more people learn a form of nonverbal communication – there’s actually no downside to learning it! And above all, perhaps it is selfish motivation, but I would like to see and understand ASL poetry. After all, there is no way to translate it without losing its very essence.
8) I have only been to one wedding in my life and that doesn’t count because that was Mom’s friend John Kim’s wedding, and he’s… some kind of… reverse leanan sidhe on his third marriage to a third celebrity and I spent the whole wedding getting autographs from guests Mom said were famous. It was a grand and overall extravagant affair. However, in my mind, a wedding is more intimate and, though perhaps this is a presumptuous assertion of my own feelings onto other people, I feel as if an invitation to one would be an extension of trust. An honor. A privilege. Being aromantic, I won’t ever have a wedding of my own – although the planning process greatly appeals to me, I feel unsettled at the thought of me standing at the altar with anyone. However, I find the concept of marriage beautiful, sacred in a personal and not religious way. I feel as if there’s almost an old power at work when two (or more!) people decide to spend their lives together. I would like the opportunity to bear witness to that. Also with a certain friend I have been promised the chance to swordfight the groom, and who’s going to pass that up.
9) I love children. I’m good with children. To this day I can remember carrying my baby foster brother when he, demanding as he is endearing, raised his hands for a hug and then latched his arms around my neck. I can vividly remember his weight in my arms and the clean, sweet smell only toddlers and younger possess. However, the concept of bearing a child disgusts me, and I do not trust myself to adopt and raise a child on my own, as my expectations of finding a life partner willing to be exclusive with someone aroace are slim to none. Besides that, there is nothing I desire more than to be trusted by others, and I can imagine little else symbolizing that more than being asked to be a parent to someone’s child.
10) The other day I dreamed of a room with a chaise and a window. Golden light filtered in through the glass, warm and rich, throwing long shadows into the corners of the room. It wasn’t harsh light of high noon – it must have been nearing sunset, because the light was soft and blurred the edges of everything it touched. In the dream, I was content. There was nothing but immense satisfaction that everything was as it should be, and I can’t get the image out of my head. It was perfect, and if I could replicate that perfection in reality, I feel that I will be able to say that I have lived my life to the fullest.