Saved Up Wishes

When you love someone all your saved-up wishes start coming out.
–Elizabeth Bowen

When I was in eighth grade I had a yellow Pendaflex folder that I recorded little sayings and quotations upon in brightly colored pen. I’m not sure why or how this practice started, but eventually, the entire surface inside and out was covered with tiny bits of wisdom. I carried that folder through high school and even college like some sort of metaphysical security blanket occasionally finding little spaces to add more sage advice to the ragged folder.

carried it with me into my adult life and until recently kept it like a treasure in a box of other things that were meaningful to only me. I decided that it was time to part with the tattered folder in an attempt at purging some of these “treasures” from my life (reference “Settling In” to see the urgency of such activities.) Before I could let it go I had to transfer the wisdom to another source and so I recorded most of the quotations into my molskein(my adult replacement for the yellow folder I fear.)

While taking this trip down memory lane it was striking to see the ways that my perspective had grown or changed now that I had I few more years under my belt. Surely these words resonated with me then, but some of them were so much more meaningful to me now. As is the case with this particular quotation.

can’t begin to imagine what attracted me to it all those years ago, but I suppose it sounds good even without understanding or experience. Now I’ve lived those very words. I’ve loved and lost a few times over at this point and recently that has been a primary theme in my life. One of the wounds of my divorce was this fear that maybe I wasn’t capable of really loving as I should. Then quite by surprise, I found myself in love.

Suddenly my saved-up wishes came bubbling to the surface and the life that I thought I wanted was almost instantly negated. Things I hadn’t let myself wish for were now burning desires in my heart. Was this because of my new found love? Well yes, but not the man who I was growing to love. I was finally growing to love myself. Now, I’m sure this isn’t exactly what Elizabeth Bowen had in mind, but can we truly love someone else without loving ourselves first? I think not.

So here is to saved-up wishes! Those glorious desires of the heart that are well worth pursuing. Henceforth I will purposely live so that wishes may never go into storage again.

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