It's 11/11 and, after being told to make a wish time and time again, I'm finally getting to the bottom of it. I've believed in the power of wishes, since childhood, the way some people believe in shooting stars and the tooth fairy. In fact, I believe in those too. So, this will in no way debunk the myth, with my newfound twenty-something-ennui -- but revel in it. And maybe even ask for more.
The first five years of my life found me an only-child and all I wanted was to have a playmate. Pre-pubescent logic threw pennies into wishing wells, fell into the routine of asking the first star for a sibling, and crossed fingers and toes for a baby to arrive. I know, now, those are the wrong phalanges to cross for a baby. But low and behold: Halfway between five and six, I became the big sister of triplets. My wishing (plus, you know…science) made babies. Three babies. Three of the most beautiful babies in the whole universe. After three million wishes. So I kept going.
When I was a little older, I would wish for roles in shows. I would tell myself that if I could run to a certain RPM on the treadmill, my wish would come true. A night, I would recite the Sh'ma (a prayer) and ask whoever was listening to grant my wishes (and if they liked my voice--but that seems less relevant). My wishes were mostly, "Protect my family. Please don't let me get kidnapped in my sleep. Convince mommy I'm here favorite. and Let there be cake tomorrow." Usually, these wishes came true. Even the cake. What can I say: I was lucky!
The Truth About Forever, one of my favorite Sarah Dessen novels, introduces a character called Wish- because her little sister couldn't say Melissa, instead opting for "MeWISHa." I loved that. For a while, I toyed with the idea of moving to New York and calling myself "Wish." But I never really knew if I could pull it off. We aren't named after the things that fill us, otherwise you'd call me something like Apple or (Diva) Muffin, or Rosemary.
Today, I'm wishing for more than protection. I'm wishing for more than cake, even. In the evolution of wishes, mine have gone places I never expected them to. I have twenty-something wishes, in a time when we wish at 11:11, so that we have two opportunities to wish, every day. I know I'm not the only one with waining hope. I'm certainly not the only one who keeps wishing.
Every time I'm in Chelsea Market, I throw a penny into the wishing well and dole out pennies to the wish-less. It doesn't take much to get a step closer to them coming true. And…if they don't, if our wishes never leave the warmth of our mind and birthday candles, maybe that's okay too. I'm starting to believe that we create our own luck, anyway.
Only we get to decide what we do, how we do it, and who gets to come along for the ride.
This is Me:
My name's Melissa. I'm the girl with her hands in her journal.