October 30, 2013

This special thing called bucket list

Many of us have what we agreed to call “bucket list”, a fascinating list of things that we hope to do now but could not due to lack of time and/or money (which could be one of the reasons we always wish for good health and long life every birthday, yes?), or that we decisively tuck in our to-do list in the near future with the hope of doing them with someone who is living, breathing, and more special than our smartphones.

Those of who have bucket lists, you either mentally note them so no one else can see, or you write them in colorful strips of paper posted on a large map in one side of your room that is under heavy lock and key, or you put them in password-protected lists in your mobile devices. Either way, your bucket list is special to you.

You may share some of the items in the list with your friends. You may share them with your family. You may shout some of them out for the world to know. But there will always be items—the remarkable ones—that have been in your bucket lists from the time you started to learn how to wish as children, that have been nurtured (or destroyed) as you started to grow and got mixed up with the optimists and the cynical, and that you still keep inside your bucket of wishes.

Image source: http://thisthatandtheotherthang.wordpress.com/

One of the remarkable ones in my own bucket list is the wish to be an ambulance driver—that dream of speed, good cause, adrenaline rush, and virtual non-traffic. Each time an ambulance van passes by, this wish is remembered with a bittersweet smile (may the person inside the van survive). Somewhere in my heart, I know that driving an ambulance van is something I want to try once, but I could not take the risk for fear of a loss of life. I’d say, leave the job to the professionals; another person’s life is more important than a person’s wish list.

Many other items in my bucket list are tittering towards the edge of impossible, so many of them will have to be the stay-in-the-bucket-list-forever items. But, you know, almost all of these were not born out of whim; they took root during special or unforgettable incidents. I realized our dreams reflect our very existence. For instance, my wish to be an ambulance driver was formed when, during my elementary years, I saw my grandfather taken out of the ancestral house by paramedics, and the ambulance van, noisy and bright, fired away.

How about you? Have you wished to see a unicorn as a kid? Have you wished to be an astronaut, or a saint? Have you wished to travel the world in 80 days, or snorkel with the crocodiles in the Amazon? Have you wished to be the greatest ballerina, or be part of the greatest rock and roll band, in the world? Have you wished for more similar crazy things?

Your list can look as mad, as creepy, and as long as you want. It’s your list, your dreams—like a thumb print that cannot be taken away from you. The bucket will always be there, ready for your wishes, growing bigger (or smaller) with age, and only gets rusty when you stop dreaming.

What’s on your bucket list? Care to share an item or two with me?

- Nancy -

P.S. Here's a beautiful song about dreams. Allow it to serenade you. All you have to do is dream. Enjoy.