Anyway, part of the adventure of cleaning is what I might find: once I found a $5 bill in my silverware drawer. Today, I uncovered a list in my handwriting on a little sheet of notebook paper. I think it's from either a creative writing exercise or a therapy exercise (same thing, really).
If my ideal life was a painting, what would it look like?
- buy a 4 bedroom 2 bath house
- get an MA or BFA in art
- get married
- have 3 babies
- have my dog with me, plus another puppy
- have healthy houseplants
- live near Dan and Tenessa
- never drive more than 20 minutes to work
- lead a creative writing group/newspaper staff of students in Crookston or Fargo
- publish a book.
So, okay. First of all why did I save this? When did I write it? I must've been teaching in Crookston, and not been married...but I know I didn't think I would get married until I fell in love with Shaun...so I must've written this sometime between 2000 and 2002.
Second of all, did I not read the question? I certainly copied it down. Wouldn't a better answer have been "Like Van Gogh's Sunflowers, but with poppies"? Or "The Two Fridas, but with my face and less blood & Diego"?
Thirdly, let's assess. I'm married, we have a four bedroom, three bath house, my drive to work takes 8 minutes on a good day, 12 with trains. I have no dogs, though we used to have 2 (my pupdog still lives with my mama). With just one baby (and none on the foreseeable horizon) and some mediocre health plants, I'd say I'm at just less than 50%. Of course, some of these are ridiculous. What would I do with a Master's in Art? And I don't have time to lead a bunch of creative writers anyplace, much less have two more babies. I do wish we had dogs, but Shaun doesn't....stupid point #3, screwing up my plans.
I do wish I'd dated this; maybe I should make a new list. Perhaps I should hope to travel more, or become a world-renowned karaoke singer, or...I don't know. Successfully help raise a single human to her teen years, not get fired, and continue to avoid scurvy.
That sounds about right.