Three Wishes

You know, genies are a little stingy.

In return for letting them out of a cage, basically, they give you three wishes–with a ton of stipulations. You can’t wish for more wishes. You can’t wish that the dead become undead. And usually, if the fairy tales are to be believed, you accidentally wish away your wishes before you’ve even got started.

I’ve sworn off genies. I’ll stick with dandelion seeds.

With one small puff of air, a cluster of seeds are afloat and away. And with it are attached all of your hopes and dreams. It’s simple and much less stressful than rubbing a lamp with some elbow grease.

That is, unless the seeds get stuck in your throat. I was sitting in my car today in rush hour traffic when an entire cloud of dandelion seeds floated through the air. And a few lucky specimens slipped right into my mouth. Upon choking and sputtering, I got to thinking: what is the point in wishing? And a better question: who released such an army of wishes on so many unsuspecting commuters like myself?

In this vein, I sometimes feel like wishing is like winning the lottery. No matter how much you desire something, you’re not likely to get what you wish for without working for it. Or maybe it’s more synonymous with luck: you need to make your own.

Or maybe it isn’t any of that. Maybe it’s similar to exercising in the sense that you feel good just because you’re doing it. And maybe it doesn’t carry a heavier meaning than that. (It can’t. Most wishes have to float through the air.)

But despite all of my metaphors, there is nothing in this world that is more of an expression of hope than a wish. It’s a tiny admission to the world that you want to give your desires their own voice. You might do it on candles, at 11:11 on the clock, or on a shooting star. But the sentiment is always the same: please, someone, listen.

I sometimes lose faith in wishing. But then again, I also lose faith in hope. I feel like it is so fragile, and that if I’m not looking where I sit, I’ll squash and shatter it.

But unlike hope, wishes are not fragile. Even when sliding down an unsuspecting person’s throat. Wishes keep hope intact because they act as the vessel. They give us something tangible to hold onto when everything seems so abstract. They were built to last and withstand all the negative forces in the world. Specifically doubt.

So, the next time you are hoping for something to happen, capture it in a wish. Oh, but don’t tell anyone what you wished for. Much like hope, you have to keep a wish close to your heart and your chest.

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