1. To own books. To have an apartment that houses an overstuffed bookcase overflowing with fiction, non-fiction, autobiographies, cookbooks, self-help, and cheesy romance novels. Underneath the windowsill overlooking the city, there will sit a leather lounge chair that you picked up at an antique store or yard sale. Here, you will sit and read all your wonderful books.
2. To be loved. By friends, family, men and women. To never be alone on a Friday night. You’ll host book club meetings in your apartment and show off your overflowing bookcase. You’ll do yoga on Tuesdays. You’ll take art history classes for fun. You’ll go on dates. When your world falls apart, you’ll always have someone to call for support. A loving soul will always be there to congratulate you on your accomplishments, give you a massage after a long day, hook that difficult bracelet latch around your wrist that you can never get on your own, and of course, tell you you’re beautiful.
3. To own a unique pet, like a cockatiel or miniature pig. To have a doorman who knows your name. On rainy days, you’ll attempt to watch all the classic movies you never watched when you were younger. You’ll call your mom every Sunday. You’ll write poetry for fun. You’ll read the New York Times at your local coffee joint and attempt to do the Sunday crossword puzzles. The barista will know your order without having to ask. One day, you’ll give up coffee for green tea, but what’s the rush?
4. To be successful. To receive invitations to fashion shows and art gallery openings, but only attend them selectively. To write beautiful things to fall upon the eyes of beautiful people. Your feet will be your main form of transportation. You’ll be the most fashionable person at the office. During lunch breaks, you’ll get lost in Barnes & Noble. You’ll call your boss by his or her first name and sometimes, when a deadline is approaching, you’ll shoot each other a text. You’ll have health insurance and a retirement plan.
5. To do something crazy — like move to China — and then blame it on a fleeting youth. To eat pizza in Rome. To accumulate frequent flyer miles. To, every once in awhile, fly first class.
6. To, one day, reread these hopes and desires, smiling at the things that came to fruition, and wondering what happened to those that didn’t.