Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

18 Nov 2004, 18:32 p.m.

Wish List

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2004 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Life is suffering, as Gautama Buddha and George Orwell both said, and the less you want the happier you'll be, to paraphrase Buddha but probably not Orwell. That actually worked for me when I was younger, I think, but today I have been letting strangers get to me -- which means I want their approval -- and haven't meditated on nonreaction.

Susanna, Leonard's sister, has now twice requested a wishlist from me. Sorry for the procrastination, Susanna. I keep this wishlist and try to update it before my birthday and before Christmas. I'm glad that I've cut down on the size of my wishlist over the past few years.

I think I wanted for nothing once, at least nothing tangible, and I miss that. I was ignorant, and didn't feel in charge of my own life. How long does desire take to die when you never feel agency? I remember coming to the dorms and feeling the most enormous pleasure at choosing my own food in the dining commons. Now Leonard has spoiled me; I have tasted his fairy food and might waste away for the want of it. I've gotten picky, the way Ben Franklin bragged that he never did. I wish I didn't know how bland mediocre food is, how much more interesting other jobs could be. I want to forget everything extraordinary so I can be content.