Most people have a bucket list, whether vaguely floating around in their heads or meticulously formatted and regularly updated on Microsoft Excel, and I am no exception.
Like most people’s, my list of pre-death goals is highly ambitious bordering on unrealistic, but that in itself is not the problem. It is, in a fashion, a dishonest, or at least incomplete, bucket list, because many of the experiences we long to have before we die are simply incompatible with the lives we ultimately want to have. If you’re not following me here, then congratulations, you are probably a more fulfilled and balanced person than I am. Huzzah for you, no sarcasm intended!
Anyway, because of this, I’ve decided a bucket list provides a less accurate picture of me than a Multiverse List, in which I’ve laid out all the different lives I wish to lead, all of which open themselves up to entirely different realms of possibilities and their own individual bucket lists, in ascending order of importance to me. If I believed in the Multiverse or reincarnation, I might even argue that this list has a purpose.
5. The life of a nature poet in the 1700s or 1800s. Those of you who’ve taken early American literature classes know that these guys (and Emily Dickinson) had more fun sitting in the woods (or in your backyard, Emily, it’s OK) with a notepad, watching a crow maul a worm, than we do with all the modern luxuries and entertainment available to us. I want to take a sabbatical to live in a cabin by a pond for a year that produces meandering odes to fireflies. It honestly makes me wonder how awesomely different nature and writing about it must have been in the olden days, because in my world, crows never do anything more profound than scrounge for old burger cheese in discarded Big Mac wrappers.
4. The life of a spoiled young celebrity. Facebook will dedicate many a meme to wishing for my death, but outside of lacking artistic integrity, the only downside seems to be the occasional crotch shot on a magazine cover. As long as I steer clear of the Lindsay Lohan route, I can forever turn all my problems (people are too jealous of me, the paparazzi loves me too much, I’m too pretty and rich, etc.) into chirpy songs about how I need to recuperate in exotic tourist destinations as if this were the sweetest and most relatable thing in the world, which will spend weeks atop the Radio Disney Top 30 Countdown.
3. The life of a high-school student, as portrayed in popular culture. While high school and adolescence is possibly the most boring, unromantic and occasionally miserable time of a real person’s life, movies and Glee would have us believe teenagers have more glamorous drama and romance in their lives than the average A-list celebrity. And the more “unpopular” I am, the better, because the bigger my glasses and the browner my hair, the more perfect my life will ultimately end up being.
2. The life of a modern novelist. This one I actually am striving for, as it is not necessarily contradictory to the “other life” I want. My day job would mostly constitute YouTubing catchy music and eating taquitos off my lap while I obsessively reread my own brilliance. My business trips would be to promote my hot-button books on Ellen, become her best friend, and use her clout to get me the director’s seat on the film adaptations of my books. With any luck, this will help me make the transition to being Hollywood’s most prolific female director and screenwriter.
1. The life of a wife and mom. With a big yard full of dogs and an even bigger house. As long as my husband changes the diapers.