My 2009 Mondo Beyondo List

A couple of weeks ago, I sat down to write my Mondo Beyondo list. What is a Mondo Beyondo list, you ask? Andrea Scher, who has been making her own lists for years, describes the Mondo Beyondo list as a

...list of things that are outrageous, wild, and may not even happen for 5 or 10 years from now. This is the list of things that are SO JUICY and unlikely to happen that you are afraid to even write them down.

I love the idea of this kind of list, because words are powerful, even ones that are written down only to be hidden away. Words birth things. They make things come alive that were once only ideas. Making a list like this is dreaming out loud, which holds out the promise of both terror and liberation, and this, my friends, was an opportunity I didn't want to let go.

To create my own list, I sat down and wrote for ten minutes. Then, after a short break, I wrote for another ten minutes. I didn't think about it beforehand. I just did it as spontaneously as I knew how, writing down whatever popped into my head that I might want to do, and here is what came out of that stream-of-consciousness dreaming:

My Mondo Beyondo List, 2009

  1. Write a novel
  2. Write a work of non-fiction
  3. Ride in a hot air balloon
  4. Live somewhere in Europe for at least six months
  5. Go to Spain
  6. Write a book of poetry
  7. Make a living from my writing, photography, and other creative pursuits
  8. Learn to paint
  9. Live in a cabin in the woods for a while
  10. Be paid to travel around the world and photograph people and tell their stories
  11. Move to the East coast of Canada
  12. Record an album of music that I've written and performed
  13. Get my university degree in English or Creative Writing
  14. Eat finger sandwiches during mid-afternoon tea in Bermuda again
  15. Love a child
  16. Raise chickens
  17. Let go of clutter and keep a clean house
  18. Become a regular practitioner of yoga
  19. Publish a book of my photography
  20. Show other people how to find their hearts
  21. Show my photographs in a gallery
  22. Hike through Tibet
  23. Visit and photograph a monastery
  24. Have a pizza named after me
  25. Go to the bottom of the ocean in a bathysphere, if that's what one is even called
  26. Let go of the restrictive fingers of judgment
  27. Embrace others openly
  28. Learn to cook well and love doing it
  29. Take time to sing on a regular basis, whether it be alone, in a choir, or with my cheap ukulele
  30. Let myself rest when it comes to the passage of time and mortality, because guarding against it means guarding my heart
  31. Go through each of my things and allow myself to get rid of everything that weighs down my spirit, because I do not owe those things my protection
  32. Own a shop that sells a smattering of my favourite things of the moment, be they books, teapots, shoes, etc.
  33. Take time to hone my doll-making skills
  34. Take a trip across Canada on the train, documenting the whole trip and its people, of course
  35. Be present for and photograph a baby's birth
  36. Look back on the earth from outer space
  37. Be patient with time, my art, my writing, and those I love
  38. Laugh more
  39. Believe in myself

My Mondo Beyondo list surprises me. It reveals a longing to combine travel and creativity that I had not put together before. It uncovers a yearning for domesticity that I wouldn't have expected, either. And that bit about Tibet? Who knew?! This exercise was so enlightening that I think I am going to have to make it an annual event so that I can stay acquainted with myself.

What would be on your list if you could achieve anything your heart desired?

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Grace in Small Things: Part 339 of 365