In Book 4 or 5 of Christopher Pike’s Last Vampire series, vampire Alisa/Sita reflects on Krishna granting our deepest desires and the pain caused by our maya (illusions) when we discover that our greatest longings bring us the most suffering. For her, the longing/maya of having her daughter Lalita reborn meant that she was given the apparently demonic Kalika as a daughter.
For me, three of my greatest longings (apart from going to university, being successful, earning a lot of money, having a private plane and a Ferrari and having orgies in a mansion) were 1) peace/the cessation of criticism, 2) hair that is more straight and 3) to sell my virginity.
I have been granted all of these things (though not, I believe, by a higher power, but by chance, genetics, and fate respectively). However, they have turned out differently from what I thought and they have not provided me with closure, happiness or answers.
I have peace, but although I am very grateful for it, it brings me little relief. This is because I’m left with the memories and more questions than answers, as well as being unsure about what really happened and why. At least while I had no peace I knew what was going on even though I was confused. Now I think that distance from the events mean I’ll never figure out what happened or what went wrong – if anything; I might be making a big deal out of nothing. I can’t even figure out if it’s a real issue or if I’m just exaggerating it.
Since I was very young I wanted straight or wavy hair, but a couple of years ago I learned more about my hair texture and type and realized I actually have very straight hair for my ethnicity. I came to love my hair. Then it straightened, and it’s now wavy and not curly. So though finally my wish has been granted, I kind of miss my curls. I never even got to know them properly and spent my whole life fighting my texture with gels, serums and anti-frizz products, even chopping the crown and sides, leaving the back and bottom of the sides long so it would look more straight. I like having straighter hair, but I know I’ll never get my curls back; my hair has reverted almost to the straight hair I had as a baby. The same thing happened with my skin: I spent my entire life wanting to be lighter and daydreaming about skin bleach, hoping it’d be invented soon and a couple of times Googling for it. Then I saw a documentary at 19 that showed where to get skin lighteners and that they cost as little as under £5 – I’d have spent well over £100 gladly. But the documentary showed how harmful the lighteners were and how sad/pointless/self-harming the cult of being pale was, and I realized that I liked being the colour I was and that actually I was unusually light-skinned so didn’t need to be any lighter. A few months later, I got paler, the palest I’ve ever been (though I had been slowly paling since I was 16 anyway). But I didn’t enjoy it, I just thought, ‘ok’ because I no longer linked colour and beauty.
As for selling my virginity, I imagined it would be to a stunning man whom I didn’t like or connect with at all. But Roland is exactly the opposite. I also thought that it would be over in a few minutes, not long drawn out over a few days – well, weeks, as we can’t see each other that often. I also didn’t think this much art and stuff would come out of it or that I’d learn so much about myself from it. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it so much either, or that the guy would be nice like Roland is.
So, I’m not saying “be careful what you wish for”, instead I’m saying that wishes might not turn out like you expect and that can be a good thing because it shows how much you’ve matured and transcended the petty motives of your wishes (which like #2 might have been influenced by childhood experiences of prejudice, bullying, media ideals of beauty or cultural expectations). And when you realize that your wish has been granted and it means nothing to you, there is a certain feeling of power in it. And when your wish is granted differently to how you percieved it (like #3) and you feel that this is actually even better and more fun and amazing than you’d hoped for, it’s freakin’ awesome.