Write Your Wild List

16 Dec

Last week I wrote a post about being wild, and included lists of times I was wild on the outside and inside.  And in writing these lists, I felt reconnected with those wild times in my life and parts of myself.  Often I feel like my experience of life has become dulled, muted, and tamed.  I can get into ruts that last weeks or months or even years, where I am numb and sleepwalking through my days, or worrying and white-knuckling it through my days, or just plain trying to make it through the day.  I keep quiet or play it safe or get all into self-hate.  And in these times, I have complete and total wild child amnesia.  I don’t remember how strong, courageous, free, bold, and downright badass I’ve been at times in my life.  Many, many times, when I’ve taken risks and rebelled and been wide awake, alert, and wild.

Lots of things can numb us out to our own wildness:  Routine.  An unfulfilling job.  Anxiety and worries.  Being hard on ourselves by doling out self-criticism and heaping on self-hate.  The expectations.  All those obligations.  That list goes on and on.  And then there are all those strict disciplinarians – inside ourselves, outside ourselves, remembered, and imagined – keeping watch and reigning us in should we get too feisty.

But luckily, there is a simple cure for wild child amnesia:  writing your own wild list.  Because in the remembering, and in the writing, you can feel that energy again, of your own badass boldness.  And reconnecting with these times in your life and this part of yourself may make you smile.  It could wake you up out of a daze and nudge you out of that rut.  And it just might give you some wild ideas…

So here’s an assignment, should you choose to accept it.  Take out your notebook and pen.  (Hand-writing your list will let you get more unruly and wild than if you neatly type it up.  You can even scribble in the margins, and write outside the lines!)  Turn on some music.  Maybe you have a wild theme song.  One of my favorites is “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry, and I also like to rock out to songs that remind me of my wild days.  Like hip-hop from the early-90’s.   Lauryn Hill circa 1998, D’Angelo in 2000, Justin Timberlake and Gavin DeGraw and The Black Eyed Eyed Peas in 2003, and R&B tunes that were on the radio in the summer of 2005.

So now you have your music.  Maybe you wanna crank it up and dance around a little.  Then sit down, kick back, and write your wild list.  Start it with Times in my life I was wild… and see what adventures it takes you on…

I’d love to hear how it goes.  What are your wild theme songs?  Did writing your list make you smile?  Could you really feel it?  How did it feel?  Get any ideas? 😉

3 Responses to “Write Your Wild List”

  1. @fearofwriting December 16, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    My wild child theme song is LAYLA by Derek & Dominoes, which I’m playing loudly right now as a I type. (I made myself dizzy throwing my hair around while I danced to the first half of it.) Here’s part of my list; I just have to cheat and type some of it so I can post online.

    1. As a 12-year-old newly moved to coastal Australia from inland USA (Montana), I learned to body-surf the waves and swam with a huge turtle off the coast of Woolgoolga. I was also buried in the sand by my brother and friends with only my head visible.

    2. As a student of Orara High School (Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia) I was a DJ on Student Radio CHY. I had to do my share of programmed shifts, but my love for the lifestyle was rewarded by being given my own night-time weekly show. The theme was soft rock and I was allowed to choose all my own music. It wasn’t always “soft” either.

    3. I wrote my book, Fear of Writing, in four months – a spontaneous outburst triggered by a comment a friend made where she used the term “fear of writing.”

    3. After I wrote my book, I felt a burning desire to reach my audience immediately. I could not wait around for publishers to reject me the obligatory 97 times. Print-on-demand was a fairly new resource for authors (this was 1999) of which I knew nothing. But the instant I laid eyes on an ad for it, I knew that was my route. I set the wheels in motion and my book was released 2 months later. Though the first edition revealed some oversights, the imperfections were far better than allowing myself to go back into paralysis. And the things I’ve been forced to do to build my audience is what has kept my book alive for 10 years.

    4. I have not been afraid to move. I’ve lived all over the place, both in Australia and the United States. And being 50 doesn’t stop the wanderlust. There’s no way I’ve put roots down here in Ohio. It’s just not my place. Next, please!

    5. I swam with dolphins in the waters of Cozumel. The ULTIMATE wild child experience – the best fun EVER! Though next time I would prefer to swim with wild dolphins. Still, being dragged and pushed by the feet and tossed by trained dolphins who know exactly how to handle your body was too good to miss!

    ~ Milli

    P.S. In honor of you, I made myself a cup of coffee with freshly-ground beans before I read your post. As soon as I saw the title of your post, I knew I needed to dedicate JAVA to the occasion! :~)

  2. ~m December 20, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    in my late 20s, our crew’s record was gun club’s fire of love. we’d crank that up at every party and whenever we’d get together to go out on the town.

    although ac/dc is one of my favorite bands, motley crue’s live wire has always appealed to me more:
    “plug me in, i’m alive tonight, out on the streets again. turn me on, too hot to stop, something you’ll never forget, take my fist to break down walls. on top tonight oh no, better turn me loose, better set me free, cuz i’m hot, young, running free, a little bit better than i used to be, cuz i’m a live, live wire” that’s how i remember the lyrics and have sung them before graffiti missions, solo bar hops, road trips, walking down the street, riding my bike. not just wild times, but free times. heck, i sang it this morning on my way to yoga! xo,m

  3. Jennifer Garam December 24, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    @Milli – Thanks for sharing your awesome wild list, and I love that you were rocking out to your wild theme song as you wrote it! And so cool that you were a DJ, and overrode the the soft rock theme!

    @m – Thanks for your wild theme song! It would be a fun project to expand this into an entire wild playlist. So true that music can remind us in such a powerful way of times we felt free, make us feel free again in the moment.

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