Dear Lana,

When I was in middle school, I used to pray to God for resilience. I wasn’t even religious. I don’t know if it worked or not. I am here now, and I imagine whatever has passed between then and now has made me more resilient.

Today, I question whether or not it is too much to want too much. I believe that there is something deeply human and enriching about wanting things in life. Wanting a life better than the life we have now amounts to the fundamental task of existence. This want manifests itself in different ways, and we want things to fulfill this need.

Lana, I’m starting to realize the difference between a want in a need. There is very little that I need in life anymore, and I attempt to fulfill this void in purpose by wanting things. But wanting this often leads to disappointment. You can only be disappointed when you want something. You cannot be disappointed with something that you did not want in the first place.

When I set out to want, I sometimes forget that not all wants lead somewhere you want to go. More often than not, wants plunge passion and energy into a bottomless pit, unable to surface ever again. But it is the idea that someday these wants might lead to something that continues to drive me.

Lana, I don’t know why I used to pray to God for resilience. I want to be more resilient to face the other side of want — the side we often forget when we’re caught up in our dreams. It takes resilience to follow your wants because wanting sets yourself up for disappointment, and resilience is the possibility of effortlessly moving from one point in time to the next.