Wishing On A...: 4 Ways to Satisfy Your Longings

[quote]There is a space between man's imagination and man's attainment that may only be traversed by his longing.[/quote]

It’s been almost a week since Ash Wednesday 2013, and Catholics (and people who just feel like giving something up) are fasting everything from gossiping to selfies for Lent. The season’s name originates from the Old English word lencten, meaning lengthen, and literally refers to the longer daylight hours leading up to Spring. The spiritual significance of this 40 day discipline isn’t, however, about how long it is, but about its capacity to cultivate longing.

Longing is deeper than wanting, and different than coveting. Its synonyms are yearning, desire, even hunger and thirst. Coveting can be equally intense, but its orientation is toward what belongs to another. In other words, coveting approaches life with “if only’s”: if only I had that boyfriend, that job, that instagrammed breakfast, then I would be happy. Longing asks, “What if?”:  What if there really is enough to go around? What if what I need is actually what I really want? What if I fail? (What if I succeed?)

Although “pinning” has expanded our horizon of wishes (especially in the craft and leisure categories), it might not be helping us with our long-term desires. Here are four ways you can transform your capricious longings into thoughtfully honed wishlists:

1. Closet Catharsis

Closet Catharsis is one way Anna Akbari (the brains behind this website!) helps people articulate their desired visual identity and strategize accordingly. This undertaking  includes verbs like eliminating, revisiting, assessing, identifying, listing, shopping, and reorganizing. In other words, Closet Catharsis doesn’t just tell you what to wear for a day, but teaches you how to consciously and creatively dress for a lifetime.

2. Gimme Bar

Gimme Bar goes beyond bookmarking to book-saving, so that what you want is not only on a website, but also on your hard drive, allowing you to have some vision before you go on a shopping spree. Once organized, you can share your wishlists with family and friends, allowing them to have some peace of mind when it comes time for that group birthday gift.

3. Uncovet


Uncovet is a new curated shopping site, founded by the former Myspace creative director Heather Lipner. Focusing on one-of-a-kind products, Uncovet does the research about what’s new, overlooked, limited, or unique, so that members can get a headstart with tailoring their tastes without breaking the bank.

4. Airbnb’s Wish Lists


Last June, the peer-to-peer travel community,  Airbnb, added Wish Lists to their site, allowing members to create fully customized wish lists, by peeking at friends’ favorite listings, saving lists for future dream vacations, and receiving Airbnb curated Wish Lists   like Trees and Zzzzz’s, Paleo Properties, and Ashton Kutchers’ Modern Getaways. This  simple, image-based feature empowers users to become their own travel agents, and makes the possibilities of social travel even more inspiring and accessible.