735 wishes and miracles

In honor of it being my (21st) birthday in four days (But where has all the time gone?), I thought it would be apt to do a bit more self-explaining in my blog post today.

When I first began my forays into blogging in April 2010 on Tumblr, I came up with the moniker: 735 wishes and miracles. Unlike other blogs on Tumblr or other sites who underwent name changes as time passed, I remained – obviously – faithful to my first name of choice.

Which brings me to the question that many of my followers have asked me in the past: “Why 735?”

In 2007 or 2008, my family went to Michael’s, as we were apt to do then, in search of frames for our growing collection of completed jigsaw puzzles. At the end of one of the aisles were baskets of painted, wooden words. They were decorative little things, spelling out motivational and encouraging cheers like “Love” and “Achieve.”

I brought home three that afternoon: Smile, Dream, and Live.

Photo taken by my 16-year-old self
Photo taken in December 2008, by an obviously very dreamy 16-year-old version of myself. | Photo by Courtney Cheng

For my approximately 14-year-old self, they were inspirational – but in a very trendy sort of way. If Pinterest had been around then, these words and their suggested methods of decoration would have been all over the trend site, potentially advertised as simple, fail-proof projects.

Though I didn’t decorate my particular words, these words have since hung upon my wall. The first time I found myself searching about my room for blog name inspirations, they were one of the first things that caught my eye. Since I didn’t just want to use the words as they were, I located each of the first letters (s, d, and l) on a number pad and chose the three corresponding numbers: 7, 3, and 5.

The phrase “wishes and miracles,” on the other hand, derived from a far less precise and less remembered process. I guess there was a part of my 14-year old self that simply enjoyed the way the phrase rolled off her tongue or found something romantic about the vaguely damsel in distress notion of constantly “making wishes and waiting on miracles.” (This phrase still exists on my Tumblr.)


In case anyone has any doubts – fear not. I did not keep this name for the reasons I just explained. The name has lost most of its romanticized appeal.

735 still derives from those same words that are still hung in the same order on my bedroom wall, but lots of things have changed since then.

And I mean that quite literally.

That same bedroom wall, present day. Photo courtesy of my mom.
That same bedroom wall, present day. Photo courtesy of my mom.

Although I no longer live at home or see my bedroom wall everyday, the words serve as little reminders for myself:

Ever since I was little, I’ve been reminded – very kindly, despite my ungracious responses – to smile more often, because even my peaceful thinking face makes me appear grumpy. Dreaming just a little bigger – not unrealistically, mind you – helps motivate me to always strive for the best in all I do. And as for the live, well, it’d simply be a shame for me – and anyone – to not make the most of each and every day.

Now in regards to those “wishes and miracles…” I haven’t actually made a wish – on a star, on an eyelash, on an 11:11, on a dandelion – in a long while. For someone who often sat around a couple minutes waiting for time to pass in order to make a wish, it sounds a bit drastic, but in all honesty – it’s not that bad.

I think I’ve stopped making wishes because I’m happy with my life. I’ve stopped finding the need to make tiny wishes on potentially superficial things, not simply because I know it won’t work, but because the thought simply no longer occurs to me.

This definitely doesn’t qualify under the OED‘s definition of a “miracle:”

4. A remarkable, wonderful, or (in weakened sense) very surprising phenomenon or event; an achievement or occurrence seemingly beyond human power; an outstanding achievement.

But it’s definitely been an “achievement” for me, the little girl who grew up with fantastical dreams and alternate realities playing in her head ever since she was seven.

Let’s call this Miracle #1, and let the hope exist that someday I’ll get to #735.

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