What You Wish For

Katherine Center has become one of my new favorite authors. I have read two of her books and I am currently reading the third. This book is called “What You Wish For.”

What You Wish For by Katherine Center
What You Wish For

Samantha, known as Sam, is the main character.
We learn early on in the book that she has epilepsy with seizures. We also learn that she feels broken and unlovable because of this.


(Seriously, if you have any interest in reading this book, then please go read it now before you finish reading this.)

We find out later in the book that it is not just because she has epilepsy that she feels this way. There was an incident. She has a memory of her epileptic seizures leading her to believe she was broken and unlovable.

When we learn about the memory, she says:

I never thought about that night now. I hadn’t forgotten it, exactly, but I kept it somewhere at the distant edges of my memory. What was the point of replaying it? Nothing could change. Nothing could work out differently.

Here’s the point:
In that moment, at that time, she learned something about herself and how the world works. And you can go back mentally, discover that lesson, and unlearn it. Yes, you actually can unlearn the lesson that you learned. You can learn that it wasn’t true, even though you thought it was.

In this case, we know she learned that her seizures make her unlovable and broken. That can actually be changed. The event cannot be changed. Her epileptic seizures cannot be changed. But what she learned can be changed.

I agree with people that there is no point in just rehashing the past. There is no benefit in just remembering. There IS a benefit in reactivating the memory in your brain and body to discover what you learned in the moment, so that you can let yourself know that it is not true.

For some people, it might have been true back then and is no longer.

For others, like Sam, it was never true to begin with.