What do I want? It is a question that bothers me. In every situation in my life, I now come to realise, my decision about what I want has largely been controlled by what I don’t want. I think this may be true for most women. We are very good at vocalising what we do not want… we do not want to be kept waiting, we do not want to be shouted at for being late when we are changing our outfit for the fifth time, we do not want to become some sad and lonely bitter woman with cats. But the truth is that we, modern women, have very little idea about what we do really want. I know there are plenty of women in the Katamon area especially who will disagree with this… they will claim that they know exactly what they want… they want to be settled with a husband and a minyan of children in Modi’in. However, I find very few of these women who at the same time are not eager to make something of their lives… to pursue their essence.
I have such admiration for those I know who are the lucky few to posses the will and tenacity to strive for something that they want. I always thought that I was one of these people, perhaps in circumstances I am, but faced with the plate of meat and 2 veg I will always begin chewing the sprout and lead up to the meat. I will always give consideration to every aspect of my life… even if it is just to say “no that is not for me”. It is an exhausting existence to sit and think and contemplate every aspect of your life over and over again to determine what you want. The general response is “Well, you need to think about it and find what it is you want”… not especially helpful.
I try to think about it from the other angle, as I know I am very good at saying what I don’t want, so I think about all the things that are unappealing to me in order to try and create a picture of what I would like. It is wearisome because there is no answer; no-one can tell me that I am heading in the right direction. Even my parents cannot give me the answers I am looking for, and this I know is because the answer is inside me… only I can answer my own questions. The issue here is that there is too much confusion. I know what my parents’ expectations of me are, even though they say they would like me just to be happy, there is more to it than that. I see how my family have evolved and the path that is laid out for me to follow. I recognise that this is not just something reserved for my family, but too my friends as well, who have their paths set and see mine following a similar route… a route that has so far lead us all to Israel.
The problem is that in my journey I only got as far as the holy land, and in my quest here I would find the answers… here I would find my peace… here I would become the woman I envisioned myself as being. However, beauty is only skin deep, and when you are progressing forward there is no such thing as devolution. I cannot go back to being what I was, although in some respects I would like to. So in order to move on, to move forward I need to determine what it is I want.
Big problem… in the respect of what I want, I am totally clueless. A friend once asked me why I would go to everyone I knew in the pursuit of advice on any subject. I told him that it was because I like to hear everyone’s opinions in order to reach my own judgement. My friend laughed at me and said “you go to anyone and everyone until you get the answer you want… the answer you have already reached on your own.” My friend is wise beyond their years, as this, I know, is exactly what I do. I ask people to give me their opinions on my life, until I hear one that resonates with me. Why can I not do this myself? I give great advice to all my friends. I am generally a level headed kinda gal, who sees things realistically and who can also be compassionate to those who seek my advice. Yet I cannot do the same for myself. I cannot be compassionate and level headed for myself, which pretty much sucks!
“Channah you need to sit and think about what you want”. When did we all start thinking so much? When did we all grow up and have to put so much thought into everything. When did life become that complicated? And where did our instincts go? I wouldn’t even recognise my instinct if it jumped up and bit me on the nose! So no more thinking… I have decided that I will make no more decisions that require a great deal of thought. I am flying by the seat of my pants, I am going with the flow and I am going to see where the wind takes me. Maybe I will fail, maybe I will fall, but one thing I know is that I will pick myself up, because although I may not know what I want… I know that I do not ever want to fail… and it is that will in me that drives me forward and allows me to achieve my goals.
So if I am determining what I want by knowing what I do not want, then what do I do when I am not sure if I do not want something? How do I make the decision when I am being pulled in two different directions? I guess I’ll start with the two veg until I get to the meat!