The Arrow

There are no answers; only choices.

Wishful Thinking

Posted by thearrow on April 14, 2008

Lately, it’s become harder and harder for me to figure out what I really want. Apart from a few very specific things, like a digital SLR, more money, and a more stable situation, I can’t put my finger on it. Things used to be so clear for me when I was younger; another reason to miss my 20s. I was enthusiastic about school, work, friends, concerts, everything. Now I feel like something died in me. Sure, you can’t, nor should you, be mentally in your 20s forever but I miss the kind of decisiveness I used to have. I ALWAYS knew what I wanted.

One main reason for my being so wishy-washy is that I learned (the hard way, as usual) that not everything you really want is good for you. In the be-careful-what-you-wish-for department, I dreamed big, the dreams came true against all odds, only to feel like I got the short end of the stick. Now I second guess my choices. And then I realize that some things I dream of are in complete contradiction with how I am and I haven’t found a way to reconcile that. I guess because I’m an only child and I have just my parents and an aunt for close family (and, of course, my dog :), the ideal life in my imagination would be a big, gregarious family that would give me a sense of protection. But that clearly wouldn’t work for me since I barely get together even with friends these days and I just want to be by myself. Realistically speaking, I can’t imagine putting up with a lot of relatives :). I have zero tolerance for spending time with people I don’t like and never really liked the concept of relatives anyway. No matter; my imagination keeps going in the opposite direction.

Everything else is even murkier. Professionally, I like it where I am and I get frustrated when I can’t do things as well as I’d like to, but I don’t have the same zest I used to have. And, with everyone else around me being so articulate and super intelligent, it feels like an insurmountable task to become more competitive. Sure, I try to be better every day; I just can’t hope I’ll get where I want any time soon :). And I’m not even too sure where I want to get, so forget about the ever stupid brilliant interview question, “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” πŸ™‚

And personally… well, that’s the biggest cloud of nothing you’ve ever seen :). Sometimes (for maybe 5 minutes every week) I want to be in a relationship. But when I think of figuring out the whole male-female miscommunication stuff again, not to mention explaining my complicated situation and hoping the other person will understand and accept it, thank you but no thank you. I already have a job and get paid for it. Plus, I cannot imagine accommodating someone else for 5 minutes of my life right now. I’m on autopilot with my work-gym-home routine and the thing I want the most is the least disturbance possible. So I miss my enthusiasm but I love my peace of mind. Maybe things will be the way they used to be when I know where the heck I’m going to put roots down. Until then, the buzz at the back of my head takes away any extra energy I might otherwise have left after 9-10 hours at work and 90 push-ups :)).

Speaking of, Susan (my beloved trainer) was on vacation for three weeks and just got back today. We were all hoping she’d have mercy on us but, alas, we had to do 3 sets of 30. We were all moaning and groaning and she had us count to make sure we breathe. Heh-heh.

But back to the wishful sheep, I really wish I knew what I wanted, so to speak :). I think this is probably one of the best ways of knowing yourself. On the one hand, you have to know yourself to know what your want; on the other, you learn more about yourself as you go through the exercise of figuring out what you want and, quite possibly, maybe learn some hard truths about yourself while you’re at it. I’m still somewhat paralyzed by the fear that maybe what I want isn’t really what’s good for me. So I keep the images of the things I want in the shape of a glimmer, never too well-defined. Also, my mind refuses to be specific because I actually don’t believe those things are possible; they seem too pie-in-the-sky, so I give up on the exercise altogether. And I think that’s really dangerous because nothing good can come out of not knowing what the heck you want.

So here I am, wishing I could wish…

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8 Responses to “Wishful Thinking”

  1. v said

    i don’t quite get it. either you know what you want and you’re afraid this isn’t what’s good for you, or you don’t know what you want.
    or that fear makes you say you don’t know…

    (by the way, you know that theories saying one has to construct a very clear image of the thing(s) one wants in order to obtain it. something like ‘visualising the thing forces it to become real’ – something related to a ‘shape energy’, idon’tknowwhattheheckisthat.
    there’s this novel in which they say it doesn’t matter if jesus’ story was real or not; billions of people imagining it for centuries could give it a material shape someday…)

  2. thearrow said

    I’m afraid that whatever I might desire will not be good for me, so I’ve stopped wishing. Then, I don’t believe my wishes will come true any longer, so, even if I have a glimpse of what I want, I’m not imagining things in a decisive way, like I used to. Plus, they might not be good for me, so they’re just simmering in my subconscious, where all the other bad stuff is :).

    Yes, I know the theory that you have to visualize things if you want them to become reality and I believe it’s true. I’m not sure I did that but on two occasions I wanted something really badly and it happened; completely out of the blue. There was no way on earth that they could have happened, but they did. But lately, one thing I really want is not on the horizon at all and I lost hope it will be. Can’t summon the energy to visualize it…

  3. alt.L said

    “And I think that’s really dangerous because nothing good can come out of not knowing what the heck you want.” — hmmm, very instrumental and paradoxical too, don’t you think? setting goals + accomplishing them = happiness. it seems you feel ‘blue’ because you actually have accomplished the things you were striving for in your twenties.

    what’s wrong with enjoying who you are, what you have, and not driving yourself crazy? you are not your boss — god, i’m smart!

    isn’t it brilliant that total strangers actually write to cheer you up? you’re spoiled, girl! πŸ™‚

  4. thearrow said

    Eh, thank you. I can always use some spoiling :). I’m happy I’ve reached my goals but have run into some unintended consequences. Or, better said, I was blinded by the goals and didn’t even think what could go wrong. And believe me, a lot of things did. Or maybe I should just shrug (like I do, sometimes) and say there could have been no other way. Still struggling with the consequences though, so it’s hard to shrug.

    And you’re right: very instrumental vision. I can never kick back and relax…

  5. k. said

    Regarding what you don’t know what you want? Career, housing, country of residence? So many things crossed my mind when reading your post, that I didn’t know what to think of in particular.

  6. thearrow said

    I’m confused myself, so no wonder people didn’t really understand what I want to say :). Sorry about that. Career-wise, I can’t think long term for some reason. The field I work in is so vast that I’m not sure yet what I’d like to do and what I’d be best at. I’m just going with the flow for now. Housing is perfect if country of residence stays the same, but that’s the big if. And on a personal level (read relationships) I’m not sure what I want at all; whether I want one and, if yes, what kind of person. People usually have a more defined image at least in this department, so I’m just puzzled that I don’t have the faintest idea :). I guess I should just stop thinking about this altogether for now, since there are other things I need to concentrate on.

  7. v said

    thank god you have no well-defined image about the ‘kind of person’ you’d like to be in a relationship with! that’s the sure path to desaster.
    i used to have such well-defined images and i ended up very happy with someone totally different from the image i used to enjoy.
    not to mention the persons who fit the image… never fit the image. πŸ˜€

  8. thearrow said

    You’re right. I’m just a little confused that I can’t define what I want other than in very broad brush strokes. Maybe that means it just doesn’t matter for now.

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