Sunday, March 19, 2006

Who Am I?

A few weeks ago, we were reading the newspaper, as we usually do on Shabbos. There was an article about this woman who travelled around a lot and then, after a conversation with an old friend, decided to make aliya. She bought a felafel shop in Jerusalem and now spends her days writing, doing art projects and running her felafel shop. This was a true story of a real person. After we finished reading, my husband said, "that woman is your type of person, isn't she?" Well, I didn't want to admit it, though I have had many such friends in my life. I've always felt that they are sort of flighty, and I'd like to think I'm a bit more grounded than that. Then, later, we had another conversation where my husband said that I'm a certain type of person (dreamy or artsy or something like that), to which I replied, "yeah, but I keep that side of myself hidden". And he said, "...even from yourself." This got me thinking, especially in light of a discussion over at MC Aryeh's place about dreams and ambitions. I'm not sure what I want for myself. What do I want in life? Who do I want to be? Who can I be?

A friend of mine told me a while ago that after 8 years of marriage, she is finally
able to come to terms with the fact that she is not made to be June Cleaver. She is a musician, and that's all there is to it. Being a housewife will never satisfy her because that is not who she is, and she won't be able to do it well, either. Well, maybe I would do well to make a similar observation about myself. I'm no musician, but I am a writer. And I would not say that housework will never satisfy me. If it's the only thing there is, then yes, no joy there, but if I am fulfilled in other parts of my life, well, then I can enjoy the housework, too. I'm also interested in going back to school at some point in the future...maybe even soon. I know it can't be too soon, because we can't afford it right now, but once we pay off our newest debts, I want to start saving up for grad school. I've wanted to get a PhD for as long as I can remember and academia has always held an interest for me. So, that's a possible long term plan....

And for now, well, for now, I want to ... that's harder to say. What do I want for right now, in my life?

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

...It's now about a week later, and I want to state that I've come to a realization about myself. I'm at my best when I'm believing in someone else. So maybe I should go into a helping profession. I've always been able to encourage others and believe in them, even against all odds. There was the son of our family friends who had gone off the derech somewhat, and then went to yeshiva in Israel. He ended up staying for two years and turning his life around, and it was partly due to my encouragement... Then there's one of the guys here in our yeshiva this year - I keep encouraging him to go to minyan and to get involved in things, and I think it's making a difference. Why can't I encourage myself that way? Why is it so much easier to believe in others than it is to believe in myself?

8 Comments:

At 7:57 AM, Blogger becomewhatur said...

omg - i made a similar observation about myself recently - that whole being-someone-else's-cheerleader thing. i'm like that too! why is that?

i bet psychologists would have a field day shrinking that - the various needs that it fulfills, blah blah blah...

 
At 4:38 AM, Blogger SS said...

I'm not sure if I'm fulfilling any needs that way, it's just easier to cheer from the sidelines than having to actually work on myself. It's easier to tell someone to get up for minyan than to worry about speaking lashon hara or if my hair is covered properly, etc...

 
At 5:22 AM, Blogger Datingmaster, Jerusalem said...

you certainly care about people so you could be right
anyway come over and just one thingpromise me you arent a bored housewife

 
At 5:51 AM, Blogger Datingmaster, Jerusalem said...

SS I read your comments on my sit ebut it seems become is rather callous. For G-ds sake the husband is dying, how can you dump him now?
waht about soem heart
aslo who is Eric , is he amale lover?The story is jsut to interestin
I'm sorry but I will be involved-I have intelligent thoughts for her

 
At 7:03 AM, Blogger SS said...

If you read what she wrote, he wants to dump her, and if you don't know the whole story, you should either check it out, or just shut up. Please leave her alone.

 
At 8:35 AM, Blogger Moochy said...

We need people like you to preach and help others, rather then rabbanim who are quite distant.

 
At 9:36 AM, Blogger becomewhatur said...

um... whoa - did i miss something?

moochy:

so true! that's what i found - our "inner cheerleading" abilities make us good rebetzin figures. people ask my husband halakhic questions/verdicts, but come to me for major life discussions/decisions. (yes, i do feel like a hypocrite sometimes but i also know that that's just the yetzer hara trying to bring me down.)

 
At 5:10 AM, Blogger Mirty said...

I also enjoy encouraging others. I think it's just part of being a nurturing person. Have to nurture yourself as well.

 

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