What Do I Want? What’s Right for Me

Follow-up on two posts back (don’t worry, lighter fare again tomorrow):

OK, here’s my guess at the real reason Mrs. Mother is nervous. Bad4Shidduchim does not seem to have decided what she wants to do with her life.

And she’s right. Because I haven’t. I have no definite plans to become a rebbetzin or a CEO. I have no hard and fast answer to “what are you looking for.”  Because I don’t have answers.

What she doesn’t know (because it isn’t done to speak to me directly) is that my lack of decision is a conscious decision of its own. I refuse to invest myself in a specific lifestyle.

Umpteen times in life I’ve invested myself in a particular choice, be it a yearbook job, a high school, a summer job, a seminary, a college, a day job, etc., etc. And every time I really got involved and put in my greatest effort to make what I wanted succeed, it didn’t. And I was forced to accept what I considered second best. In retrospect, knowing more about the options, the “second best” that I was forced into was better for me. But at the time, I was just disappointed (sulky, actually) and convinced I was getting the worse deal. Clarity comes with time.

Before I go further: the last person I mentioned this too accused me of “being negative.” I’m not. It actually pleases me to know that God’s keeping an eye on what I do and preventing me from messing up too badly.

Marriage is more important than seminary or a summer job. The sort of person you marry and the lifestyle you take on will affect the rest of your life. I don’t want to go into that life disappointed, thinking I’m getting the second best option. That’s just a terrible way to start out. So I refuse to start chasing any particular lifestyle – I’m bound to get it wrong and be left with a “but what if…?” At this point in life I can confidently say that I don’t know what’s right for me, but Hashem clearly does. So he can take the reins and drive my coach. Yeah, I’ll do the required hishtadlus, but nothing more. I refuse to invest myself in it, because that way lies disappointment. Rather, I’ll take what life throws at me and roll with the punches.

Hashem: you want me single right now? Fine with me. And a great single I’ll be. You want me paired up with a kollel guy? I’ll be the happiest kollel wife this side of the Atlantic. Offering me a working man? Then I’ll be an awesome mother. That promising fellow isn’t interested? Guess he wasn’t for me. Want me single for life? No problem – I’ll find something constructive to do. Want me married next week? Yessir! Well… actually… can it wait ’til after finals?

And I guess that’s a good deal of what I want to say in this blog. Even if you can’t plot it on a chart, incident by incident, your life is guided by Hashem. So why get all upset when things don’t go how you think they should? Do your part and let Him take care of the rest. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery. You only live once. Don’t waste precious moments crying for what you can’t have.

Want what you get – it’s been chosen by Someone who is never wrong.

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17 thoughts on “What Do I Want? What’s Right for Me

  1. Faith is a comfort to those who travel with it, but, heck do u wanna hear from your dry cleaners that they’ll figure out what to do with that stain on your “expressions dress” you’d rather them keep their mouth shut and give your dress back to you in that neat little plastic bag thingy. your shviger doesnt want to hear that from you either…

  2. I’m not coasting, mrs mouse, if that’s what you mean. I’m definitely not giving “faith” as my reason for not doing anything. I’m pursuing goals and living life and I have contingency plans, but nothing immutable. I just don’t see any point in getting worked up about a specific lifestyle when there are so many equally good options.

  3. That is beautiful. I don’t know if I could have ever had that much faith. Though I do think that maybe you shouldn’t be so scared of not getting what you want that you don’t want anything at all. There has to be a lifestyle that you feel most comfortable with. If you are ambivelent and can go either way, that’s great – but you truly have have to be able to do that. An uhappy wife is an unhappy life. Don’t you want to have a say in what your husband does as well? Not to just take whatever he does as a given? You have to do what’s best for you.

  4. Hey, I just discovered your blog–and I think it’s great! You are not alone in your opinions, and I think that this site might succeed in getting these sentiments across to the rest of society…or at least to a lot more of it.

    So, if I may ask a personal question–why don’t you just completely disown the protcol? Boycott official shadchanim. Wear a jean skirt and hair in a ponytail on a first date. See who cares.

  5. whenever someone asks me what I’m looking for, and they don’t take “oh yeah did you see my earing for an answer?” I tell them that people aren’t lists and I’m not going to create a person… it just doesn’t work… I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to create someone like me from a “what are you looking for?” people are way more complex… or I hope!

  6. Hashem: you want me single right now? Fine with me. And a great single I’ll be. You want me paired up with a kollel guy? I’ll be the happiest kollel wife this side of the Atlantic. Offering me a working man? Then I’ll be an awesome mother. That promising fellow isn’t interested? Guess he wasn’t for me. Want me single for life? No problem – I’ll find something constructive to do. Want me married next week? Yessir!

    Exactly! Part of being a well-developed individual is being able to roll with the punches. As long as the boy is the right one who embodies the essential characteristics your looking for, what diff. does it make whether he works and learns or just learns? I hate it when people insist on a black and white answer. it just shows their own immaturity. you never know what will be thrown your way. it’s completely unrealistic to commit to a specific lifestyle for life.

  7. Good for you! It’s so important to recognize that there is no correct one-size-fits-all lifestyle for everyone; rather different derachim are right for different people. Also, I’m glad you know that being single is no tragedy, and that you have infinite worth and value all on your own!

  8. Just read your whole blog–my husband kept asking why I was laughing to hard, and asking me to read it to him. You are a really good writer. You could write a column in a newspaper (yeah, anonymously)…

  9. Pingback: You Can’t Win (Unless You’re Clued In) | Bad for Shidduchim

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