I’ve never done a guest post before, but YH landed this in my inbox, and I like it. Even better, YH is a guy.
When I got back into shidduchim last year, there was one rule first and foremost in my mind: I wanted to get married, not play games. One of the reasons I want to get married is to find the happiness that comes from stability, because it’s hard to be happy when you have this huge gaping hole in your life. It’s hard to see the positives past such a big negative. It’s hard to enjoy yourself when all you want to do is lie down and indulge in self-pity. We’ve all had something which makes us feel incredibly lousy. It’s the essence of the shidduch crisis. The crisis isn’t that there are thousands of unmarried men and women who desire strongly to have kids and raise a family. The crisis is you and me. It’s a personal crisis shared by thousands.
I know what it means to hold a baby in your arms, to teach a child to read, to show little ones right from wrong. Boruch Hashem, I’ve been blessed with several ridiculously cute kinfauna (kn’ayin harah) whom I treasure more than anything and who love me back unconditionally. Boruch Hashem I have a close relationship with my married siblings, so I have a glimpse at the inside of the married universe.
It’s the hardest thing for me in the world.
How can I maintain a balance, an equilibrium, when every day I’m constantly reminded that I’m still alone, that I’m still single – especially in a culture that revolves around family life? How can I maintain yourself through rejection after rejection; to see my optimism and self-confidence crumble into dust?
I have to take some time off. Indulge in a little of that self-pity, and do it without feeling guilty. Just let it wash over myself. Watch a movie, seek out sympathetic friends. Do something relaxing, comforting. Then think it through – remember what my life is about. True, the life I want includes a wife and family. But that’s not the life Hashem has given me – not yet – and I have to live the life I have now to the best of my ability. There is so much out there for me to do: I have no business wallowing in yearning for something out of my reach.
To the contrary: it’s time to grab life by the horns. Time to kick back into high hear, make a goal for myself, follow it through to the triumph. Start exercising, drop a few pounds, ditch the raggedy sweater with the nachos stains and get a nice shirt and new tie. It’s time to feel better about being me, to start being proactive about life in general.
It’s okay to have a bad day, but only as a launchpad for a better future. It’s okay to crazy – but only for a day.
see YH, told you to send here. 🙂
YH, well said! Thank you for broadcasting your voice of normalcy to the blogosphere.
It gets me annoyed when people tell me that I can’t indulge in self-pity every once-in-a-while. We need to release those pent-up frustrations at times so that we can move forward!
Finally a non-sarcastic post to tell us what we really feel if we peel off our pride !
I, also, have a fleet of kinfauna who are constant reminders. I am thankful for them as trial runs, as giving me good practice in ideal child rearing (scream often). Although, thanks to the in depth retelling of their births, I am actually happily remaining in denial.
I have found that for now, I have managed to banish feelings of pessimism; I focus on one thing: the Eibishter will send my man (Han Solo) in his time. I don’t want to look back and think, “Why was I so bummed?” I want to live in the present, focusing on the brachos I have been given, rather than what I do not yet have.
What YH said is the essence of hishtadlus – I do my part, bouncing out the door dressed for success, and Hashem will deliver. Not right now, but eventually.
How old are you all? I hope you’re at least in your 30s to feel this way. Not to put down marriage, or your desire to find a soul mate. The 20s are wasted in wallowing in pity.
Especially for guys.
Women/girls have to wait for a guy to call and, apparently, it happens way too infrequently so I can understand their depression.
Men, are either in control of when to go out, busy with learning, or pursuing careers. I can see annoyance at the type of people they are going out with under the “shidduch system”. But do not understand despair in the 20s.
Perhaps, it’s a cultural and chronological divide.
Back in the day no matter what the hashkafic constellation of the people I knew YH’s plaint was rare indeed (I never heard of it, but it doesn’t mean it didn’t exist).
I guess I want to say that there’s an awful lot to live and experience outside of pairing up. It is a religious obligation, a social good, and a personal need. But from listening for months here, and speaking with my kids and friends and their kids, I think it is way too centralized and pressurized. Thank heavens I am older and my kids are beyond that stage.
there’s a very simple test to determine whether or not the self pity is good for you. does anything good come from it? in my experience the answer is no. sure, while pondering your plight you can strengthen your resolve to get back on the horse. but does the resolve come from the self pity itself, or is it a result of recognizing your situation. i believe it’s the latter, and nothing good will come from the pity-no matter how attractive it may seem.
You may be right, I may be crazy. But it just might be a loooonatic you’re looking for!
What is the point of life? To get married and have kids so that those kids can get married and have kids? I am being facetious because I think you are missing the point of what life’s about. One’s purpose in life is not to get married. Marriage is supposed to hopefully help one achieve one’s purpose in life, but it is not, or should not be, the purpose in life for most intelligent men (the case of women is possibly a bit more complicated).
I know how you feel… I just went out with a guy the other night who told me that my “problem” is that I’m single and am apparently looking for this perfect guy who doesn’t exist. I wanted to punch him. I love how the problem is that I am single and not the fact that there is a lack of decent respectful men in the Jewish community. http://checkpleaseee.blogspot.com/2011/05/you-dont-even-know-me.html
Billy, glass houses is a great album.
Don’t ride my motorcycle in the rain.
And you wouldn’t want me any other way!
check pleaseee: i read your link and, well, you seem to be self-aggrandizing. rare is the person who is as unique as you professed to be. sure, people are unique in their assortment of likes and thoughts etc., but not usually in any specific attribute. that being said, that guy deserved some serious punishment. were i you, i would have ranted real nastily at him right after the drunk comment and not have carried on a moment longer.
@ Guyinla- The point I was trying to make was that when it comes to dating, guys shouldn’t just assume that all women are alike. Obviously as awesome as I am, I’m not out on a power trip. I was simply trying to express my frustration with men who don’t take the time to actually get to know a person and instead assume that all women are the same and want the same things. Although- I am unique in the sense that he probably never dated a girl with a blog like mine before 🙂 I actually DID call him out on the drunk comment later on when he told me a story about a girl who he took to a vegan restaurant. She didn’t want to eat there because of the lack of hashgacha and he told the waiter they had to leave because she can’t read english. He said “yea whenever an awkward situation comes up I just make a joke” I was like “YEA at the girl’s expense! I was going to PUNCH you when you made that vodka comment”. He just laughed… I’m not the confrontational type AND he was my ride home- so I just suffered in silence. I wish I had the guts to really rip into him.
Aside from this little rant- I hope you are entertained by my misfortunes in the dating world. At least they serve some purpose 🙂
Thanks for all the comments! Just to make a few things clear – I am in my 20’s, and last year went through a major breakup. I wrote this not to “wallow” in self-pity, but to express what helped me get through my failed relationship, analyze what I could do to avoid previous mistakes (note: if everyone is telling you something is wrong, LISTEN!).
David: Marriage is supposed to be the vehicle through which one perfects himself. By putting his wife’s needs above his own, by sacrificing (sleep, money, car) for his children, one is able to come closer to Hashem. Further, chazal state that a person is not complete until he is married. Marriage is not the purpose of life, but indeed it is a noble goal from which one can better complete the challenges of life.
Guyinla: The pity is merely an escape valve, it lets me retake control of myself. Perhaps not the best choice of words, but I think you get the idea.
Ezzie: Right as usual!
Badforshidduchim: Thanks for posting it!
YH THANKS FOR YOUR WISE ASSESSMENT ON HOW TO NAVIGATE THROUGH THE NISAYONOS UNTIL WE FIND THE RIGHT ONE. YOUR HASKOFOS ARE STRONG AND VALID AND YOU ARE NOT AFRAID TO SHARE THE HUMAN SIDE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT.
YH THANK YOU FOR YOUR THOUGHTS ON HOW TO NAVIGATE THROUGH LIFE’S NISYONOS UNTIL WE FIND THE RIGHT ONE. YOUR HASKAFOS ARE STRONG AND VALID. THANKS FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT