I wrote this on April 28th and did not publish it because the negative emotions were too real. Now that I have “gotten what I need” and that involves having less time for blogging, it seems fitting to post.
I didn’t get what I wanted today. I knew that it was most likely that I wouldn’t get what I wanted. God and I have had an understanding for a very long time: I may never get what I want, but eventually, I might just get to be holy… and along the way I might be really happy to have things a husband1 that I never wanted.
But every so often I start thinking that I shouldn’t be so cynical. I should give God the chance to give me what I want. And so in addition to praying along with the Church as a whole, praying for my friends’ requests, and whatever other oh-I’m-so-holy-I-don’t-care-enough-to-doubt prayers I happen to have that day, I ask for something specific that I want. In this case I’ve been asking daily for over a month. And today it became clear that it really is not going to happen.
And suddenly I am 15 again. I can’t have what I want? Well then, I’ll just work harder. I will be perfect in every single area of my life, in every way that I can control, and then maybe I will eventually get what I want. Wait. You don’t see what this has to do with being a 15-year-old?
My parents didn’t exactly have the time or energy to figure out how to discipline me as a teen. So if I spoke to my father in a less than respectful tone he would quickly respond with the best punishment he knew: forbidding me to go to the library or something similar. I would be furious inside that I was not allowed to go to the library because I was misunderstood. A series of such incidents would lead to a breaking point and after a brief emotional meltdown in private I would resolve to be perfect. Not because I wanted to please my parents, but because perfection was the only thing that I could think of wanting. So I would clean and reorganize my room, start getting up early in the morning, stop eating, go for a run, and try to get ahead with schoolwork.
It is obvious to me now that that poor girl needed some counseling. After all, who responds to stupidly unjust punishments as a teen by seeking perfection? But she is still me.
And this evening I found myself wanting to go for a long run, despite the fact that I had already run earlier in the day. Because being in shape is part of being perfect, and if I can’t get what I want, then I can at least be what I want to be, right? And who would want to be anything other than perfect? It did not matter that I did not need to run, and that being in shape had absolutely nothing to do with what I wanted and could not have.
In weak moments, do you ever find that you are still a teenager? How do you respond to not getting what you really, really want?
1. Silly me. Every few weeks I am amazed at how wonderful Josh is and wonder why on earth I didn’t always want to get married! Thank goodness Josh was up for convincing me that I really did want to get married, even though I wasn’t aware of it.
- I am thankful 9/19/2010
- I am thankful 9/29/2010