Thursday, June 25, 2009

All I Wish For and All I Need

 “…caught in between all you wish for and all you need…” is the sentiment that has been lingering in my subconscious for days. These are the lyrics of a song that my i-pod appropriately stumbled upon during one particularly long metro ride, when I realized that the words reflected exactly what it is I have been feeling since the end of classes.

It’s an incredible song…listen: 

(this is the Michael Stipe and Chris Martin version…the best).

So that’s it- I think that I am, fundamentally, caught in between what I wish for and what I need. Maybe that's the human condition. Maybe it’s my condition. I suppose there are some fortunate individuals out there whose desires are consistent with their necessities. Lucky them. I, on the other hand, have entirely polar wants and needs- where the things I long for couldn't be more different from the things I require. I’m not referring to the “givens” as in- I need water but I want champagne…I need sleep but I want waking moments.

No, those aren’t specific to just me. (Trust me, I took a poll)

Instead, I boast a wide range of conflicting interests that tend to result in daily internal struggles:

I need calmness but I want chaos. I thought that the end of school- and the space between one obligation and another would be good for me- that I would finally be at peace after a long stretch of calamity. Instead, I find myself unsettled- frantically twitching inside my own head wondering how I found myself doing nothing and how to make it stop. I know I need still surroundings- serenity- to breathe and think and walk at a pace where the people behind of me start cursing under their breaths.

Instead- I want Bangkok in the dead heat of summer- I want Manhattan at rush hour- dirty metro stations filled with people, pungent smells and the sounds of bums singing and wheels screetching- back to back taxi cabs, feet pounding the pavement and the honking of horns. I actually like the feeling of fear in the pit of my stomach, sweat rolling down the nape of my neck- I want anger and love and hate and passion and desire all at once- traffic and noise and lights and the feeling that it will never end- that the pandemonium will continue for as long as I will…or as long as I can bear it. I know I require rest, my body knows it- sleepy afternoons with the shades drawn. But it’s not what I crave- It drives me mad.

I need a relationship with someone who can wrap me in his arms and shelter me from any harm that may threaten me. I should want a relationship that I feel safe in- that is comfortable and stable. I want to want devotion and harmony- peace and comfort. What I find myself craving- and subsequently seeking- is unrest…the dramatics and ups and downs- the passionate fighting and then if I’m lucky- passionate making-up. I don’t want to know how it will end and what’s around the next corner. I want to wonder- I desire the surprises and disarray. I make messes and if I can’t create them myself, I invite them in. I wait for turmoil to find me. The commotion is what I feed off of and when all that mess turns to something good- and healthy- and normal…I get bored and move on to the next fiery rapport.

I know this is not wholesome- that I should probably go for something more nourishing…but its what I do. It’s what I require.

I need to find myself a career path that is stable and comfortable and profitable. I should want a clean cut route- a 10 year plan. I’ve been making lists of attainable goals- 401ks and tenures. The things I want have no pension plans- no road signals- no straights and narrows. I don't even have a 10-month plan. And in the case that I did- I would probably swerve off the path at month 5, crash, and a little piece of me would die.

So what I NEED- is far from what I want. And now-in the serenity and long empty daylight hours that I thought I wanted…a time where I actually have a second to sit and look back on having accomplished a part of what I needed- I am slowly figuring out that what I knew I wanted has been the same all along. I’m undeniably caught in between all I wish for and all I need….and it seems like this is going to be a lifelong affliction. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post. You have a baudelaire soul with the brain of an American mba.

I think this feeling is fairly common among privileged people our age. You have the brains, the looks, the worldlyness, the world class education, the supporting family...too many possibilities, too many places to go. Previous generations had their paths better carved...shipped off to Germany with an M1 Grand, come back work at Chevy for 40 years, raise the kids and retire.

Now for people like you, the world is their backyard. You can do this, you can do that, live here or live there. We enjoy ultimate freedom. Freedom means desicions and desicions means anxiety.

But don't let yourself forget in your journy...hapiness is a personal decision