to wish, need, crave, demand, or desire

to be without or be deficient in

“Tell me, right now, what you want.”

I sat in a springy armchair in a slightly musty room in a retreat center, twisted sideways to face my friend in the tweed armchair on the other side of the end table.  I had asked her advice, or her listening, I suppose, because she is my peer, in a similar place in life, and because it was a retreat.  You do things like this on retreats, I thought, even if you’re leading them.  You have these conversations with yourself.  It’s inherent.  Walking away for a weekend, leaving behind homework, shedding those surface attachments, it all leaves room.  Quiet, quiet room in my mind for those wonderings.

What I want?

There have been too many voices contributing to that conversation; my own was drowned out long ago.  I don’t remember anymore, without any outside influences, what I want.

I want my colorful planner to be already laid out for the next five years, the way it has been all my life, but it isn’t.

What I want?

I want to work on my writing, to be near those I love, to simply go to work and come home and have time to do what I love and maybe enjoy my job as well, small things, really, when I list them like this, but I cannot want them, because they are not what I have said I wanted, what I claimed for myself, what others want for me.

I want not to be found wanting.  I desire things of my own, but worry that by fulfilling my own wishes I will become deficient in outsiders’ eyes.

What I want?

I’d like to know that too.  Or be able to admit that I know it, and that I want it at all.  That I think it’s what God wants for me, too, because I wouldn’t still feel this way otherwise.

I sat in a springy armchair in a slightly musty room in a retreat center, twisted sideways to face my friend.  She wanted to know what I wanted.

And somehow, I told her.

One thought on “Want

  1. leatherneck6693 October 7, 2015 / 11:02 pm

    When I was graduating from college what “I wanted” was irrelevant. It was what Uncle Sam wanted that was controlling.and he wanted me to march off to war. Which I did and fortunately was able to march home again (note here avoiding digression into discussion of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”). Until I retired from the Marines I never had a doubt about what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a father, a husband, a friend, and a Marine and I never got up one morning in 27 years wishing i was doing anything else.

    But then retirement and the certainty vanished. What i wanted to do was to own a bookstore with an attached breakfast cafe because i cook really great breakfasts and I love to be immersed in books. Rocking back in my window seat with a musty tome and a crisp strip of bacon? What could be better? Perhaps nothing could be better but they could be more practical – there was the family to support, after all. So to the law firm in Tacoma which was what i needed to do but was clearly not what i wanted.

    So when I fled the practice of law I wondered again what i wanted. I still don’t know – my health wouldn’t survive being a short order cook and the closest i come to being surrounded by books is to balance my Kindle on my head. But i am still looking.

    The good news is that the older I get the fewer “opinions” are voiced about what I should be wanting or doing. And i promise I will not offer any opinions about what choices you should make. I have also discovered that the search for what you want is, in the words of Mr. Spock, “fascinating”. .

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