Friday, August 27, 2004

You can never have everything you want

As I'm writing this, I'm sitting at my desk, listening to the song "Until Now," by the band called Stir. One of the great things about my hometown is that it's one of the great music markets in the country, and that new bands get tested on radio there before most of the rest of the country has ever heard of them. For example, I was listening to Matchbox 20 (before they began to suck, mind you -- Long Day was a great song) and Tonic. Around the time that the aforementioned two bands were arriving on the scene, so was Stir, a rock band that I thought was far superior and, as these things go, much underappreciated. Their self-titled debut is one of the gems of my music collection, much better than their second release (although it's worth getting for the song "Velvet Elvis" all by itself).

Why am I getting nostalgic, you ask, dear reader? I'm getting to my point.

As crazy as it sounds, lately, I miss my old life immensely. This is ironic because that life was going nowhere at the speed of light. I had no ambition, no love life to speak of, and I lived with my mother. Sure, our schedules didn't allow us to spend that much time together, and she charged a very reasonable $200/month rent, but, come on, I was living with my mother.

Then I discovered my ancestral religion, and my life began to change rapidly. From the day I first went into the synagogue where I became religious, to the time I left my hometown to go study in yeshiva in Israel, a mere 9 months had barely passed. Don't think I don't regret leaving. Objectively, I had to leave. I had accomplished as much as I could in my own personal spiritual growth there.

It must have devastated my parents, as my brother had already left to go off to college in another town, and after graduating, moved to Israel, as he had also become religious around the same time. This January, it'll have been two years since I've seen my brother (my only sibling), but we hope to see him in February for an upcoming family occasion about which I'll doubtless blog later.

I have no regrets about becoming religious. Being Jewish is very important to me, and I'm not about to throw it in the shredder and going back to the secular life, which, for the most part, I view as predominantly self-destructive.

I think part of the problem is that I hate New York with a passion. My father hates New York with a passion, also. That's why we left New York in the first place. My father was none too happy when his first born son moved to New York City; in fact, he felt like I was rejecting everything he had ever taught me. I was excited to be in a thriving Jewish community, and I was going to be on the prowl searching in earnest for my future spousal unit. If I lived in a place where people
were a bit nicer to each other, maybe things would be different. Growing up, I could go months without hearing a car horn honk. It's just not something you'd do unless there was imminent physical danger. In New York, it's the same, only the imminent physical danger is that you're going to piss your pants unless the guy in front of you slams the gas on the exact, precise moment that the light turns green. And then, there's all these useless, socialist programs that we must endure here, like the Department of Environmental Protection (recycle or we'll bring guns to make sure you recycle!), the Department of Buildings (don't do anything with your property until you have our permission, boy!), and the Department of the Aging (is that where old people go to work?).

Post high school, I never really went to bars, stayed out to all hours of the night partying, or really did anything of much interest to most people who were my age, despite the fact that nothing at all was stopping me from doing those things.

Now, having become an "adult," married with kid(s), I find that I regret not living life to the fullest in that former life. I have nearly everything I want in life, yet I find that I'm dissatisfied, somehow.

Since the time I was fifteen, I wanted to be married. It took me ten years to make it happen, but I was only working at it, seriously, when I was 24, and I got married at 25. Now, I have the love of my life, the beautiful brunette I always dreamed about. I have a beautiful daughter who I love more than life itself.

I have everything I wanted when I was living the old life. I have a decent job that actually allows me to support other people (when you're able to do that for the first time, it's really quite an accomplishment). I got the girl. G-d has given me just about everything I prayed so hard for.

Yet, lately, I find myself dissatisfied.



At 2:11 PM, Blogger Tim Swanson said...

You're wrong.

At 10:31 PM, Blogger The Chainik Hocker said...

That was rather curt, wasn't it?

At 4:13 PM, Blogger whizler said...

Apparently Mr. Swanson believes you CAN have everything you want, but, tantalizingly refuses to say how.

Curious: how come you refer to your wife as "spousal unit"? Quite obviously you love her, but that term seems so...impersonal.

At 12:43 PM, Blogger Yid said...

Can't a guy make a Coneheads reference anymore?

At 3:39 PM, Blogger The Chainik Hocker said...

I got it, but even Ipcha Mistabra missed it. And when Ipcha misses a reference, you know it's way to oblique for the great unwashed.


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