Monday, October 29, 2007

Usefulness

I wrote this last night, but before I could post it, the internet in my dorm room shut down. I'm posting it anyway, even if the feelings are somewhat less acute this afternoon, because I think that this is a post that a) represents feelings that other people share and b) represents feelings that can surface depending on the situation, but are always somehow lurking. Let me know what you think.

I'm feeling a bit sad tonight.

I'm not so sure what brought on this mood. (Possibly excessive sugar consumption. I really need to cut down on that. Not to mention that my caf card supply is going waaaaay down . . . and I'm an in-towner! But I digress.) And I heard happy news today. News that made me feel relieved.

But I'm feeling a bit down in the dumps.

I wonder if I'm making a difference in anyone's life.

Does it matter to people if I am with them or not? Or am I just fodder for funny jokes or entertainment? I don't *really* mind being teased by my friends, because I know that it's not malicious and they only mean it in fun, but sometimes, it is a little discouraging when it seems that the only way I contribute to the general circle is by being funny/silly/one-track-minded and so they can use things that I say/my mannerisms as gentle jokes. I want to feel like I'm contributing more than that.

I can't remember the last time someone came to ask me for advice. I always seem to be the one going to others, asking others, complaining to others. Rare is it that someone turns to me for these things. Even good friends of mine - whom I consider myself to be close with - when I think about my relationship with them, I realize how one-sided it is: I will tell them personal things about myself, and they hardly tell me about themselves. (Then again, I do have some friends who do tell me their feelings/emotions/about what's bothering them, and it is two-way relationship. But sometimes it seems like those are in the minority.)

Does this have to do with me not being open enough? Am I not listening well enough to other people to make them feel like they can confide in me? Am I too focused on myself? Do people think that when they start talking about themselves, I'm going to ignore them and redirect the conversation to me? Am I that selfish?

Or maybe I'm just an initiator. Maybe people are happy that I reach out to them, that I approach them. Maybe my job is to make other people feel needed. Maybe I'm meant to help others feel good that people see them as people to turn to when in need.

But I want to feel needed too. I was SO happy this week when I was asked by my school's administration to act as a student ambassador for the school's open house. It made me thrilled to know that people thought that I would be a good representative of the school, that I have contributed things that have made a difference in school. That made me so happy. I have a lot of hakaras hatov to whoever suggested that I would be a good student ambassador.

Does this mean that I need recognition to feel good about myself?

I get in the habit of comparing myself to others sometimes. My sister, for example. My sister has quite a different personality than I do. She is much more introverted and much less critical. She has one of the sweetest, most golden hearts I know. Every motzei Shabbat (and sometimes more often than that), she goes to the home of a girl in our community who has cerebral palsy that affects her motion and her speech. My sister sits with this girl for hours and talks and laughs with her. They watch movies together. She helps the girl use the bathroom. She is this girl's friend. This girl loves her very much.

My sister is so much more of a giver than I am. Throughout high school, her friends (from high school and elementary school) would call her often to talk. (I was rarely called at home.) People felt comfortable talking to my sister about many different things. They still do.

I wish I could be like my sister. I wish I could be the person that others turn to for help. I wish people saw me as a confidante.

Am I helping anyone? Do I help people understand more about themselves or feel better about themselves? Or am I just on the taking end of my relationships with people?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"My house has a hundred bafrooms!"

I'm not *such* a huge fan of Homestar Runner, but for some reason I find this video really hilarious.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Numbers of the week

3: Wedding invitations I got this week. (All these weddings are in a 4-day consecutive period in November.)

640: Letters of the Arabic alphabet I will be writing at some point this weekend (8 letters x 4 positions of each letter x each position 20 times).

$186.72: Cost of two items I returned to Anthropologie this week. (YAAAAAY!)

5: Packages of chicken I cleaned for Shabbat. (BTW, for those of you who know what I'm talking about, the chicken I made came out very yummy. Thanks for the pre-cooking tutorial - it was helpful. Although I ended up cooking the chicken @ 350 degrees, and I put the lemon sugar [how can you even call that a lemon curry chicken? There's like one teaspoon of curry that gets completely lost in the sugar] mixture about an hour after the chicken had been in the oven, and then cooked it for another hour and a bit. It came out just fine and tasted soooo good. :) )

ummmmm . . .

Huh. For some reason I'm completely blanking on everything else I did this week.

I really need to go to bed.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Gaaaaaaaah

Why does everything seem to be going wrong lately?

(And before you start in, yes yes yes, I know I know I know: look at things positively, hashgacha pratis, it all happens for the best, etc etc. I KNOW. I don't need you to tell me. For the moment I just need to let this all out without people trying to get me to see the good side right away. I'm not so happy about certain things and I need to express that without people jumping down my throat with positivity.)

(Yes, I'm not in such a good mood right now. Can you tell?)

First of all, for those of you who didn't know yet, I was in a car accident this past Wednesday. It was extremely frightening and upsetting, and I haven't gotten over it yet. It could have been MUCH, MUCH worse than it actually was and so I give many heartfelt thanks to Hakadosh Baruch Hu for really saving me from what could have been a terrible situation. However, what happened was still very, very, very scary and I've been thinking about it quite a lot.

Secondly, (and I can't give the details of this on the blog because they're too personal) other things in my life are not working the way I want them to right now. Who knows, maybe tomorrow everything will change and I'll be happy about them again. But for the moment things seem to be going in a really dissatisfying direction and they're not making me feel so great.

Thirdly, I am feeling spread veeeeeery thin with school commitments. Things are going to get a lot busier for me soon (busier than they already are, which is kind of frightening to contemplate) and I'm kind of freaking out about that.

And I KNOW that I have much to be thankful for. I just need some sympathy without the overly pious "let's look at this positively" attitude that will make me feel like it's not normal for me to feel down about this stuff. Because I DO, and I'm REALLY not in the mood for a lecture on how I should be feeling versus how I am feeling.

Sorry. I'm being really rude. I know. This isn't the best side of me. Please don't assume based on this post that I'm an overwhelmingly negative person. It's a nisayon for me, and I really try hard not to be negative all the time. In fact, for all the things that I've posted here I've already thought of good angles or good excuses for why they're going the way they are. Just sometimes I need to wallow a little and get some TLC.

:::::sigh:::::

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

OH MY

Okay, so I have a paper due on Wednesday which requires me to go through all the reading that I've done so far from the class and then concisely (but not too concisely) summarize it in a logical, well-thought-out argument. I have not really started this paper. I have like four measly lines that need to be, ahem, developed. Just thinking about this paper and how little I've done for it makes me start breathing faster. I am deluding myself into thinking that this paper is going to magically write itself, which, of course, it will not do, but so far the delusion is holding.

Then tonight I misplaced my ID, which not only lets me into all the school buildings but also functions as my food debit card and has my keys hanging off of the handy plastic container that it's in. Which brings me to two points:

1. THANK G-D I decided to remove the little paper that tells everyone what room the keys unlock, so at least someone who doesn't know me and doesn't know where I live can't break into my room.

2. I have no idea how I'm going to afford to eat food in the caf tomorrow until I get a new ID (or find my regular one. Sob.), so please accept this blog post as a desperate cry for foodage in the caf. (I like the word "foodage." My roommate in seminary made it up. Also she made up the word "sleepage.")

3. Why the heck in NYC so darn humid and hot in OCTOBER, for goodness sakes? This is unrelated to my ID card but I thought I'd throw that out there. Also this is my third point, even though I wrote that "this brings me to two points." Well gosh darn it, I'm a woman and I'm allowed to be contradictory!

I'm a bit of a weird mood right now.

Plus there's some other personal stuff going on which is making me all stressed out. And I feel squeezed very tight with all my extracurriculars. Plus if I don't return that majorly overpriced skirt to Anthropologie VERY SOON I am afraid that it will end up sitting in my room all semester, and in a moment of sheer desperation I just might wear it and thus render it unreturnable.

So basically I feel like a pat of butter spread too thinly over a too-big piece of toast, to paraphrase Bilbo's metaphor.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

515

I reached 515 views of my profile today! Yay me! (And this was without obsessively checking it like ten times a day.)

Kinda funny, though, that people are still looking at my profile, considering how little time I have spent taking care of this blog lately. Truth is, I have been composing a bunch of posts in my head for a while now . . . but none of them seem to be "good" enough to post. None of them are interesting enough, or thought-provoking except maybe to me.

What happened to my blog energy?

This summer gave me some great introspective fodder for posts. Of course, I wasn't exactly having the time of my life. So does that mean that for me to post something on this blog I need to be sad and miserable and thinking sad and miserable thoughts? I don't really think so. I think that what galvanized me into posting about such strong feelings was precisely their strength and intensity. My feelings were fairly extreme and so it was pretty easy for me to compose soliloquies on them.

And it's not like I haven't had any strong feelings or deep thoughts lately. I wanted to post about my thoughts during neilah on Yom Kippur. I wanted to post about my grandmother. I wanted to post on kollel. I wanted to post on making my first shiva call.

But as I started writing all these posts, the strong feelings that I'd had about these topics died away. They didn't seem so interesting to me anymore. They lost their intensity. Now I just have drafts and drafts piling up of half-written, unfinished thoughts that just seem . . . blah.

I think that some of this is a fear that's been creeping up on me about not wanting to put my private thoughts out there so much anymore. Usually doing that doesn't bother me. I will share my feelings with just about anyone, whether I know them or not. But somehow I'm encountering a sort of writer's block that prevents me from really writing what I want to. Maybe because I'm not really anonymous ... ? I know that (all?) the people who comment on this blog know who I am, and I know who they are. Maybe that takes away a bit of the excitement that I had when I thought I was anonymous, or at least semi-anonymous, and there was this little game that I was playing with people by putting myself out there and them not really knowing who they were reading about.

Or maybe it's just my horrendous ability to actually keep a journal manifesting itself in a different way.

I don't know.