Just my Thoughts

What Do You Want in Life?

I have been reading a lot of blogs lately where the entries are based around what the writer wants from life.  Most of these have to do with relationships and they have all got me thinking.  What do I want from life?

This is not a new question to me.  My life has changed and continues to do so but am I that fairy tale loving person who wants a happy ending?  Or, does my happy ending look different than the fairy tale?

My story is definitely different from the fairy tale.  There are few happy endings in it.  You can read some musings on the fairy tale at The Wild Thing’s blog. My marriage ended after 12 1/2 years and six children.  The “baby” was two at the time.  Raising six kids aged two to 12 on my own took a different kind of concentration.

Did I totally drop “my life” for my kids?  Yes and no, I had a few relationships right after the marriage ended that were good.  One or two had true potential but they did not last.  Did their ending hurt?  You know it.  Did it make me decide that relationships were not worth the pain?  Definitely not.

One of the biggest issues with the two true potential relationships I had those ten to twelve years ago was whether I was willing to let him know what I was feeling.  I love you is hard to say when your heart is mending.  I am not sure if that mending ever finishes once there is a break.  The one man knew how I felt but I knew that our relationship was not what was in his best interest at that time in his life.  I let him go, painful as it may have been.  After all, what more does love mean than keeping the other person’s best interests in sight?

The other man didn’t know how I felt.  He knew we were dating.  He knew we had fun together.  He did not know I had fallen in love with him.  Would things have turned out differently had I told him?  I so don’t know.  I don’t know if that would have pushed him away or if those three words would have drawn him closer.  We keep in touch.  He is now remarried and loves the woman who is in his life.  In the long run, I do not see how I would have fit in that life but who knows?  I did not say what I could have easily said.  I am here and he is there.

So the question remains, do you know what you want?  Do I know what I want?  The only thing I am 100% positive about is that I know I do not want marriage again.  I may want the relationship, the daily conversation, the holding at night, the looking out for each other, the love but not the institution.

Do you have what you want in life?  Do you know what that is?  Can you put it in words?

15 thoughts on “What Do You Want in Life?

  1. What a lovely post, Nicki, and such important, thought-provoking questions. I do think that I have what I want in life – at least relationship-wise. But what was really missing in my life until recently was a firm sense of self. I was hard-pressed to tell you what made me happy. You write: “One of the biggest issues with the two true potential relationships I had those ten to twelve years ago was whether I was willing to let him know what I was feeling.” Until recently, one of the biggest issues in my relationship with Husband was that I didn’t know how *I* was feeling about myself, my strengths, and my own joy. As you point out, self-knowledge is critical to making any relationship work, no matter how you define it.

    1. Kristen – I do know myself but sometimes new things creep in and I just am thrown by them – whether new experiences, new feelings, new people. I like to think I know myself better than anyone else does but on days like today, I am not sure.

  2. This is an excellent follow up to my post. It really made me think further about what I really want. I mean, I have done some of that, but I can see that I have so much more to do.
    Oh, man! Now I have homework!
    Wonderfully thought provoking and thanks for linking to my post!

    1. TWM – you really got me thinking the last couple of days, between princesses, fairy tale endings and grocery stores. The post is totally incomplete. I know what I want. I know that I have to not hold back this time. I just also know I can’t do it in writing. 🙂

  3. I don’t know, and the not knowing haunts me more with every day – it is scary not to know, because I do not know where to aim … if that makes sense.
    It’s important, though, to sit still and listen. I keep hoping I will hear the whispers of my heart and be able to understand their words.

  4. Sometimes the “knowing” comes later, and in pieces. And the knowing isn’t static. Perhaps that’s part of our challenge. Somehow we expect to single thread through life. And no real life works that way.

    If we wanted only one thing, or a certain package – what if we actually attain it? Isn’t it human nature (for some of us, certainly) to want more, to push ourselves and be open to reassessment and evolution?

    There are things I’ve wanted all my life, known I’ve wanted, and still want. Some general – I know only an outline – blurry at that. Others are very specific, still to achieve. And there’s an entire body of goals and journeys to discover. On a good day.

    And let’s not forget that along the way we’re fielding the unexpected – illness, injury, relationship breakdown, job loss, personal loss – and raising kids. It’s not like we have masses of clear space to contemplate our goals and how to get there. Like I said, no single threading.

    Dreams come and go, change shape, refashion themselves as we do the same.

    And Lindsey – I know. I really do know. So much “sense of self” gets set aside. You feel like you’ll be in limbo forever, and you can’t even find the vocabulary to tackle the feeling, it’s so deep and so wide.

  5. Nicki! I want to hear about the screaming part.
    Lindsey and BLW, yes, yes, and yes! Me too and agreed and all…
    I’m still trying to orient myself and figure out which direction to head or if I should just keep the anchor down and stay put for a bit longer.

  6. Wow…do we ever know exactly what we want? I feel like that question is constantly evolving for me. I also think it’s incredibly touching to read your reflections on the live you’ve lived, and how it’s informed the life you want.

  7. What a brave and universal post. I am suspicious of anyone who says they have all that they want – in any area of their life. I think as humans, we are wired to want. We are wired to constantly reach and dream beyond the periphery of our own bliss. What we want is an amorphous or ephemeral thing, something that will always elude us. But, in my estimation, this is a hugely important question to ask. We must always ask.

  8. I wish I was able to figure out myself what I want. I know I often feel something is missing but I don’t know what it is or even what part of my life it is from. I think if I wasn’t so afraid of speaking my mind I’d be in a better place. But I keep so much inside that it holds me back. I am working to be able to find joy in more things that I am so lucky to have in my life but sometimes the joy gets lost in the chaos.

    This was a great post. Honest and heartfelt.

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