Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fear of the Unknown

I hate to post this, as most of the things that go up on this blog aren't quite so personal, nor are they quite so depressing. But I can't help feeling a little blah about being single.

I was recently at the wedding of a friend and classmate, Chaya. Chaya and I had this little shtick throughout highschool where we called the row we sat in "Row-1." It was basically just a gimmick, something to take the monotony out of eleventh grade peirush tefilla class and tenth grade pirkei avos class. We had some Row-1 games (all masterminded by SD, of course), some Row-1 study sessions (read: SD cramming from Chaya's notes, which somehow got written despite SD's games), and a general feeling of camaraderie as we argued over the electronic Uno game for the boring classes.

Back to Chaya's wedding. I was sitting at the table next to Shana, another member of Row-1. We discussed her impending wedding; I admired her ring; she gushed about her chosson; all was good. Until I mentally began to take stock. Sarala from Row-1 has a one year old baby; Fraidy from Row-1 has a seven month old baby; Esty from Row-1 is expecting; Chaya from Row-1 just tied the knot; and Shana from Row-1 is rapidly transforming into a brido-sapien. Then there is me. Still single.

Don't get me wrong. I love being single. I mean, sure I want to get married, but life now is good. There are multitudes of benefits to being unattached, and I enjoy all of them. But somewhere in the back of my mind lies the gnawing uncertainty; the deep blackness of the unknown; the moments of "when will my turn come?" It's moments like I had on shabbos, while reminiscing about a story when my friends and I said shir hashirim for an "older single" we knew. I found it both sad and amusing that my 15 year old self had found this girl so old. I am older than she was then. Are there high school girls saying shir hashirim for me?

It's moments like phone calls to friends that make me remember how left behind I feel. I look at my watch, then check the time against the nightly learning seder in Lakewood, then think about my guy, and how he must be lonely too. It's moments like I have when I plan an expedition and find it easier to invite friends that are married long enough to leave their husbands behind than try to think of a single friend.

It's moments when I collect money for the next shower, and wonder who will collect money for mine if everyone is too busy changing diapers. It's moments when my married siblings come breezing into the clean, fragrant house an hour before shabbos and compliment me on how delicious the kugel is. I compliment them on their adorable kids, but inside I wonder when I will be the one coming back home as a guest, sporting a troop of adorable little toddlers waiting to be spoiled.

I know my guy is out there. I know my time will come. I don't need chizuk. I don't want reminders of how Hashem is running of the world. I just wanted to share my feelings with you, wondering if anyone else gets these nagging moments of doubt. And I feel better already, so three cheers for blogging-therapy!


Anonymous said...

You want to marry a lakewood guy?

MusingMaidel said...

I was just thinking the same thing tonight. Somewhere out there ... he's waiting for me as I'm waiting for him.

Erachet said...

I'm with you there.

Bored Jewish Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
REDTred said...

No, because it's great to get feedback whether its positive or even negative sometimes. I know because one of my pet peeves is people who give no feedback when you are expecting some.
Anyway, I feel the same way at times. I just try to quiet that little voice in my head, and reassure myself that my guy is also out there waiting for me.
The thing that really bugs me is when people are constantly telling me who got engaged. Dont get me wrong- I am happy for them. However, if i don't even KNOW the person-why bother telling me the news?! Are you passing on the news to remind me that its still possible to get engaged?!
Thanks-but, I don't need any reminders about my single state.Sometimes I wish I could say I gotta go because my husband came home.
some people just don't get us!

Anonymous said...

Same here! it get especially depressing when you try to plan a midwinter vacation and dont have anyone to go with - cuz they all have hubbys!

Shades of Grey said...

This post really resonates with me as well... I think I'm going to write my own take on this. Thanks for great post - and the inspiration.

Anonymous said...

This post makes me so sad. I've been there, i know the feelings and emotions too well... Almost started my own therapy in this little comment box but instead I will just let you know that you have one more reader out there, listening....

(also on a cheerful note: do you remember being younger and when you(r friends) necklaces would turn around so the clasp was in the front? this was a 'sign' that your future chusson was thinking about you? it was even funnnier when some girls would kiss the clasp, turn it back around and say 'go back to learning')

Mystery Woman said...

It's not so much the fact that you're not engaged yet (or don't have a baby yet...or whatever else one may be waiting for...). It's the not knowing WHEN it will happen. If we knew when, the waiting could actually be really nice.

TooYoungToTeach said...

I can't totally comisterate with you as 1) I'm newly married and 2) I was one of the first of my closer friends to go (even though I did get married at 21.) After I got married all my friends started to go 5 and counting actually, so while I was single I didn't feel left out of the bunch, in fact it was the marrieds that felt like the third wheel. I loved being single. And if you're enjoying it,that's great too. Live it up!!!!

I also got those annoying nagging doubts of not even when, but who. And these feelings pass, as you said you felt better already at the end of the post...and it'll come up again in a month, 2 months, whatever down the road, that's life. Everyone, no matter how much they're enjoying life is wondering about when, not out of desperation, you just want to know where your life is heading and when.

And as for poeple commenting on Lakewood guys...yes there are plenty standard guys, but if I married a Lakewood guy, anyone can.

harry-er than them all said...

Enjoying being single doesn't mean you don't want to get married soon either.

When the mishnah says "eizehu ashir hasameach bechelko" it does NOT mean who is satisfied with their lot, rather it means who is happy with their lot. Being happy doesn't mean that you don't want more. It means that you do not suffer for that which you lack. You could want a steak, but not suffer if you have chicken. Enjoy being single while it lasts!

But yes, being single does come with a certain amount of loneliness. Being surrounded by friends and family cannot always dispel that feeling like there is something missing in your life.

itsagift said...

Maybe you need some chizuk from the chizuk I'm really kidding!

But seriously, we can all choose to live in a state of when, wishing and wondering which is fine as long as you remember that the situation you are in now is best for you. Hashem has a time for each person and at every stage of one's life they can wonder. When will I get accepted into this school/seminary? When will I get this job? I wonder what my next job will be like. My chosson/husband. My kids. My next vacation.

It reminds me of a really nice song by Malky Giniger about a mother who is always looking forward to the next stage in her child's life and then she realizes that instead of enjoying each stage as it came, she missed out on all of it.

It's okay to wonder what the future will bring as long as you are not trying to live in the future.

The present is much more exiting!

Something Different said...

Anon- He can be from lakewood, he doesn't have to be.

MM- Funny, I think that way all the time...

Erachet- :-)

BJG- I don't want to marry a MOTS guy. If that's all there is there, I won't marry a Lakewood guy, obviously.

Redtred- No, that doesn't bother me much. I just hate it when people ask me if anything is doing. Like, what should I answer?

Anon- You gotta learn to make new friends!! That's what I

SOG- Glad you liked.

Anon- Yeah, totally lol, as if that was gonna make a difference.

MW- Exactly.

TYTT- I have a post written up about this. But yeah, I agree completely.

HTTA- Well said.

IAG- Like I said, I don't need anyone to remind me of that. I know it. It's just a little hard to sit and watch everyone else get married and have kids and not feel a little left behind.