what we want to want
Her voice was breaking on the other end of the phone line. I could hear sniffles, and slurping sounds as she was trying to get the words out. “But I want to want it!’.
I had this conversation with a client few years ago – she did the coaching program few years prior, and was very successful by all the indicators – she felt better, got leaner, gained muscle, trained hard, ate well. All that jazz.
Fast forward few years, she is back to coaching, but her life situation has changed considerably. While before she was a single woman in her late twenties, she was now a wife and a mother in her mid thirties. Her schedule was no longer her own. Her time was taken up by preparing lunches, and giving rides to school and extracurricular activities. She came back to coaching, half-expecting, and half-hoping to have a repeat of her experience from few years back.
Yet… she was different. Her priorities have shifted, and a heartbreaking realization that took place during the coaching call I mentioned above, was that… she simply no longer wanted the same things. She wanted to want them still, but no longer did.
Being muscular and ultra lean (and putting in the time commitment that it required) was no longer at the top of the list. And THAT was a hard truth to swallow.
“I want to want it!”.
We have all said this to ourselves at one point or another. I want to want something. I want to like something. I want to care about something. But I don’t.
I want to love exercise, and not sitting on the couch.
I want to enjoy reading sophistication fiction, and not romance novels or fitness blog posts.
I want to like documentaries, and not the latest explosion flick or Pixar cartoon.
Why do I fall in love with this person? Why can’t I fall in love with that person instead? It would be so much easier. And make my mom happy.
Why can’t I hate fast food, and love lettuce more than burritos?
Sometimes, we feel like we should like something and we don’t.
Has a friend ever told you “Omg, you MUST meet Jack! You guys are so similar – you are going to love him!”. You finally meet Jack, and by all accounts, yes, you should love him. He is into the same things as you, he has a great laugh, he volunteers at a homeless shelter. And you… can’t stand him.
Reading Alice Munro’s short stories has been on my reading list for years, and as I finally got through a collection, I’m not feeling it. I should have loved her writing. She is Canadian Chekhov, for goodness sakes. And I love Chekhov. But – nope.
Then, there is “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Kundera that I wrapped up today. Artistic and intellectual life, adulterous surgeon, the question of freedom vs. commitment – I should have loved this by all accounts, yet… I didn’t. Reading few books reviews after finishing it, and learning that the author was a professor of film technology, and was influenced by film techniques in his writing, I found myself nodding.
The book did feel like a blend between poetic and participatory documentaries – avoidance of linear narrative, the occasional presence of author as an actual participant, abstract and loose. And I tend to hate those also. My poor rational brain struggles to connect the dots. Are there dots to connect? What is a dot? UGH.
I have not figured out a way to steer my wants, likes and loves, OR a way to follow the shoulds. [Maybe you have?] Heart wants what the heart wants – be it weight or lightness.
And if you find yourself wishing you were wishing something else… fuck it. You wish what you wish. Recognizing those desires is half the battle. The other half is getting what you want. 🙂