I hate getting settled in on a couch, wrapping a blanket around me beside a steaming cup of tea to write in my journal only to find that my pen is out of ink. I hate needing to do work but having a conversation on Facebook going on in one tab and online shopping in another so that I have the feeling that I lost something and forgot what to look for. I hate the itchy feeling I get when I read a self-improvement book after which I realize I need to improve on almost everything and I can’t even remember what to do and I feel like maybe I should read the book again and this time take notes.
I am not a hateful person, but there are some things I just can’t stand. Like when people . ask me where I am considering to go for college. They always ask like they assume I am going, and then my father jumps in and says I am going to Columbia, and I explain that I am a writer and don’t need or want four years between me and the rest of my life and plus I am through with classroom learning and don’t believe in it anyway and also that my mashpia said not to and I listen to everything she tells me and also not to make this sentence too long but aren’t all writers poor out of college anyway? But I can’t explain this all to the stranger who asks me so I have gotten really good at shrugging and “Not sure yet, but I want to be a writer” rushing through the first half of the sentence so they will ask me about writing which I will gladly discuss.
And I hate when people, on the other spectrum of my world, ask me where I want to go for seminary and with whom and am I excited because than I have a bunch of replies which I can choose from, all undesirable. Do I tell them that I haven’t even considered seminary because of the price to the reaction of a hollow “Ohhhh, right” the implication being they forgot about the price and just assumed everyone went whether they could afford it or not but they don’t know that when I say we can’t afford it I don’t mean ‘no we need that money for retirement funds or braces I mean no there is no money as in physical money in the bank to even get my ticket to Israel, and no sorry but grants don’t cut it. I could alternatively dodge that one because aren’t you not supposed to talk about money or something?
So instead I could tell them that I am against seminary as a year of growth: why do you need a year to grow, shouldn’t you be growing your whole life? But people don’t like to hear that, don’t want you to open a window and send a chilly draft into their cozy world. So I could go with something neutral, if I am in a neutral mood, and say that it isn’t my thing, which it isn’t, and if I am feeling vulnerable I would tell them about my other dreams for after high school, except most people get really hyped up about that and they don’t like the fact that my dreams are all sort of unrealistic and unattainable except by superhuman efforts which they don’t want me to have or a miracle which wouldnt be fair if I had so I stopped telling people my dreams. I also almost stopped having them. Almost.
Maybe it’s senioritis? Ha. Am I even a senior? I still feel like a freshman, honestly. I don’t see the difference. Am I not noticing the movement of life or have I not changed?I am not against the movement of time, just cannot believe that it has moved so fast, and that I didn’t even notice. Like falling asleep on a greyhound as you pull out of Port Authority and waking up at the end of it all.
I wonder if change will always be like this, passing imperceptibly under my radar so that it never hits me. Is that why I never felt like crying on the last day of camp, but managed to induce tears anyway because everyone else was crying and because I like the idea of crying and hugging someone simultaneously especially when it’s someone you always liked but never really talked to.
But camp was in July, what felt like yesterday or maybe ages ago; isn’t that how time works in retrospect? So black and white, but then again, it could just be me. Isn’t it funny how I project my feelings onto the world? And now onto you, my dearest reader. And I am sorry I didn’t tell you about all the things I love– because I do love a lot of things– but how passionate can I get about chocolate chip cookies?
~ Chava Sneiderman