So, for me it started in High School. I don’t know what it was that prompted all of us to adopt this attitude that caring about things was lame. What a time to start that, eh? Right around the time that you want things so badly you’d do anything to have them all while pretending to be completely ambivalent about it all.
Did I want cool clothes? Psh. No. I was fine with the clothes my mom had been sewing for me since birth. I’m not materialistic like that.
Please, God, please let me have an Arizona jacket for Christmas like all the other kids have!
Did I want to be invited to the parties that all the other kids were going to on the weekends? No. Gross. I didn’t want to become an alcoholic at seventeen!
What’s wrong with me that no one wants to spend time with me outside of school?
Did I want to be asked to dance at the Oktoberfest street dance? Ugh. Please, I didn’t even want to be here.
I’ve been planning my outfit for weeks and I stole my mom’s navy blue eyeliner to apply in the Duckwalls bathroom before the dance started.
Part of it was the constant rejection of being the fat kid. Some of it was growing up in a house with four kids and there was just never quite enough money to go around. Asking for things was selfish. It was easier for everyone if we just pretended we didn’t want for anything. Another bit of it was being a woman in a Christian environment where we’re encouraged to chase contentment in all things that are handed to us. And where all these identities intersect is the perfect storm to create a person who doesn’t know she’s allowed to care. Wanting is for other people.
Even still, my partner is constantly asking me, “What do you want?” It’s become a lesson. Wanting is something that I have to practice.
It’s not that I don’t feel comfortable speaking up for what I want–it’s that for the most part, I’m incapable of wanting. I don’t want anything–at least not that I know of. My desire is constantly buried under a pile of things that come first. Other people’s preferences or needs or comfort.
I’ve built a life of defense mechanisms. Reactive to what’s around me without even recognizing that being proactive is an option. Proactive is new to me and it’s hard. But we can do hard things if we practice.
When it comes to this blog, I’ve been pretending that what happens happens and I’ll be okay with it even if no one reads it, I’m just happy to be writing. And that’s true. That is the core of why I’m even here in the first place. But as my honesty has increased in this space, so has the visibility of it. Other outlets are seeing what I’m writing and as their interest grows, so does mine. I want to grow. I want to reach more people and I’ve never said that before because I’m supposed to just be happy where I’m at. And I am! You can be happy and want more. You can be so many things all at once.
I want to be successful. I want to grind it out. I want to build a community full of people who are wanting space to be honest with one another. I want it and it feels really vulnerable to be seen as a woman with desires but here I am standing in my honesty with you.
I have desires. You do, too. We’re groomed to push those down and when we vocalize these desires, we’re taking up space. Which is another thing we’re not supposed to do. We’re inconvenient. We’re disrupting the narrative that they’ve written about us in their minds. But that’s their thing to figure out. It really has nothing to do with you.
But I want.
And I want you to want what you want, too.
Don’t be afraid to be seen. Don’t be afraid to be seen as someone who desires.
3 thoughts on “I Want You to Want”
I totally agree!
And I had to do some soul-searching even while I read through, to expose those subtle or suppressed wants deep inside.
Selflessness shouldn’t necessarily be self-denial, in my opinion. Though I figured, in the course of this piece, that that’s been my case all along.
Thanks for this one, hun!
“You can be happy and want more.” Yes. I think people think asking for more is expressing ungratefulness, but it’s not. My satisfaction and my desires will always coexist.
YES! I love your style, Jas. “My satisfaction and desires will always coexist.” Absolutely. 100%!