It’s a simple question. But it’s also a difficult question. Still, on this day, at this moment, what would you say if someone came up to you and asked, “What do you want?” How does one even begin to answer that? Is the question asking what you want right now? What you want in 20 years? What you want from life? Like a lot of people, you probably think you know what you want. Or like a lot of other people, maybe you’re not so sure. Or maybe it’s a strange combination of both. But ever so often, I like to re-visit this question because sometimes I think asking what we want helps us gain clarity and gives us perspective about how we’re living.
If you ask me what I want, I could probably tell you at least 20 things in less than two minutes. I can also tell you that some of them will be tangible and superficial. I am not above admitting that I want more money or a more toned physique or a vacation to somewhere tropical for a month. But those things are temporal and with enough time and effort, given the social position I find myself in, those things are relatively accessible. Those things are just that — things; it’s easy to know what you want in the context of things. But what about life and love and experience and vocations?
I spent my senior year of college and the summer before it, thinking that I wanted to go to law school. I was sure that’s what I wanted. In the end, disappointments proved to be a blessing and if you ask me now — I absolutely never want to go to law school. But what if I had held on tight to what I thought I wanted? What if I had convinced myself that is who I was supposed to be? How many of us hold onto wants simply because we’re supposed to want them? Or are we willing to let ourselves be confused enough and real enough to truly discover what we want?
Let’s talk about guys. Because I’m a single girl and I love to talk about guys. A lot of the time I think I know I exactly what I want in a guy. Someone tall, who loves Jesus, is funny, and when it’s all said and done, has a good heart. And those are good things, but I can also list a bunch of other things that I think I want. But every now and then, I’ll be attracted to a guy who is the exact opposite of all those things and I begin to wonder if I really know what I want at all. I’ve eventually learned to appreciate it because I don’t want to be afraid of wanting something just because it doesn’t seem like something I should want. Does that make sense? Attraction and affairs of the heart are complicated and what you want isn’t always good for you. But at least admitting you want something can help you understand a little bit more about the person you are and the person you want to become. Even if that person may need a little work…don’t we all?
I know my thoughts are in circles in this post and I don’t really have a great answer or solution or message to leave with you. But I do want you to think about what you want and to really be honest with yourself. And maybe when you’re doing this, let go of what you think you should want. Although the difficult part is often going after what we want, being true to that person in the mirror about your wants can sometimes be even more difficult. But in the end, you have to look at that person in the mirror every day for the rest of your life. What do you want?