Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Q&A of 10Q: Of Mattresses and Adulthood

The takeaway from this post, in case you don't get to the end: You don't become an adult by buying your first mattress, even if it's an incredibly expensive pillow-top with marshmallow-covered coils covered in cotton candy for a deliciously sweet night's sleep. Despite popular opinion, mattress purchases don't make adults. 

I started up with 10Q back in 2009. I was utterly boring, the only life-altering experience that pen put to page that year was my father's diagnosis of lymphoma. (B"H, he's in remission.) But my answers were not well-thought-out, in fact they were overly predictive and shockingly accurate.
Day 10: When September 2010 rolls around and you receive your answers to your 10Q questions, how do you think you'll feel? What do you think/hope might be different about your life and where you're at as a result of pondering these questions?
Your Answer: I think my life will be TOTALLY different in September 2010. I'll be an Orthodox Jew. I'll be married. I'll be in some type of advanced degree program. I'll hopefully be living in a new place, with new things.
And there we have it. Chaviva the future seer. By September 2010 I was married, at NYU, and living in Teaneck, New Jersey. Moving on ...

In September 2010, I'll admit I'm shocked to read that I was really serious about this aliyah business. The thing is, I knew that my ex-husband wasn't interested. What was I playing at?
Day 6: Describe one thing you'd like to achieve by this time next year. Why is this important to you?
Your Answer: One thing I'd like to achieve by this time next year ... probably to have functioning knees. And a HIGHER level of accuracy and fluency of Hebrew. Oh, and more progress re: aliyah!
I will admit that my knees have gotten a lot better since moving to Colorado, but my Hebrew has waned quite a bit. I hope it's like riding a bicycle and the moment my feet hit the ground I'm all over the mamaloshen. 

But then there's the kicker in 2010. The fact that I didn't know what was coming in 2011. I read these words and realize the naivety that fills them. I was overly optimistic, and it shows. Yes, already four months into the marriage I was in therapy -- for the first time in my whirligig of a life.
Day 9: What is a fear that you have and how has it limited you? How do you plan on letting it go or overcoming it in the coming year? 
Your Answer: A fear? Opening up, seeking help, committing to therapy. I've gone twice, and both times I felt apprehensive and tried to cancel. I don't expect it to get easier, only harder. But for now, it's right. It's helped me already fix things with myself and my husband. Over the coming year, I want to get even better, to commit to it, and to make it make me healthy.
And then part deux.
Day 10: When September 2011 rolls around and you receive your answers to your 10Q questions, how do you think you'll feel? What do you think/hope might be different about your life and where you're at as a result of thinking about and answering these questions?
Your Answer: I think I'll feel ... more empassioned about ending up in Israel, either happier or depressed about my academic situation. I hope that I'll be happier in my marriage. I hope therapy will help. I hope that I'll be overall HAPPY.
I might not have gotten the happy in September 2011. But I sure as hell got insight. 

But still, there's that Israel thing. Man it peppered my life more than I knew over the past several years. It's like HaShem is plotting me a map ... backwards. 

The funny thing about my 10Q from 2010? I didn't fill out the final question: What are your predictions for 2011? Maybe I knew the year would be as unpredictable as it really was. Maybe it was my subconscious protecting itself from what it knew was coming. 

Reading back on all of my answers from the three years I've participated (wow, so much has happened in three years, yikes), I'm eager to answer this year's questions, mostly because I finished a hard cycle of therapy, cut off some cancers in my life, reevaluated what I need to make me happy, sought the advice and counsel of some amazing friends, and came to terms with my divorce and subsequent pendulum swings. This has been a year of inexplainable inward evaluation, teshuva, and realizations. Despite being an adult since I was a kid, despite having had to grow up very early, I think this might be the first time I've ever felt like an adult. 

I thought it was when I purchased my first mattress when my then-boyfriend Ian and I broke up back in 2007. I felt adult. But I hadn't yet learned to deal with emotions and feelings like an adult. I was still on the "fix everybody, every possible person -- except yourself" journey. 

So when the questions come, I suppose I'll say, "I grew up this year." Maybe not financially, and maybe I still enjoy the childlike fantasies of curling up with a good book and sipping hot cocoa and eating rice krispie treats. But I did grow up. I grew up, and I grew in. Into myself, that is. 

Lech Lecha, friends. 5773 is the year.