Weekly Writing Challenge: I Wish I Were
When I first started pondering this writing challenge, narrowing it down enough to pick one thing that I wished I were seemed impossible. I wish I were rich. I wish I were travelling. I wish I were thinner. I wish I were an Oscar Meyer Wiener. I realized after going through slews of “I wish I weres” that what I really wish I were is more satisfied with my current circumstances. I can never seem to be happy with my own life; I always wish I were somewhere else or doing something else or doing something with someone else. I guess some of that is just human nature: the grass is always greener and all that. But really, the true definition of happiness seems to be being present in the moment and enjoying it just for what it is. So what I really wish I were is happy.
Happiness has eluded me. I can remember a few times in my life I have been truly happy: one time in college when I was all done with my studies for the winter and I had my boyfriend with me and my Christmas presents bought and no bills to worry about. I remember distinctly thinking: I am really happy right now. I was happy the day I got married. I was happy the day my daughter was born (although it was a horrible day for me, physically). But during my day-to-day life, I have virtually never been content. Medical school was actually pretty good. But then I got to residency, and that was one of the most horrible experiences of my life. We were completely abused by the staff and the upper level residents. Living in New Orleans during that time made me happy, and I did get some time to enjoy the city. But while at work I was distinctly miserable. Then I took my first job in Atlanta, and things went from bad to worse. I hated Atlanta. I was miserable. The driving and traffic situations were horrible. I got lost all the time. I didn’t really make any friends and for most of the time, I couldn’t find a boyfriend. I was really lonely. Then at work, they worked our butts off. We were kind of like a sweat shop for young doctors out of residency. My boss went through seventeen partners and potential partners in a matter of a few years, because she was so controlling. Most days I didn’t even get lunch. When I finally found a boyfriend, he turned out to be a real nut case. I understand that pornography for most men is a must, but he had an entire room devoted to it. I felt like I had stumbled into a den of iniquity.
When I met my husband and we moved back to the deep South, I felt things would be looking up. I would make new friends and we would be closer to my parents, since we were planning on having a child. I wasn’t overly thrilled about moving to a small town, and as it turned out, my reservations in that area were well founded. I just don’t fit in. Again, all my friends are old friends that I’ve had since childhood, adolescence and college. And none of them live around here. My husband blames me and my hermitlike nature for the no new friends thing. But I didn’t use to be like that. I just feel so judged here; I don’t go to the right church or have the right friends or know the right people. This is a pretty tightly woven city, and they just don’t welcome newcomers. So my only company is my husband and my child, and sometimes that’s just not enough. And I hate my job. I mean, I really hate my job. I am tired of the hours and the call and the tiredness and the stress and the near-fatal emergencies and the surgery and the clinic and just, everything. I have told my husband I would really like to retire from this job but he just doesn’t think he can support us on his salary alone. But I have so much stress at this point that I just feel I am really really going to lose it.
So, I wish I were happy. Some of my unhappiness is my circumstances, and some of it is that it is just plain not in my nature to be happy. Spending time with my daughter and husband makes me happy, but as I said before, I don’t have nearly enough time for that, and sometimes I just need something a little more. I miss my friends. I hate that I haven’t made new ones. So if I could wish for one thing, that thing would be happiness.