“What do you want to have for lunch today?” This question often paralyzes me when asked by my coworkers. I usually don’t know. I don’t have specific desire for food at the time that question is asked. Or rather I’m not aware of the desire.
5 years ago I went to the therapy. We explored this topic a bit there. Here is the story from my childhood.
I’m 11 yo. Every Sunday my parents will take me and my younger brother to the market. It’s a thing they did. It was partly a chore time (my parents needed to buy some things) but also our family time. At the end of that trip to the market my parents would usually get some treat for me and my brother.
One Sunday, my dad asks us what do we want to get as a treat. I say I want a bun with jam. We’re finishing with the trip to market, dad goes away and returns with our treats. He holds two packs of potato chips. I told him I don’t want potato chips and I want my bun. You see since we left our home I visualized having this bun. I had this strong desire and was anticipating eating my treat. My dad becomes angry. He throws my bag of chips into the trash can and starts screaming in front of everyone how ungrateful I’m.
I’m confused and lost and scared. I go home in silence. Probably I did something wrong? What was that about? So many questions. But I’m 11. I cannot process it.
20 years later I’m sitting at my therapy talking about this situation. I can connect the dots now. That situation looks ridiculous to me at this moment of my life. And I see how that situation (and other related ones) shut down in me some capacity not only to vocalize my desires but to produce them.
Reflecting on that situation makes me sad. But I also realize that it’s ok, I can nurture that lacking desire-generation function. If I’m patient it will come back. I just need to be gentle with myself and listen to myself more carefully. If there is even some tiny signal - I need to notice it and follow up and satisfy my inner child.
And that is what I’m trying to do for the past 5 years. Listen to myself. I still cannot produce wants and desires on a whim, but I do have way better understanding of what I want and what I don’t want.
I plan way less now. It might be confusing to some of my closed ones. But planning is easy for me. I can always do that. I try not to plan, because I want to give some time and space for myself. And instead of making some plan I try to be spontaneous, but not for the sake of spontaneity, not at all. I’m like a fisherman who patiently waits for the fish. But instead of the fish I just wait for the small desire/dream/wish/want to appear. And then I can follow up on it. That is how I try to structure my life nowadays.