Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The past is our friend.
The future... who can say?

The past keeps our secrets. It knows us. Where we came from. Who we were. What we did. It knows our fondest memories and who was involved in them. The present soon will be the past and will join that vast network of friendship. Soon the present will know our secrets of today and it will not yield. The past does not reveal secrets. The past protects us.

The future is the unexpected. Will the future be kind to us? Will it treat us well? Or will it abuse us and our trust. We allow the future to approach. In good faith, we say 'come future, and bring your good tidings.' We await its blessings, like the blessings of the past, but they are uncertain. Unknown. The future may betray us. It may reveal those secrets that the past has kept so well. It may disobey our wishes, in much the way that the past cannot. It may be our greatest fears.

In the light of the past, events are beautiful. Nothing is wrong and everything is unchangeable. There is certainty and assuredness. In the past we are Safe.

When you look to the future, events are glaring. It is dark. Unknown and unknowable. It offers no promise of protection. It is scary.


I was going through my junk drawers during end-of-semester (incidentally, graduation) clean up when I came accross this short... poem? Essay? Editorial? Im no good at classifications. Anyway, I wrote that for some writing assignment in 9th grade and it probably meant nothing to me then (I was just a moody little pre-emo punkster), but it resonated with me today, Erev Graduation.

Im frightened to graduate. Truly scared.

Most people look forward to graduation, as it is symbolic of a continuation. The completion of one stage of your life, moving on to another. Many kids have jobs lined up, or are going to grad school, or even plan on traveling for a bit and having some time off.

Ive got nothing planned.

And how can I? Ive been in limbo for about 4 months now, and the bar keeps getting lowered, but the game isnt ending.


It was supposed to be so easy. Go to college, get good grades, take the MCATs, go to med school.

Went to college.
Got good grades.
Did well on the MCATs.
One year later, still waiting to hear from school.

It started with the advisor. The letters of reccomendation are an integral part of the application process. No school looks at you without them. I painstakingly hunted down old bosses, retired professors, family friends and such and built up a small but mighty dosier of praise. I was ready to go. Applications complete.

One month...

Two months...

Into the third... Still nothing?

I called a school, a big no-no mind you, to find my appliction status.


Never got the letters?

Next school... same thing. And the next. And the next.

And the next

"Professor! What happened to my letters?" "Oh shit, Stephen, look at this --> You never signed the waiver." "But you didnt tell me... that I needed..." "Well how was I supposed to know you didnt sign it? We dont open a folder until we have a waiver."

"You werent in the computer system"


So now its late. Past most deadlines. Whats left? Downstate? Israel? DO? no. Not DO.

Declined. Too late.

Declined. Too late.



March 15th intrview!

it went WELL!

Today: May 30
still no word. 'try calling in 2 weeks. '


I cant take it anymore. Ive been strung along for too long and its driving me crazy. The very unknowingness of it and the absolute inability to do anything about it. Will I get in? Wont I? Should I get a summer job? But what if I get in? I cant commit to August. Should I look for a job for next year? Just In Case? Whos gonna hire me without commitment? OK, so what about june-july? But i need to retake Physics 2. Lousy mark the first time around. Should I be dating? Whats my hashkafa? Is there a god? Of course theres a god! Really? Or is that high school talking? Should I go to Israel for the summer? Why? So you can slack off and miss another opportunity ? No! So I can rethink my thoughts and organize my life. Vocationally. Spiritually. Sexualy. Objectively. Should I ask her out? NO! why? Shes 18. Shes 25. Shes too fat. Shes too thin. Shes not bright enough. Shes too smart for you. She hates/loves animals. Her father is... Her brother did... Should I run away?

Should I go to law school?


At 2:43 PM, Blogger stillruleall said...

Is that 9 different prospective women? i say go with the one who's over 18 but not quite 25, not too thin, too smart for you (that's in your head anyway), hates animals, father is the fireman and brother did the chicken dance for two years straight. A good law and med school in Israel are very hard to get into. You can go to a college and pay a lot of money though. The army pays you to go there, and then you can feel like you're not running away from a decision, you're doing something important first.
Mazal tov on graduating. You should come to Israel, it will be good for you. We'd love to have you here.

At 8:06 PM, Blogger The back of the hill said...

Mazel tov on graduating.

Whatever you do, you will succeed, though it may not seem that way at first.

At 10:59 PM, Blogger Sara said...

tzvi- i honestly love the way you write! i started feeling really bad for you but only until the truly selfish part of me took over saying: "sara; you have your own (frighteningly similar) problems to worry about- why waste time and energy emphathizing with anyone else?!"
come to camp! im hoping it will solve my limbo problems
and i know you were asking rhetorically but, no, i dont think you should be dating now

At 12:25 AM, Blogger Ezzie said...

Sums it up perfectly. The realization I came to on Sunday, sitting through my own graduation after not intending to go at all: Time to finish up and move on. No more of these games.

Your situation is far different, with more options ahead of you in some ways. But the philosophy is still the same - don't keep avoiding the future, embrace it. You don't have a choice anyway, so may as well make the most of it.

It's actually the flaw in the poem/essay. It is the unknown, it is scary. But the time has come to face it head on. The lesson from the past is that stuff happens for a reason, and we need to make the most of what comes to us. Just as we have done in the past, whether it is taking advantage of our opportunities or learning from the ones we blew, we now know better how to act in the future.

Sure it's the unknown, sure it's scary. But so was the past, until it happened.

At 12:30 AM, Blogger Ezzie said...

On a separate note, since you mentioned the dating... I disagree with Sara, to my own surprise*. I think you're the only person I would say this about, or definitely one of the few: I think you will find yourself fully only after you've found someone else. Things will 'click' only after you've found a woman who you look up to and respect. In a way, you're too smart, too introspective to really decide on your own. The God line sums it up, actually, which is why I laughed when I read it. You'll have leanings one way or the other about so much in life, but you won't truly decide once and for all about many of them. You'll simply keep debating, because you hear too much of the logic of both sides. You need that outside influence of 'when it comes down to it, *this* is the better approach'.

* ...and may change my mind at any moment.

At 12:31 AM, Blogger Ezzie said...

[clarification: I would normally say nobody should date until they know themselves well enough to do so. Though honestly, most people we know have learned a lot more about themselves by dating.]

At 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You are a good man Xvi... hang in there, pray hard, and G-d will take care of you.

At 10:06 PM, Blogger Bitter Cynic said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 10:07 PM, Blogger Bitter Cynic said...

Don't do it man. It's true they say that the pre-meds who go to law school become the malpractice attorneys but think of all the kids (and women) who will admire Dr. Xvi M.D. doctor of pediatric medicine. It all works hand-in-hand. Pediatricians are chick magnets, you'll see everything fall into place if you follow your ambitions.

At 11:05 PM, Blogger Sara said...

a week passed- do we get an update on the drama-fest of your life?

At 11:40 PM, Blogger XVI (R) - NY said...

David - Thanks for the words. I miss the country and I miss you, but it dosent look like this summer makes too much sense for me to travel. Anyway, how ya been? Send an email.

BotH - Thanks also. I appreciate the positivity and I hope your right. It just dosent feel that way right now.

Sara - Shkoiach for the compliment. I appreciate your selfishness ;) as it inspires me and reminds me of my own. Good luck to us.

Ezzie - Its a matter of perspective i guess. The past always looks better when your down in the present. And I hope your right about the girl thing. Well see how that goes.

Anon - HaHaHa ( des everyone get it?). reveal yourself! and thanks too. The encouragement is very much appreciated.

Robert - Hope your right. About all of those things actually ;)
And thanks for the edit, but its not like Im that deep in the Blog closet. I dont think theres anyone here who dosent know who I am.

At 11:42 PM, Blogger Ezzie said...

Heh - I liked Anon's comment. :)


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