When I was a little girl I wanted an Easy Bake Oven. In retrospect, I do not know if I wanted the oven because it looked like fun or if I wanted it because my mother would not let me have the toy (I am sure she had good reasons). The fact that I did not get this toy as a child was one that I used as ammo against my parents for years; whenever one of them would tell me how I got everything I wanted, I would point out that I never got an Easy Bake Oven (or a LiteBrite for that matter).
For my 21st birthday (as a bit of a gag gift), my mother got me an Easy Bake Oven. She told me that since I was living in an apartment with a real oven, she figured she could trust me with an Easy Bake one. I put the stickers on the oven, amused at having finally won the battle and took the oven back to college with me. I think I may have used it once—it was not nearly as entertaining as I had imagined. Partially because I was 21 and using a real oven, but I think partially because the anticipation of one day owning this toy was greater then the reality of owning it.
This is often the case. As a child (and sadly probably even to this day to some extent), I would so badly want something and then get bored with it, or be disappointed because the want or the excitement seemed greater then the experience. I am sure I wasted a great deal of my parents time and money (sorry!) on things that seemed exciting to me until I got them.
This is a little bit how I feel right now. In 68 days I move to Israel for a year to start school. This is something that I have been waiting and wanting for quite some time. I can’t help but reflect on these past experiences and fear that this too will end up on this list of things that were not nearly as exciting as they seemed to be before they began. The problem is, I believe, I too often forget that the waiting is a part of the experience. The excitement before the experience is not a separate experience—but the beginning of all the possibilities. Not every moment of school will be wonderful, or perfect, or live up to the ideal in my head, but that does not make it invalid or automatically a bad experience. These are all parts of the whole, because they are all parts of my life, for better or for worse.
Experiences are not little things that we can put in boxes, or paint by numbers where the color stays within the lines. Experiences are messy and blur together and sometimes happen more then one at a time. That is the beauty in them. That is where the excitement lies. Instead of waiting for my time at AJU to be done and over (which currently feels equal to Waiting For Gedot), I am going to spend the rest of this time enjoying that experience as it bleeds into the next five years. My goal is to not compare school with the act of waiting for school, the unknown is always more exciting. My kavenah or intention is to enjoy the waiting and the experience, take the good with the bad, and recognize that this all a part of the ride.
And mom, thanks for the Easy Bake Oven.