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Monica Rozenfeld moves to Brooklyn with two roommates — a Catholic and an observant Jew — and they each seek understanding of what it means to be religious.

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October 25th, 2010

Thou shall be satisfied

 
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I’m about to say something that may shock everyone. I am hardly ever satisfied. When I think I am, I soon after am no longer. It’s a disease that has hit 3 of every 4 Americans (statistic made up).

I’m not going to lie. It’s difficult for me when close friends and family are on the side of the haves, and I instead am debating if I should sell my car just to make $3,000. It can be difficult to see them move into expensive apartments and homes, pay for fancy dinners and buy whatever it is they’d like. These are people, after all, who were for a very long time on the same playing field as I was. Could I be there too? I suppose I could. But I’m not.

After hearing about my friend’s raise or after seeing my cousin’s stunning new apartment, it is difficult for me to not gulp and worry that I might be just a little crazy. I am after all paying to do what it is I love. I am paying someone else to work my ass off.  Why not instead find a job that will just provide for me what I love, instead of doing what I love?

This post really will have no answers or conclusions. And it’s not at all to say I am not happy for others (I absolutely am!). It’s more a concern about why I don’t go the same route. Is it possible to do what I love and also be a success? Why is journalism my passion? Why can’t I even picture myself doing anything else?

The other day, Annie and I returned from this amazing house where the girl who owns it is both doing what she loves and making money from it. I was wondering in my head if in 10 years from now, I could potentially buy it from her. When we got back, I looked at our apartment and realized that Wait, we have a really nice place too. And we just moved here not even 3 months ago. And Wait, also, I’m only 25. And, if all else fails, I will still do what I love.  (This is not a conclusion, just what went through my mind when coming home.)

Why is it that we always want what someone else has? It scares me to think if I had what my friend’s have, or my family has, I would still want what someone else has. How do we just stop and enjoy our lot?

Farrah’s last post on Lech Lecha, a Jewish concept to leave our comfort zone to find ourselves, is my favorite portion of the Torah. I find myself reminded of this concept day in and day out when I am running out to do a story, talk to a stranger, go to an event. While it doesn’t pay much in the meantime, Lech Lecha, being a journalist definitely challenges me every single day, even if it’s about what I’m going to write down on a piece of paper. My apartment, in my neighborhood, with my roommates is exactly where I need to be, and I know this very well. However, The Rolling Stones still play in the back of my mind whenever it feels like…

How do we remain satisfied in our lot? What has religion taught you to make this possible?

 
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The Author : Monica Rozenfeld

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  • http://www.thejewspot.org Monica Rozenfeld

    Thanks Dan! Your comment is much appreciated. I’m falling more in love with journalism and less and less with the idea of measuring up to others around me monetarily. It’s the moments in our life that count, right? Not just the dollas in our pocket.

  • Dan “da man”

    Monica, from my point of view, your 20s is your chance to make it in what you love. When we’re still young, we’re not really tied down and it’s easier to take risks. As the years go by and we start a family, buy a house or other trappings, then is the time to compromise. I’m not sure journalism is ever going to be very lucrative occupation, but I think if you work hard and make a name for yourself over the next 5-10 years then you may be able to live more comfortably. If not, then start looking at Plan B or just find some way to enjoy doing what you love but living a bit more frugally than your friends. There’s many a person, I think, who has gone for the job with money and ends up with wealth but no joy in work.

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