You Can't Always Get What You Want...

...but if you try sometimes, you'll find you get what you need. Good philosophy from the Rolling Stones, proving once again that rock and roll is more than just noise and distraction.

When I was a little girl, I nearly always got what I wanted - at least in terms of things.  Because I was an only child (and an only grandchild), and because my parents were fairly well off  at least in terms of the working class neighborhood where we lived, my wishes were generally granted.  I had every Barbie doll made, with the latest outfits to go with.  I got a new bike every couple of years, the latest and greatest model (I had not one, not two, but three different Sting-Ray bikes with banana seats - a royal blue, a deep purple, and metallic lime green with sparkles.)

There was a brand new car sitting in the driveway with my name on it months before I had the license to drive it.

I know - it sounds like I was the proverbial spoiled little rich kid, doesn't it?

But I think I was kind and generous with my friends, and I hope I never shoved my good fortune in their faces.  Most of my friends came from large families, where money was, if not an issue, at least an object that had to be very carefully considered, and most of them had to work to get the kinds of gifts that were always freely given to me.

Parents are cautioned against giving their children everything they want in life, because then they aren't prepared for the realities of the cruel world where in fact, you can't -and don't and won't -  always get what you want.  Certainly in the course of my life over the past 50 years, there have been times when I didn't get what I wanted.  But I believe that most often, I got what I needed.

I needed to marry young, in order to establish myself in a life away from my parents who were generous but overprotective.  It was the only acceptable way I knew at that time to pry myself loose from a grasp that was loving but too tight.

I needed to have a child, to teach me that my wishes weren't the only ones that mattered, that when you're responsible for the life of another human being you have to sublimate your own desires a great deal of the time.

I needed that child to leave home when he was young, to remind me not to hang on too tight to the people you love, to encourage me to make a life of my own, perhaps for the first time.

I needed both of the "careers" that I've had, one to prove to me that I have talent and shouldn't be so afraid to use it, and to show me how wonderful it is to have friends, to have a real live social network that pulls you out of your introverted shell and pushes you into the world.  The other to show me how the "professional" world works and convince me I have the ability to operate within it.

At this moment, I stand at something of a crossroads.  I feel ready to move on in many areas of my life, yet circumstances seem to keep me rooted in one place.  In the past few years, there have been lots of things I wanted that I didn't get, probably more than at any other time in my life.  People died that I wanted to live, jobs didn't come through that I wanted to get, my family got scattered even farther away.  Sometimes I've felt as if I were walking through a wasteland filled with the remnants of broken dreams.

I'm not yet far enough away from all this to see if I find anything in the wreckage that resembles something I need.

But I'm trying to believe that there is.

After all, who am I to argue with the Rolling Stones?