There are moments when my heart fills with wanting in a way that makes me understand why Buddha might have thought the only way to reach enlightenment and escape suffering is to rid yourself of all desire.

I want too many things. Desperate, my heart even feels a tightly woven knot–I’m imagining a monkey’s fist knot. That is how bad I want some of these things. Yet, I have to admit that I am not even sure about what I truly want.

When I was in high school, my number one desire was to get into a great university–one that has a worldwide reputation of being the best (or one of the best?). That desire led to another great desire. I wanted to be valedictorian. I wanted to be a champion debater and win at every tournament. In hindsight, high school me got what she wanted. But not in the way she’d have wanted it.

I was rejected from almost every university I applied to, except the one that I currently attend. Funny enough, that university had the lowest acceptance rate that year, so I did end up attending a university able to offer a world class education. I did end up giving the valediction speech at graduation. However, I only graduated as valedictorian. After all the grades were finalized weeks later, I was actually only salutatorian. In the end, I never became a champion debater, and I lost all the damn time. Yet those skills make it easy for me to appear eloquent, despite my educational background being poorer than most of my peers at this elite university.

Right now, I want the same thing I have wanted since elementary school. I want to make friends. I want to make a difference in this world. I want to repay my family ten-fold for all the love and support they gave me. I want to experience something new and exciting! All these great wonderful things feel tied up with something that seems much less important in the long-term. Right now, I just really want to have clear plans for the summer. I want to get this internship and that internship. I want it so bad, that for a few moments my heart fluttered.

At this very moment, though, I’m craving a warm lemon poppyseed muffin.