A reworking of a piece I posted several days ago. This is for the workshop I’m attending to next month.
The first thing you should know about me is that I am an only child who was raised by a single mom. Because of that status, I learned very early on that I had to be able to fend for myself when needed, which led to the development of my independent nature that sometimes borders on stubbornness. I was mostly around adults and so, in a way, I grew up faster than my peers and I learned how to be resourceful. This upbringing has been great for my university studies and career, but not so much for my social life.
The second thing you should probably know about me is that I feel like I’ve been wandering around my whole life, never quite fitting in. At school, I had friends but as a quiet, introverted kid, I was also the target of ridicule and bullying. I was always on the fringes, trying not to be noticed and trying to just make it through each day. Though I’ve made great strides in socializing and opening up, I still feel like I’m looking for my place.
The third thing you should know about me is that I have lived with depression for most of the last two decades. My grandma’s death when I was only ten triggered the depression, only to be resurrected and exacerbated when I entered high school and was hospitalized. My treatment and ongoing recovery has fluctuated over the years, but my decision to convert to Judaism in 2011 had a stabilizing effect on my depression and my life. These three moments in my life are the ones that stand out the most when I look back on my life so far and are, by far, the most important moments.