I’ll let you in on a little secret: I didn’t go to erev Rosh Hashanah services. I was in the building and I had a ticket, but I just couldn’t bear the thought of sitting in the sanctuary next to a stranger with all the cheerful buzzing around me while I felt incredibly alone. This happens at (almost) all services I go to and it’s an awful feeling. This is the main reason I both love and loathe the holiday season; I love being around the community, but I hate feeling so isolated.
I used to go to Jewish young adult events, which took an enormous amount of energy on my part to put myself in a deeply unfamiliar and uncomfortable environment, but I stopped going because those events are very cliquey. I stopped putting in the effort because no one ever returned it. I do want to say that a couple of people have reached out to encourage me to start going to young adult stuff again, but those negative experiences have stopped me from doing so.
I took a gigantic and uncharacteristic leap of faith coming into the Jewish community. I have opened myself up and been more than willing to try new things that I normally shied away from. That takes so much energy and when it’s unreciprocated, I just wonder why I keep doing it.
I don’t know why I’m writing about this. I don’t like to discuss it because it’s emotionally painful, but since tomorrow is erev Yom Kippur, maybe it’s a form of confession on my part.