I’ve been meaning to post more, but it (obviously) hasn’t happened. Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah and it’s the perfect time to start anew.
I’m still struggling with my faith and how I choose to express it, what it means to me, and my place in the community. This past High Holidays brought to my attention that even though I may see some people as my chosen family, they may not feel the same way back. That was hard for me to admit, but I also realized that I have gained so many close friendships and people who accept me as I am, even when I don’t.
My personal life has settled down, for the most part, and work has been incredibly fulfilling in my new position as Director of Libraries and Archives. I went to the Yale Writers Workshop this past summer and had an amazing time. I got a huge promotion. I went to Greene Family Camp for my first faculty week. I went out on a blind date, the first since I was sexually assaulted last year, and though it didn’t lead to a second date or even a passive friendship, I am proud of myself for putting myself out there. This year is when all the hard work I’ve put in over the years began to bear fruit and I am deeply grateful for that.
During my last therapy session, my doctor asked me to reflect on my Jewish journey so far, how I’ve changed, how my mother’s feelings about it has changed. Judaism dropped into my lap at exactly the right time. I was having suicidal thoughts and was desperate to find something to hold on to. I always tell people that the kind reply I received when I emailed inquiring about conversion was the start of finding a new home. Looking back, everything came at just the right time, falling into place.
Much like the Hanukkah candles, Judaism brought a light to my life. I found new purpose and a way to start healing. I found a new home and a community that I can count on. My mom has slowly begun to acknowledge out loud how much Judaism has done for me. Don’t get me wrong, the depression is still there, I still need to go to weekly therapy and take medication, but Judaism reminds me that there is still light amongst the darkness.