Sunday, January 14, 2007

Where I've been.

So I've been out of town. I spent about three days in Chicago this past week. It was a minorly spur-of-the-moment trip to visit the city that I call my "happy place," to hopefully see some snow (which I didn't), to get away from the monotony of my existence in Washington and to see someone very special to me. Aside from the unfortunate bit with the snow (the storm showed up a few days after I left), it was everything I could have hoped for. The kind of days you pray for, that lift you up and give you hope. That rekindle the fervor for life. The kind of days you want to live everyday. What does this mean? Well, it means that hopefully by summertime, I will have moved to Chicago. I don't have a job lined up, I don't have school lined up, I don't have anything but a place to put my head and stuff lined up. (I hope.)

I'm not a very spontaneous person, but if there's one thing I've figured out while being completely alone out here on the coast with nothing but Torah, reading and coffee to keep me company, it's that I spend too much time considering how easy things are that I don't put enough effort in changing them. I waited till the last minute to take the GRE and apply to graduate school. I should have started the process in May or June. Instead, I waited till November and gave myself a month to figure things out. My desperation opened my eyes to a lot of things.

So I'm going to go after the things that make me happy. There's a person, there's a city and a job can't be that hard to find in a city thriving with the Jewish presence. Graduate school will come when it's ready, and if I get accepted to Connecticut or Michigan, well, I'll figure that out when I get there. But I want to give myself a better shot at things. Because there are ways in which we can fulfill happiness, and it's how we prioritize those things that expresses who we are. I need my Shabbat, I need a warm bed, I need the feeling of love and warmth and kindness. Ani mevinah. It took awhile, but ani mevinah.


In completely unrelated news, I was riding the Metrobus the other day and was shocked to find this written on a cushion of the bus I was on. It was my normal bus route, and the seats typically are covered with all sorts of scrawlings in permanent marker by teens in "gangs" like the "Lench Mob." It's incredibly sad, but sort of amusing that these middle schoolers are sporting gang names and symbols years after the bloods and crips -- two of the bloodiest gangs -- called it even. Yah, MS-13 is still around, but they're an incredibly DIFFERENT breed of hoodlum (if you don't know about them, they're a Salvadoran group, almost more like the mob, as they're known for using machetes to remove people's body parts). These kids are kids. But I saw this and have no clue what the writing below the "NO JEWS" stands for. If anyone knows, I'd be curious to know for sure. It's the first bit of anti-Jew scrawling I've seen, ever, in graffitti.


And no Torah this week. Next week, though. Sh'mot got my attention, but not as much as it deserved. I'll proceed with Exodus next week, and perhaps pick up some of the questions/thoughts I had from Sh'mot.

Be well!