So here I am. I am alive! My first post on Jewsbychoice.org got a lot of responses, and I thank everyone who had kind words to say and personal stories to offer. The world is such a big place full of Jews here there and everywhere, and it's nice to at least make connections in the ways that we can.
And now the new stuff: I've moved.
I guess that's the only major change in my life, but it's an important change. I'm waiting to get my Internet set up at home (cheap-o AT&T!), and until them I'm lurking in coffee shops and the library around the corner. The moment I get Internet, I'm going to focus on two graduate school applications: University of Connecticut and University of Michigan, the latter which I was accepted to last year but neglected to defer (life changes quickly). Why, you ask, must I wait till I have web at home? Being out and about, there's a lot of distractions. People, drinks, things and stuff. In the comfort of my own home, I can spread out on my vintage table and really dig in to the applications and the essays.
Yes, I had spent a long time planning on doing Hebrew College online for graduate school, but what it comes down to is that I just flat don't want to. If I'm going to school, I'm going to school. I'm sitting in a classroom and raising my hand and harassing professors during office hours and really getting in the face time to make people say "damn, she'll do great things one day."
This means that when (or if) I get in, I'll be moving -- again. This time, elsewhere, and I'm completely stoked about it. I love Chicago, but when you gotta go, you gotta go. I've been here briefly, but you gotta do what you gotta do (cliche, cliche, cliche!).
So there's that. In addition to school and moving, I'm also a lot closer to my synagogue. This means going to Saturday morning Torah study (G-d willing!) and also to the Adult Ed classes on the weekend and the Tuesday night Jewish movie at temple, too. Talk about stoked. If I'm going to fill up my time, it better be with all the Jewish things that make my world go 'round.
So the world keeps spinning and I'm hopefully moving closer to goals of personal fulfillment. I'm 24 years old now, and it seems like everyone back in Nebraska who I knew in high school is married, and if not married, then engaged. I have a hard time with this because I'm only 24, it doesn't seem like there's a huge rush, but it's stressful. I'm not one to set myself up to those around me, but it's like watching your friends fall in combat (extreme comparison, but you can sense the idea of loneliness). It's definitely Midwestern ideology, but that's how it goes I guess. But I'm going to try to get everything else in order before I start REALLY wondering "when?"
In unrelated news, I picked up Maggie Anton's first book in the Rashi's Daughters series, this one about Jochaved. It's definitely a far cry from the fluid storytelling of Anita Diamant's "The Red Tent," but I can still appreciate the years and years of research and work that went into Anton's efforts. It feels forced at times (it's as much an entertaining read as it is a historical approach that attempts to educate the readers about Middle Ages Jewry and Jewish customs), such as when explaining certain aspects of Jewish life. But how does one really casually explain certain customs and practices of Jewry without feeling forced anyhow? Maggie Anton is speaking here at a congregant's house at the beginning of November, and I'm pretty stoked. If anything, it'll be interesting to see how she traced the genealogy and compacted all of the history and customs into the texts.