Monday, June 4, 2012

The Awful(ly Awesome) Truth

You'll notice that this post has no commenting option. I've actually never done that before. I'm a firm believer in the flow of communication and reining things in if they get ugly. But on this post, well, the awful truth is that I don't really care what people think about my take on life.

After my post The Storyteller's Dilemma, I got a comment (that was deleted) saying that the pendulum is swinging to fast, that my choices and decisions are abrupt, that it's a sign of the delicate state of my mental health. Yes, I know, I deleted the comment and here I am telling you about it, but I'm talking about it on my terms.

Very few of you have been reading this blog since it started in April 2006. Even fewer of you (if there are any) have known me since I started college in 2002. I can count one person who reads this blog who knew me in 2001. Before that? None of you knew a lick about me. You only know what I tell you, and perhaps I haven't told you much. Maybe, just maybe, if you knew me better, you'd look at what seems like swift and abrupt pendulum swings as normative for me.

The thing is, not everyone lives in a world where you grow up on a street, you go to college in-town or away and move back to that same town you grew up in, you stay friends with all the people you grew up with, you probably marry one of them or your college sweetheart, you have some kids and send them to playdates with the people you grew up with, and you envision them all getting married in a big happy wedding someday. You have wine and cheese parties with friends you've known forever. You buy a house. You life happily ever after. And then you're buried in the plot you bought where you grew up next to the spouse you've been married to for 75 years.

That narrative, is, to be completely honest, not mine. It never has been. You're talking to someone who has had some crazy revelations in life that have resulted in a lot of life-altering changes. That's in my DNA, it's my "free spirit" nature as my father says. He's always told me to follow my sense of rightness and justness that resides in my heart, and that's what I do. The result of that? I make a lot of life change, sometimes abruptly. It's who I am.

Where do I begin? How about a sampling of the "unhealthy" abrupt changes I've made.

When I was a kid, I was involved in dance classes for seven years. Suddenly, at the age of 11, I decided I was done. It wasn't for me. Years of investment, and nope, done. My entire childhood I wanted to be an artist. I took classes, entered contests, again, lots of investment, and then in the eighth grade I met a girl who was really good, so I up and quit artistry. In ninth grade I decided I wanted to be a photo journalist. By the end of the semester, I decided I wanted to be a writer (well, that one stuck, sort of). In ninth grade, I decided I wanted to play volleyball, having never been athletic in my entire life. One year later, I was done with it. When I was a senior in high school, I decided I wanted to date a girl, so I dated a girl for a year. And then that phase of my life passed. I changed my major about two months into college from English to Journalism. I was going to be a copy editor forever! I was so passionate, I loved it. One year into a gig at The Washington Post, I quit. (People nearly murdered me for this -- who quits The Washington Post?) I moved to Chicago for a boy. I decided I didn't want to get married. I left the boy. I left Chicago. I pursued a degree in Judaic Studies (one of my happiest times). I decided I wanted to be a professor, only a year or so later after getting my degree to realize that it probably wasn't the best fit. I wanted to be a Hebrew Language Educator, that lasted about nine months. Heck, even when I converted to Reform Judaism that didn't stick long. I asked for a get, got it a week later, picked up and restarted in Colorado. I started talking to a Lubavitcher online, was smitten, but ended up dating a non-Jew instead. I was convinced it was the best, most right thing for me. I swore off marriage and children. We broke up after five months, and I'm talking to the Lubavitcher again. I've been working in the nonprofit world for a few years, and I've decided that maybe it's not the right fit for me. And so on, and so forth ...


My life is peppered with constant change. It's how I function. To the curious onlooker, it may not look healthy.

The only words/actions/things that I have changed and stuck to 100 percent?

Big Sister

And none of those require me to be in the same place and with the same person doing the same thing at the same time.

"What about roots!?" people ask.

For some people, with a strong, deep-seeded family situation, roots are important, location is important, relationships are important. For someone like me, who doesn't know her extended family and took to genealogical research to find some semblance of self and who converted to Judaism and became a part of the vast network of Jews around the world, my lifestyle makes sense. The Wandering Jew. It's a concept people.

It doesn't make me sick, or mentally ill, or a bad person. Okay? Okay.

Back to your regularly scheduled blogging ...