Monday, September 26, 2011

An Unanticipated Start to Renewal

This week, we begin the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, holidays that are juxtaposed with a bittersweet sensation of happiness and reality. The book of life, the book of death. At this time every year, I beg for new beginnings, for insight, for clarity, and it's an appropriate time of year because it's also the season of my birthday, which happens to be Rosh Hashanah on the Hebrew calendar and September 30 on the Gregorian calendar. I'd really wanted to do something jazzy like Kate did for her birthday, where she listed tons of awesome facts -- known and unknown -- about her from the most minute to the deep and meaningful. Had I written that post a month ago when she posted her's, I probably would go ahead and post it anyway, but I can't put myself in a mindset of cataloging and celebrating these 28 years of life that I've been given. But I'm distracted.

Ever since I was a kid, I'd always wanted to be married by 27. I'm not sure why, but it was some kind of goal that I could work for and 27 seemed like enough time to sow my wild oats and then settle into a life of marriage, have kids and be someone's wife. So I hit that goal, with four months to spare.

What I never anticipated, however, was being divorced by 28. I also never anticipated moving back to Denver -- where I lived six years ago for a summer at The Denver Post -- alone.

This blog has watched me on a unique journey into and through Judaism as a convert, and now, I suppose, it will document what it means to be a single, converted, divorced Orthodox Jewish woman pushing 30 living in the Rocky Mountain state.

Why Denver? Well, I didn't have this blog back in 2005, but if I did, you would have heard me sing the praises of Colorado as the healthiest place on earth. The moment my wheels hit Colorado, I felt the need to eat healthy, to be healthy, to feel healthy. I went through a heartbreak there, but it didn't smack me in the face like it did elsewhere, because I was mentally and emotionally healthy. I was able to cope and move on. When I lived in Denver, I went running and walking, I ate fresh vegetables and maintained a mostly vegetarian diet, I explored the state, I got out. I did things. I was happy, I was healthy, I was positive about my future and confident in who I was. Everyone keeps telling me Denver's a horrible choice because there are no single frum folk there. To that, friends, I say, "I'm not interested in dating at the moment. Seriously?"

Why not Israel? Divorce is a big enough shock to my system right now. I need a change, so I'm starting small with a move to Denver where I can regroup, clear my head, and find some inner peace. The balagan of Israel is too much for the tender state of me right now, so stay patient. I haven't ruled it out. After all, the world is my oyster at this point.

What happened? As much as I know y'all want to ask this question, and as much as I want to answer it, this blog isn't the place for it. Evan (aka Tuvia) and I are divorcing amicably after spending most of our marriage trying to make things click into place. Not everyone works out in the way that you think or hope they will, and that's the crapshoot of life, folks. I was at an all-time emotional low when the decision was made, and since then -- a mere couple of weeks -- I've already started to feel like there's a silver lining in this. Gam zu l'tovah. (Even in this there is good.) Just know that Evan and I gave it all we had, and the marriage didn't work out.

What now? Well, I'm on the hunt for a Denver job. So if you know someone, let me know. I've applied for a few, and one responded that I'm overqualified, so I'm afraid that this is going to be a constant refrain that will frustrate the bejeezus out of me. As for school, it's on hold for now with the option to return in the spring, but I'm not sure what's going to happen there. I think in the past year, I outgrew what I thought the program could provide me. I want to continue learning, so maybe I'll hop off to Israel to seminary or something. Seriously, world = oyster. But right now, I really need to find work in Colorado -- so help a Jewess out!

I suppose I have a lot to think about, and you're all along for the ride. Why I chose to uncover after the divorce, what the Denver community is like, and, most importantly, what do I want out of life?

Thus, the High Holidays -- a time for renewal -- couldn't have come at a better time. Or maybe HaShem had this all in the books. After all, everything happened so quickly, the move, the divorce, everything. I felt almost forced to be in Denver by the High Holidays, and it has happened. My 10Q email arrived the day of my get and reminded me of what I foresaw in 5771, and it was foreboding in a way. What is HaShem trying to say to me? And what does it all mean?

Stay tuned, folks. It's going to be an interesting 5772.