Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Fingerprint of HaShem

Clouds rolling in over the mountains in Centennial, Colorado. 
Something funny happens when you get divorced. At least it did to me. While visiting home in Lincoln, Nebraska, I was tempted with the urge to throw it all away. To go out to my favorite treif (not kosher) restaurant. To just throw all caution and devotion the wind and give it all up.

But it was fleeting. Incredibly fleeting.

My dad lamented that he couldn't take me out to eat, and I managed to find some kosher meat at the local Trader Joe's and made some meatballs and brussels sprouts. I was content. I stood my ground. I stood up to the inclination to give everything up.

And then something else funny happened.

I joined Frumster.com, a frum Jewish dating site. Yes, I've only been divorced for a few weeks, but something in me said "find a husband already! You're not a spring chicken! You want a family! Find a super frum guy to guide you! You're a converted divorcee, you're going to have to work hard to find a husband!" I found myself looking only at the men in black hats and beards -- there's something dashing about a Lubavitcher or devotee of Hassidus. Something that says, "Wholly devoted to HaShem, wife, family, Torah, life." It's too soon.

I know what you're thinking: Chavi's gone off the deep end. She's going to become a Lubavitcher and start praising the rebbe as mashiach or something. (PS: I love Lubavitchers.)

The funny thing that happens when your life stops and starts again in a new place with a new haircut and new people is that you're tempted -- in good ways and bad. Throwing it all away, taking up the uber-frum torch. And every day is a challenge. Every day I wake up after a sleepless night and think to myself "Who am I? What has become of me? What does HaShem want from me?"

Clearly, I guess, I'm not ready. I'm not ready to move on, but I'm tired of being here. I mourned my marriage for six or nine months, give or take, and the fatigue of feeling alone has worn me down. I have already made many good friends here in Denver, and I absolutely adore the community. I love being able to see the mountains no matter where I am or where I'm going. It's like witnessing the fingerprint of HaShem every moment of every day.

And the uncovering of my hair? Well, I'll admit to you all that it isn't what it's cracked up to be. Maybe it's just that the girl who cut it didn't do a good job or something, but I feel like I'm trying to step back and be someone I'm not. I'm trying to go backward when all I can do is move forward. A marriage changes you, relationships change you. And yes, it changes your hair and how you feel about it, too. I chose to uncover because according to Rav Moshe Feinstein, there is a leniency for young women without children, especially when they relocate to a new community. I asked one of the rabbis on the beth din of the get (divorce), and he advised me to uncover, so I thought, score! Uncovering! Hair liberation! But after you've covered, it's just not the same. As much as I kvetched about hair covering, I miss the ease of throwing on a hat. My head is plenty cooler on a hot day, but I don't know that that alone is worth it. I'm sure I'll write plenty more about my hair covering, and I'll give you the various sources for uncovering after divorce -- stay tuned.

So where am I? I have no idea. I really want to find a nine-to-five gig so that I can have a reason to wake up in the morning and do something with myself. Right now I feel a little lost. I need to get back into parshah study and learning, because I know that there is something that HaShem wants and needs of me, I just don't know what it is.

I guess we're all waiting for our sign.