I’ve spent 30 years figuring out who I am. The last three years I committed my life to becoming a part of a partnership that involved the wants and needs of someone else. I still like that idea, but the person I had promised I would be is not the person I still want to be. I want to be myself and fit into someone else’s life without having to smash myself into a box.
But, I don’t really know who I am. At the core, I’m still the same: I’m still a cheerleader. I’m still a daughter. I’m still a friend. I’m still Jewish. I’m still a woman. I’m still a teacher. I’m still a 311 fan.
There are questions that arise though. What kind of a Jew am I? Whose friend am I? What type of woman? Why don’t I fit in my cheerleading uniform?
And even more loudly, What am I going to do here? Where am I going? Who do I want to be with? Who do I want to be?
Is it fair to say that there is a part of me that wants to relax a little on the religious Jewish behavior, and focus a little more on community instead? I can light Shabbat candles, but go back to eating cheeseburgers. I don’t have to set foot in an Orthodox synagogue if I don’t want to. I don’t have to do anything, I guess, that I don’t want to. I know that, but what don’t I want to do? Is abandoning everything I knew in Israel even possible? I haven’t eaten a cheeseburger! I haven’t eaten calamari! I can’t bring myself to it, even though I joke about it.
I don’t want to feel tied down. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to be in a relationship again, one day, or be married again, one day. Marriage shouldn’t tie you down or back you into a corner. But, that’s my experience of it.
I don’t want to become a bitter, cynical, jaded woman. I want to have hope and faith and still believe in true love. I want to believe that it’s out there for me. I want to be seen as funny, but graceful. I care much more now, than ever before, about having a little grace. I don’t need to get the last snarky word in, even if it’s screaming in my head to get out. I want to be respected. I want people to look at me and think, “I want to be like her.” I don’t feel like I’m doing that very well right now.
Who am I? Who am I? Who am I?
I’ve never been this conflicted before, never before felt so unable to answer the question.
This is not where the story ends. This is not where the story begins. I am so much more than just what is happening now and I want it all to come out.