Thursday, January 30, 2014

These Days

I spent the days after my uncle's death with my family-- grieving together, making arrangements, eating. And I'm so glad that we've all given ourselves space to process in whatever way we see fit, so there's been crying and tears but there's also been singing and dancing and laughing, too. I've heard some great stories about my Uncle, and I think that being in such a safe space with family has been good. So far we've had two memorial type events, one that was the sunday after he died at my grandmother's house, and the second was in Grass Valley for the viewing of his body. There were plenty of people at both who came to pay their respects, support us and grieve with us, and I really can't say enough about how good it was to be around so many people who know Joe and just had so much good energy.

I've spent most of the days since having feelings and being a hermit. There are just a bunch of things on my mind right now-- money, employment, grad school, death, religion-- and I'm overwhelmed. I find myself asking "what am I doing with my life?" multiple times a day. Applying for jobs is emotionally exhausting (I feel like I'm selling my soul over and over and over again), and I haven't gotten many nibbles. After a month or so it feels as if there is something wrong with you. I mean why else would no one want to hire you? I know, I'm not the only one out there applying for these jobs, I'm one of many, and some people are just better than me, I get it. Still feels kind of like I must have some kind of sticker on my resume that says DO NOT HIRE.

Just add my face to this and that pretty much explains it.

My exploration into Judaism has also taken a bit of a hit as of late, partly because of my social anxiety but also because I just don't have a whole lot of money to spend on taking intro to Judaism classes, or buy all the books I want/need to study with, so I feel like I've stalled out. I want to keep going, but I feel like I'm not ready to be vulnerable? Does that make sense? Because converting takes a certain vulnerability, you have to be real with yourself and with your rabbi and your support system, and I am afraid to go there. I have such a hard time reaching out and creating new relationships sometimes! So I feel like I don't know where to go. On the other hand, I'm beginning to feel more and more Jewish...ish. I'm subscribed to quite a few jewish online publications, I'm recognizing new words and concepts, and I'm reading the bible again (with a grain of salt, but it's a step). I have the Tanakh on my kindle, so I'm able to highlight things I don't understand or want to eventually discuss with, you know, a real person. I want to be more involved in the community, but then I get so anxious that I talk myself out of going to services or other activities. Not having a car makes it that much harder.

So that's where I am right now.

Oh, I also stopped eating bread, which is going pretty well so far. So... yay for that.

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