Monday, August 28, 2006

Failed? So What?

I'm sick of feeling sorry for myself. I just read a letter a wrote almost 5 years ago - it's stored on our computer - and it's still the same old story. I vowed then that I would change my life and be myself. I vowed to grow into the person inside, and well, I have to say, that being in the mood I was already in, reading this letter did not help me at all. I remember once hearing a lecture by Rabbi Orlofsky during sfirat Ha'omer in which he said that Rabbi Akiva was so great, not because he left home for years to study, and not because when he returned he didn't even come in the door, but turned around on the doorstep and went back to the beit midrash. It wasn't even that he only started learning at the age of 40, and yet amassed a huge following. No, the reason he was so great was because when all his students died he sat down, cried about it, and then he got up, brushed himself off and started again. He went and found five more students and started teaching again. This shiur by Rabbi Orlofsky always stuck with me, and I never knew why. Now I think I'm starting to understand. I've been a failure for 5 years (at least), but it's time to stop feeding into it by letting myself get depressed over it. It's (way past) time to move on. I have to stop looking around at other people and seeing what I'm not, and start looking into myself and seeing what I am. It's hard work, and I'm not really sure I want to do it. Change is a challenge. But there is no choice because I can't continue this way. It's over. And it's not a new me I'm looking for, it's the me I already am, and seem to have lost somewhere along the way. Tonight, I'm going to sit down and work on this some more.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

With Thanks to Elie

At least I have a sort-of meme to keep me busy for one post, until I can finish up those many that are "waiting", or should I say, that we are waiting for?

What would you ask God if:

1. You could ask one "why" question?

Why does pain have to hurt so much?

2. You could ask one question about what will happen in the future?

When will Mashiach come? (I know it's a cliche, but it was the first thing that came to mind...)

3. You could ask advice on one personal issue?

What should be my number one priority in life?

4. You could ask to meet one person from history (at least 100 years ago)?

Moshe Rabbeinu

5. You could ask for one non-miraculous personal wish?

That I could gain more confidence.

6. You could ask to bring back one person who died?

My grandmother - I never met her, but I am named after her and always felt a connection.

7. You could ask for one communal wish?

Peace (another cliche, I know...)

Well, there we have it. More to come later this week, I hope.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Here I am, once again blogging at 3am - but this time I have an excuse. I'm sick. I feel like I have strep, and well, I had some antibiotics around that I was supposed to take for something preventative, but couldn't find them a week ago when I was supposed to take them. So, I started the run today, hoping that it will help. I should go to a doctor, but I'm hoping I'll feel better tomorrow. I know I won't if I don't get more sleep, but it's very difficult with this sore throat, and being unable to swallow...or at least, that's my excuse...

Of course, I'm still looking for answers. From myself, from God, from the world. I want to be in a happy place, but I feel like it takes either effort, or "pretending" to get there. So, I search, even when I know that the answers are right there. Even when I know that only I know what needs to be done, yet I refuse to let myself see because I don't want to have to work hard. My husband asked me yesterday what's missing and I gave him a bunch of answers, but he kept asking. He often does this when he feels that I'm not being honest with myself and with him, or when he thinks that I'm just giving the answer he wants to hear.

So, what am I missing? What was the answer that I gave him yesterday? I'm missing "me"; I'm missing the grounding center, and the dreamy spirit. I'm missing the ability to lose control and enjoy it. I'm missing confidence and self (and I don't mean self-confidence). In short, I'm missing all the ingredients of a happy life. So, it would seem to me to be the simple answer that I should go and work on these things - ie learn how to BE those things that are missing. Fill in the gaps and become the Person I want to be. But I'm always plagued by the question of "how". I should, as my husband always suggests, DO something, and then if that doesn't work out, DO something else. Because I certainly won't get anywhere by just thinking all the time.

Last week, I hosted a Rosh Chodesh get-together at my home. That evening, one woman said that a person's tikkun is the thing that they find hardest in the world. This means that whatever I find most difficult is the thing I need to work on most...and then I'm left with the question, does that mean that I'm stuck with the same issue for my whole life? I find that discouraging. I feel that my life is always moving in circles, bringing me back to the same place time after time, and I'm frustrated with the pattern. I want to break it and finally move on, but now I hear that it's going to be like the housework I despise - constantly needing to be done again. (As an aside, I realized a few weeks ago that one reason I don't like to do the housework is because it just needs to be done over and over again. There is no end, and I like to think that things can be DONE - once and for all.) They say that it's really more like a spiral - you do move in circles, but you also move upwards, so you deal with the same issues, but in a different way, or on a different level, whatever that means.

What it boils down to is this: I have to DO something - for myself and my relationships. I have to act in order to change. Change does not come from the heart, from decisions or resolutions. It comes from doing.