Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Little OJ Girl Who Lives in My Brain

On my way home yesterday, I had a realization:

There's no reason I have to be certain of where I eventually want to be in terms of Judaism, or even exactly where I am right now, to be open about said status with family and/or friends.

I can tell them I'm unsure. I can tell them I don't know if I can be Orthodox, that I'm not really Orthodox now, that I might or might not be Orthodox in the future. That I value our tradition and love so many things about it, but am not sure I believe in a lot of the concepts that undergird them.

But I haven't. And I'm not sure I will.


Well, here's the second realization:

No matter what I've done, what I've learned that has contradicted OJ, etc., deep down there's this insistence somewhere inside of me that being "non-religious" (in the OJ usage of the term) is bad, wrong, and something of which I should be ashamed.

It's almost like I have a much younger, Orthodox version of myself living inside my brain, full of all the contentions she's been taught, and she won't leave me alone.

Basically: I haven't been able to accept myself as non-Orthodox or even questioning Orthodoxy because a part of me is still convinced that such a designation would make me a BAD person.

And how can I ask my parents and friends to accept me as I am if I haven't yet accepted my own thoughts and my own choices as legitimate?