Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Unfamiliar Life

Every once in a while, this feeling overwhelms me that I can't recognize my life or reconcile who I am with who I once was (or who I thought I would become).

Perhaps it's become worse lately because of the other recent major changes in my life but in truth it was happening even before that.

I'm not sure why I have this need to be able to connect the girl I was to the woman I am, but from time to time it will bewilder me that I don't keep Shabbos, that I'm not living in a frum community with several children who all go to yeshiva, that I'm not (to put it simply) who so many of my childhood friends are.

I like my life. I'm not dissatisfied with the decisions I've made but even years later, they still sometimes scare me. It makes me wonder if I'll ever be able to feel like my identity is completely stable.

But then maybe, that's the thing. Maybe this constant questioning of my own identity and my choices is just part of who I am. Maybe if I'd chosen to live a Modern Orthodox lifestyle, to have children, to belong to an MO community, I'd be wondering about the other, unknown path -- the "rebellious" path, so to speak -- and constantly feeling like I'd missed out on something, some part of who I am innately. And this me, this agnostic/atheist, secular me looking at that other life knows that I would have.


chaynobody said...

I HAVE that life you describe - "living in a frum community with several children who all go to yeshiva" (in my case - 10 kids) and to be honest, all in all it is ok, if intensive and planned out. But it is any more fulfilling or "right" than the life "outside"? - I ask myself that question every day. Maybe I would have been happier had I left and pursued my impossible dream of seeing the world, or learning about things other than the "wonderful" words of Abaye and Ravah (any Yeshiva guy will know exactly what I mean). Alas - having opened my mind to actual thought and realizing that "the truth" is not at all what I was always taught - I'll never be able to close my mind back up again, and that nagging idea that something really great is out there for me will never go away.
So you see - it works in both ways. No matter what we choose - some of us will always second guess ourselves. It's ironic, but maybe those many who we all know who live in blissful ignorance (in whichever life they live) are actually the lucky ones?

chaynobody said...

I any event (I had wanted to say this regarding your previous post also) - I hope you can find happiness and resolution in your life. You are not alone - we are all rooting for you and wish you only the best (boy that sounds Frum... :) )

On Her Own said...

That makes sense. I could really see myself having chosen the other path and wondering about this one. I think some people just have that sort of thing in their nature.

Thanks for the well wishes. :-)