My first thoughts of fish is the song “Fish Heads“. A very weird, but VERY catchy song.
My next thoughts of fish are that for Rosh Hashana, the new year. Traditionally one eats the head of a fish (or a full fish, or both) to be blessed that they should “be the head and not the tail” [some communities eat a lamb head] and that they should “be fruitful and multiple like fish.”
It is hard for me to believe that I am going to be leaving Australia in a week and a half. Part of me feels like I have been here forever, and part feels like I just got here. I am able to walk to places without having to use Google maps or get lost. I can go meet people and can tell them where I am and how far it will be. Going food shopping does not take an hour as I know what foods (for the most part) I can buy. I bump into people I know in the street. I have people to call to go out for a drink or go to an event.
I am so thankful that I was given this opportunity. Professionally this has been amazing. I have also realized that it gave me back my strength to do such a job. I am realized again that I am able to do this. I know enough. I am eloquent enough. I am capable enough. I have also realized that it is not all so bad (maybe it is just because we are outside the main communities of Jewish life). I have enjoyed the freedom that comes with having a real job. I have enjoyed people treating me in a way that shows that I can do these things and they don’t need to be checking up on me. I have enjoyed not second guessing myself or having to proof myself too much.
Socially it was not the best, it was actually quite hard. Even though I found friends, it is still quite lonely at times. Many are coupled, and so it is just me alone. There are no single Jewish men in the area, which means that I have not gone on any dates or had any form of that type of relationship- and I miss that. Also most of the young people are not religious/observant, which means that Shabbat meals is not a priority for them. So there were weeks that it was almost me alone in my apartment. It means that there are really cool events that are on Shabbat, holidays, or full of food that I can’t go to.
Also there is something of being seen as “the rabbi”. Now I know that this will follow me to whatever community I go to, but being exposed to what it really means to be in that role was interesting. I know that for years, there are poeple who regard me as “the rabbi” and so they change the way the speak or act with me. But here it was even more pronounced because I actually filled that role. So I know there were outings that I was not invited to, I don’t think because people don’t like me, but rather they assumed (maybe rightly so) that I would not feel comfortable going or they would not feel comfortable with me being there.
And now I am preparing to move to NY (again). I have to say that I am very nervous, much more so than when I moved to Australia. I am still waiting to hear about the apartment (I chose the more expensive one). I hope that I made the right choice of where to live. THe communities are just so different, and I want to pick one that I will be able to feel comfortable and be able to be myself. I also hope that I am able to feel at home there, as I don’t really see myself as a “big city girl”.
I am nervous about going back to school. I am nervous about being in process group and having to deal with lots of very emotional people’s emotions. I am nervous about being in school from 8:30-5. I am nervous about being somewhere where I need to ask permission for everything that I do. I am nervous about losing my freedom and being under someone else again. I am nervous about having to sit through classes that I find boring and listening to people who just like to talk. I am nervous about having to talk about feminism and femaleness. I am nervous about having to go back to a world of fighting or helping others fight.
I am nervous about going to the US. I read the articles and posts about what is going on across the US right now and I am afraid. I am afraid of what it means to be Jewish, not only today, but in the years to come. I am nervous for others who are being persecuted, and what that will mean for the country to turn on everyone. I am nervous that I will not have the strength to help when I am needed. I am nervous that I will not have the knowledge of how to help. I am nervous that I will want to just shut it all out because it feels too big for me.
When I get back to the US it is also time for me to start looking for a job. A real job. A rabbi job. The job I have been training for over the past 5 years. I say that I want to go back to Israel, but I have no idea how that is going to be possible. The jobs in the US and Europe start opening their applications now, while if I look for a job in Israel I wouldn’t start till right before I am ready to move. That means I need to just hope that something opens OR give up on that goal and accept my fate of not being in Israel.
I have to see what jobs are opening to. How much do I take a job just to have a job and how much to a take a job because it is what I want to being doing. Some people tell me I don’t have the right to be picky, I don’t agree with them, but maybe I am wrong.
Some of the jobs that are opening are in great places, but only if you have a family. And so, once again my marital status (or lack there of) affects my job options. I am also nervous about what happens if I meet someone. How do we work that out, if they need or want to be somewhere, and I need or want to be somewhere else. I don’t think I am someone who is “trying to want it all”, I don’t think it should be too much to want to be married and have a profession (but again, maybe I am wrong and I just need to pick one).
So back to fish. As once again I am about to embark on starting again, I pray that I come out like the head and not the tail.