Posted in Life

I Really Hate Being Sick

I would say I get sick about once a year. It is rare that I get just a cold. If I get sick, I get really sick – like can’t leave my bed for a week, and unfortunately this past week was that week.

It started out thinking that it might be a cold. And then I was in class, and as the day went on, I just felt worse and worse, probably with a fever. I thought I had bronchitis (the usual suspect) and went to the doctor, got medicine and then stayed in bed over the weekend. By Sunday I was feeling ok, not 100%, but doing ok, and Sunday I had no fever. So Monday I went to work, but only a few hours in, I felt pretty awful again. I went home early from work, and low and behold I had a fever again and was coughing pretty badly…but I had been taking antibiotics since Friday. So Tuesday morning, when I woke up feeling awful and feverish, I went back to the doctor. They checked, and I didn’t have the flu or pneumonia, and because I had just finished zpac, they sent me home and said to rest, drink, and if I still have a fever in three days to come back. Well, I had a fever through Thursday. I laid in bed coughing terribly, both hot and cold, and just well, feeling awful. I couldn’t move. I had no energy. And unless I was drugged (and sleeping) I was coughing, and there was nothing I could do. Because of all this, I had to cancel my trip to California, where I was supposed to go to a chaplain conference – but there was no way I could travel feeling that way (it was actually good that I canceled, even though I am sad that I missed out on a fun time). Finally by Friday, I had no fever – but I still felt sick, this time like I had a head cold. Saturday, I was feeling a bit better, now just a cold. And today Sunday even better, it feels just like the end of a cold – but I am still trying to take it easy.

It was a really long and exhausting week. And well, I had a lot of time to think about a lot of things. I’ll start with the good things:

  • I am very thankful that my parents are alive, well, and live close to me. That they were checking in and worried about me, even though I am an adult. That they were willing and able to come into the NY to pick me up and take me to their house for Shabbat, so I would be able to just rest. That they were understanding that all I needed to do this weekend was to sleep and eat, and that is what they let me do.
  • I am very thankful that I have friends and colleagues that checked on me daily. It really meant a lot that people wanted to make sure that I was ok, taking care of myself, and willing do things if I needed it.
  • I am very thankful to my roommates, who although I sounded like death, didn’t send me away. And also offered to help take care of me – even going out of their way to buy me soup and food to eat.
  • I am thankful to having good health insurance that covered my medications and doctors visits. [I know that is, unfortunately, a luxury here in the US – and I pray that somehow that can change in the near future]
  • I am thankful to having medications that are able to fight things, help people get better.
  • I am thankful to the internet for having movies so I was occupied during the day. And also that there are so many ways we can be connected nowadays, and so even though I did feel alone at times, it was also easy to try to reach out to people.

Things that made me sad:

  • All I could think of is how similar I am to those who go to the hospital with no family. That if God forbid I had to go to the ED or get admitted, there would be no one that would sleep at my bedside. That I would spend most of the time alone. Or it would be my mother at my side – not my husband or boyfriend.
  • That although people offered to get things for me and do things for me, no one actually showed up. My roommates never knocked on my door to check on me. There was no one I was really willing to let in from the outside to see me in my grossness or lack of underwear. There was no one to make me tea or bring me food in bed. (yes, I know those are all extras – but I still wanted them).
  • I felt really lonely. Like really, really lonely. All I wanted was to talk to people, but I didn’t know who to reach out to. I didn’t even really have the energy to talk, but I wanted to not feel alone.
  • Because I had so much time, and not so much energy, I think I spent too much time swiping on dating apps. But it made me realize I have been swiping for a while and paying for this website for a while – and I still have not gone on any dates. Really what is wrong with me?
  • I also had not a lot of energy to do real things, so I watched a lot of romantic comedies. I really miss being kissed and touched. And why won’t those stories happen in real life? (or at the very least, just a date – maybe a bit of kissing? When I’m not sick, I don’t think I’m that awful to look at)
  • Going to my parents was really an amazing thing, and I am very thankful. But at the same time it reminded me that I don’t have a partner. I felt like a little girl again. Not really because of anything that my parents did. But here I was sick and the people taking care of me were my parents. That every time I come to their house it is just me alone sleeping in the bed. Every time they mention that someone else is married or had a baby, I feel like a pin goes into my heart, reminding me that I am not yet doing that for them – and I’m not even close. That I am still their little girl. That I have a job, but it’s unclear what will happen next. Or that they are trying to clear out storage – and there is stuff of mine, but I don’t want to take it because I have no where permanent (or semi-permanent) to bring it to.

I guess in short – being sick made me realize that I have much more than I thought I do here, and I am very thankful for that. But at the same time, it made me feel really alone.

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Posted in Life, Uncategorized

When You are Angry Instead of Joyous

Yesterday was exactly one year since my ordination – which I really can’t believe that is true. Last night was this year’s ordination. I went to celebrate with this year’s class.

Looking back a year ago, ordination was this very exciting, happy, somewhat overwhelming day – but I felt really great. This year, I just felt angry and agitated, and I am not really sure why.

It might be because I received an email at 4:15 telling me that if I wanted to be in pictures, I needed to be there by 5:30. Or the email that I received as I jumped into a cab to try to maybe get there somewhat on time, that lining up was at 6:20, only to find out that it was really at 7:20, and that there was a dinner reception first. Maybe it was because I was just overtired and hungry coming off a 26 hour shift.

I did get to see a good friend of mine who happened to be in from Israel. I did speak to one of the alum, who actually made me feel good about what I am doing and where I can go with it. I did see the teachers that I actually did learn with and work with, and was happy to see and be with them.

But for the most part, it was like entering into a space that I have not really been in for a while. It was having to do the small talk, the talk about how great things are, the talk about how beautiful and wonderful this institution is. It was seeing the teachers say a “hello and how are you”, but really didn’t want to hear how I am doing. It was the knowing that there is an alumni day and was a meeting that day, that I couldn’t go to because I was at work, and I should not expect there to be a day for me to join in. There was seeing the director of the program I was part of in Israel, and him coming over to speak to me with that false disgusting smile, and I had to speak nicely.

But I sat there through the ceremony, and I really didn’t feel part of it. I didn’t feel part of the excitement or happiness. Many of the alumni come back every year, and speak about how this night gives them the extra juice to continue doing what they are doing – and I honestly couldn’t relate.

I did dance at the end. I thought that if I force myself to sing and dance then maybe I will receive some of the joy. It worked a bit – I was more joyful than when I arrived in a rush. But I didn’t feel like I was floating after (as I did definitely last year, but also the previous year). I didn’t feel excited for the Jewish people. I didn’t feel like I had just left a very joyous occasion.

 

Posted in Life

Reconnecting

I feel funny this morning.

I’m here in Pittsburgh, and A is here. The guy I dated two years ago. I really didn’t know what to expect, when he told me that he was randomly going to be there for a week, and then it turned out that I would be here too.

On Friday we went on a boat tour of Pittsburgh. I thought it was going to just be seeing an old friend, but then we started talking. Really talking – talking about our relationship two years ago, talking about the breakup and how I felt, very fast we go to speaking about the what ifs, and that we both miss each other.

Then he was at Shabbat dinner with me. And I really didn’t know how to react to him. There are things that haven’t changed at all. There is definitely a feeling there that is the same as it was those two years ago. And that feeling really does make me nervous. It is the feeling that he cares for me, that he can see me, that he is drawn to me – and it is not only something a feel, but something he says aloud.

Last night we sat on the porch of my host’s house watching the rain pour down, talking for hours. Somehow the conversation lead to a conversation about marriage and children. We spoke about attraction and what we are feeling. How to have both the feelings , but also acknowledge that there is something there. Honestly, I was both overwhelmed and comfortable at the same time. Last night, he was so sure, and I was so not sure. It felt too early to talk about a long term future together. We haven’t seen each other in two years – I know I have changed and of course he has too. But there is something there…but it is too soon. I went to bed with my head whirling. I looked back at posts that I wrote when we were “not talking” to each other, right before we actually ended it. I was reminded of the intense feelings that I had for him back then, and the reality of how that felt today – that some of it was still there. My brain was just whirling with thoughts and feelings, and so unsure what to do.

And today we met up for breakfast. He had his rational head on, and now was feeling overwhelmed. It was intense to see him. I have so many conflicting feelings and am getting used to sharing them with him, as I am different. We were trying to plan, but it is really unplannable. He has to play for the wedding, and it is too overwhelming to think about all this too. There is just not enough time to be together and to actually talk about all that we need to talk about. Do we start a long distance thing, knowing that we won’t be able to see each other. Are we really meant to do this? Are we thinking to far into the future before we have a present?

I am trying really hard to just be in the moment. I am trying really hard to allow myself to feel what I am feeling, and to just allow that to be ok – and maybe even to share those feelings with him. I honestly do not know what I want, but I do know that there is a certain comfort of just being with him.

 

via Daily Prompt: Premature

Posted in Life

My Year in Books #2

When I moved to the US in May 2016, I decided to keep a log of the books I read, mostly to see how many full books a year I read. So keeping with the tradition I started last year – here are the 2017/2018 books. My favorites are in bold.

Shtum Jem Lester 27/5/2017 313
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk Kathleen Rooney 29/5/2017 284
How to be Single Liz Tuccillo 31/5/2017 404
All Grown Up Jami Attenberg 2/6/2017 197
The Romance Reader’s Guide to Life Sharon Pywell 3/6/2017 308
The Antiques Kris D’Agostino 304
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World Adam M. Grant   326
The Bookshop Penelope Fitzgerald 123
How to be Everything: A Guide for those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want to be When They Grow Up Emilie Wapnick 5/6/2017 203
Ninette of Sin Street Vitalis Danon 84
The Wide Circumference of Love Marita Golden 10/6/2017 292
The Weight of Ink Rachel Kadish 17/6/2016 567
In the Stacks: Stories about Libraries and Librarians Michael Cart 21/6/2017 288
An Alphabetical Life: Living it Up in the World of Books Wendy Werris 23/6/2017 284
My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book fo Books, Plot Ensues Pamela Paul 24/6/2017 256
Letters to a Young Poet Rainer Maria Rike 30/6/2017 80
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Gail Honeyman 4/7/2017 327
We Should All Be Feminists Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 15/7/2017 52
The Someday Jar Allison Morgan 18/7/2017 343
The Idiot Elif Batuman 22/7/2017 423
My Italian Bulldozer Alexander McCall Smith 27/7/2017 240
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Mindy Kaling 29/7/2017 222
The Heartbreak Hotel Jonathan Kellerman 30/7/2017 368
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race Margot Lee Shetterly 19/8/2017 349
The Book of Speculation Erika Swyler 20/8/2017 339
Chemistry Weike Wang 25/8/2017 211
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows Balli Kaur Jaswal 26/8/2017 293
How to Behave in a Crowd Camille Bordas   319
Extraordinary Adventures Daniel Wallace 328
Cake Time Siel Ju 208
Cities I’ve Never Lived In: Stories Sara Majka 28/8/2017 192
The Rules Do Not Apply Ariel Levy 2/9/2017 207
The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman Denis Theriault 137
Very Valentine Adriana Trigiani 5/9/2017 367
Careers for Women Joanna Scott 8/9/2017 304
Girls Who Travel Nicole Trlivas 9/9/2017 336
Awkward: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome Ty Tashiro 13/9/2017 288
Britt-Marie Was Here Fredrik Backman 16/9/2017 324
The Correspondence JD Daniel 17/9/2017 144
Books for Living Will Schwalbe 20/9/2017 288
Forest Dark Nicole Krauss 2/10/2017 304
The Secret Life of the Mind: How Your Brain Thinks, Feels and Decides Mariano Sigman 288
How to Find Love in a Book Shop Veronica Henry 5/10/2017 336
The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness Jill Filipovic 6/10/2017 336
Sourdough Robin Sloan 7/10/2017 262
The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story Edwidge Danticat 12/10/2017 181
A Girl Walks into a Book: What the Brontes Taught Me about Life, Love and Women’s Work Miranda K Pennington 14/10/2017 320
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things Jenny Lawson 329
The Secret Room Sandra Block 368
Hey Harry, Hey Matilda Rachel Hulin 276
The Runaway Midwife Patricia Harman 416
The Romance of Elsewhere: Essays Lynn Freed 21/10/2017 224
What is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel about Everything Rob Bell 22/10/2017 336
At Home in the World Tsh Oxenreider 6/11/2017 240
I hope I Screw This Up: How Falling in Love with Your Fears Can Change the World Kyle Cease 11/11/2017 242
Bad Rabbi Eddy Portnoy 17/11/2017 236
Perennials Mandy Berman 18/11/2017 273
I’m Fine…And Other Lies Whitney Cummings 25/11/2017 274
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore Matthew Sullivan   326
Holy Anorexia Rudolph M. Bell 26/11/2017 179
The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old Groen, Hendrik 2/12/2017 384
Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Furture Nutcracker Maguire, George 4/12/2017 287
The One Real Thing Young, Samantha 9/12/2017 382
Burning Bright: Four Chanukah Love Stories Hart, Megan 400
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance Lang, Ruth Emmie 16/12/2017 346
Jane Eyre Bronte, CHarlotte 23/12/2017 284
The Book of Separation: A Memoir Mirvis, Tova 29/12/2017 320
God: A Human History Aslan, Reza 30/12/2017 321
The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky Heacock, Summer 336
The House of Unexpected Sisters McCall Smith, Alexander 6/1/2018 240
Single-Minded Daily, Lisa 10/1/2018 304
Loveable: Embracing What is Truest about You, So you Can Truly Embrace Your Life Flanagan, Kelly 13/1/2018 224
London is the Best City in America Dave, Laura 19/1/2018 256
Misadventures of a City Girl Wild, Meredith 20/1/2018 187
Mr. Right-Swipe Schultz, Ricki 304
Toward a Meaningful Life Jacobson, SImon 24/1/2018 352
The Remarkable Ordinary: How to Stop, Look, and Listen to Life Buechner, Frederick 25/1/2018 128
The Wisdom of Not Knowing: Discovering a Life of Wonder by Embracing Uncertainty Frankel, Estelle 30/1/2018 208
Every Little Thing Young, Samantha 2/2/2018 352
Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone Brown, Brene 3/2/2018 208
The Afterlives Pierce, Thomas 384
Einstein and the Rabbi: Searching for the Soul Levy, Naomi 9/2/2018 338
The Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessions from the World’s Happiest People Buettner, Dan 10/2/2018 288
Eternal Life Horn, Dara 23/2/2018 256
Hello, Sunshine Dave, Laura 24/2/2018 256
How to be SIngle and Happy: Science Based Strategies for Keeping Your Sanity While Looking for a Soul Mate Taitz, Jenny 3/3/2018 272
How to Fix a Broken Heart Winch, Guy 4/3/2018 128
The Love Gap: A Radical Plan to Win in Life and Love Birch, Jenna 19/3/2018 304
The Hazel Wood Albert, Melissa 21/3/2018 368
How Luck Happens: Using the Science of Luck to Transform Work, Love and Life Kaplan, Janice 24/3/2018 352
When Likes Aren’t Enough: A Crash Course in the Science of Happiness Bono, Tim 29/3/2018 272
Fire Sermon Quatro, Jamie 31/3/2018 224
The Last Equation of Isaac Severy Jacobs, Nova 1/4/2018 337
Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself Epstein, Mark 6/4/2018 224
Murder at the 42nd Street Library Lehane, Con 7/4/2018 307
How to Paint a Dead Man Hall, Sarah 306
Can’t Help Myself: Lessons & Confessions from a Modern Advice Columnist Goldstein, Meredith 20/4/2018 272
How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t: 14 Habits that are Holding You Back from Happiness Owen, Andrea 21/4/2018 224
The Immortalists Benjamin, Chloe 27/4/2018 346
The Narrow Space: A Pediatric Oncologist, His Jewish, Muslim, and Christian Patients, and a Hospital in Jerusalem Waldman, Elisha 28/4/2018 256
The Coincidence Makers Blum, Yoav 29/4/2018 304
The Anatomy of a Miracle Miles, Jonathan 5/5/2018 352
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper Patrick, Phaedra 12/5/2018 331
Church of Marvels Parry, Leslie 308
Everything Happens for a Reason Kate Bowler 16/5/2018 178
The Wedding Date Jasmine Guillory 19/5/2018 310
The Little Clan Iris Martin Cohen 327
One Station Away Olaf Olafsson 20/5/2018 299
This Messy Magnificent Life Geneen Roth 21/5/2018 202
Posted in Life

My Green Umbrella

I landed in America two years ago today.

I did nothing to mark this day today. I didn’t  mention it to anyone at work. I didn’t post on Facebook. I didn’t mention it to friends. I didn’t even cry.

But I left Israel two years ago.

The past two years were not easy to say the least. I was homesick. I missed my friends. I missed having a community. I missed going to the shuk to do my shopping. I missed seasonal fruits and vegetables. I missed the smell of juniper. I missed automatically having off for the Jewish holidays. I missed the beach. I missed speaking in Hebrew. I missed my apartment. Really, I just missed my life – and honestly, sometimes I still do, but I am not brought to tears when I think about it.

New York was (still is) lonely for me. It does not feel like home, even though it’s been two years (ok, a year and a half- minus the two months in NJ and the 4 in Australia). Yes, I do now know what brands of stuff I like to buy. I know where to go grocery shopping. I am no longer totally lost when I get on the subway or when I need to go somewhere new. But I don’t have a community (well, definitely not a Jewish one). The person I speak to the most often is living in Israel. I am slowly making friends, but I realized the other day, only one person is someone who I met here since coming to the US, the rest I knew from Israel.

A lot has happened in the past two years. I did my first unit of CPE. I moved and worked in Australia. I moved to New York. I was in school. I received smicha. I started my job as a chaplain resident. I was offered a second year of residency, which I accepted…

…so I guess I am staying another year.

And today, I found holes in my green umbrella. It is the umbrella I bought over two years ago, from the store on Ben Yehudah for 15 shekel. It never should have lasted two months, let alone two years, but it did. I know I have to throw this umbrella away, but there is a large part of me that is not ready to give it up.

I want to hold onto something from then… but maybe it is a sign, that it is time to say goodbye to it (and my life that was), and start using the new colorful polka dot one I just bought, and embrace what this new city has in store.

Posted in Dating, Life

Title – One Year – Virgin Embarrassment – Seeing Ex’s

Title

I think I want to change my title. I go back and forth between Rabbi  and Rabba, but I know in my heart I want to be rabbi. I just assumed that politically it is easier for others for me to be Rabba, but I do like Rabbi much better, at least in the US. As I am teaching less, and doing hospital stuff more, it seems like the right choice.

There were also new women ordained this year, and some of them are now going by Rabbi, and so I won’t be alone in my choice.


One Year

It was approximately a year ago (give or take a few days) that I received my signed klaf and I became a Rabbi.

It has been a year with a lot of change – but unlike the past three years, these were personal changes rather than physical changes. I feel so separate from that place that I was in, while at the same time, I can remember exactly what it was like to stand there as the rabbis signed this parchment with my name on it. How it was at that moment I felt all my breath leave me in disbelief that such a thing was really happening. That the day of the signing was more intense for me than the day of the test.


Women & Power

This past week I was on a panel to discuss women and power. I think that the phone conversation we had in private was more interesting than what we said in public. It was clear that there was an intention when we got onto the stage, and even more clear that there is a lot riding on what we say and how we say it.

It was an event to promote our rabbinical school, and so it would not have been appropriate to actually discuss the difficulties that we face, although I do think that would have been more fruitful. It would not have been ok to answer honestly about the struggles that we feel and felt, in our past internships, jobs, and even in our education. We were sitting on the stage to inspire people. To have them believe what we are doing can change the world – and is changing the world. We had to show them, that yes there are difficulties that we are facing, but we are doing ok, we are not breaking, we are not crying, we are not questioning if we made the right choice.

I learned in this panel, that with my job, I am actually in an interesting position to just speak my mind. The hospital doesn’t really care so much what I say, especially within the Jewish world. I can speak up and share my anger, frustration and disgust without fear of getting fired or worse. I can voice that I think the Jewish world is doing a disservice, without being shunned (and honestly, I already feel that, so it can’t be worse).

One of the things that I was most upset about, it was not answered – was I was asked to write an article. I wrote it. It was edited, which in general means just for grammar, and I am very thankful for someone to do that. But instead, it was cut and changed. It was not written in my voice. And when I said something, I was completely ignored. There was nothing I could do about it. I am angry that someone thought they had the right to change my words that much. If they wanted it to be shorter they could have told me. If they didn’t like my message, that also could have been said. But it was ok – because well, she too was a woman, and how could a woman take away another woman’s power.

People liked that article a lot, and I am happy about that. I will smile and nod when someone will bring it up, but it is not my words. To make it worse, is that she actually completely erased my words. She didn’t make a new document, or ask for my opinion on the changes, they are just gone.

So with women and power – I think that we do have power. We can have power. We have a lot to say, and I should say things more. But there is always going to be that little political voice in the background, holding us back, shutting us up, making us look and act in a certain way – so that we do our jobs, but with as few waves as possible.


Virgin Embarrassment

A good friend of mine is desperately trying to find a guy to touch her. There is a part of me that is worried about her, and I have told her. She comes from a community where she was told that men and women don’t touch, and if they do they are sinning. She also thought she would be married by now (she is 27). She is slowly having open conversations with men from Jewish dating sites, and talking about what she is willing to do and not willing to do. And talks about the shame and awkwardness of telling someone, well, no I have not yet had sex, I don’t think I want to have sex with you right now.

I know I have shame around the fact that I have not had sex. That i am pretty inexperienced when it comes to anything sexual. Just last night I was talking to a guy on OK Cupid. When he found out I was a Jewish chaplain, his first question was “so does that mean no touching men and no sex?” I was annoyed at the question, but at the same time, the question makes sense. He wants to know what he is getting involved in – and if all he wants is to have a random hookup, I will not be the right person. I told him I touch men, and he then asked about sex, and I said no.

I don’t know if I mean no forever, but I do know that I mean no until we are in a relationship. But I am embarrassed by this. I am 32 years old, if I am not dating, I might as well have sex, or at least be open to it – it might make internet dating more open for me.

I realized how much I dread that conversation. I dread having to tell someone that I have no idea what I am doing. I am afraid that he will think less of me or think that I have some problem or think that I am some really sad case.

And at the same time as wanting this – there is a voice that says, well, you are a rabbi, you can’t have it even if you want it. When I went out with friends on Wednesday night, we were talking about men asking about sex on dating apps. Y said, that it was a gross idea if a guy asked for sex if he knows you are a rabbi, of course you are going to say no, and he just has a weird fetish. I answered,  that well, actually I would love someone to have that assumption, and maybe there are things I am willing to do, even though I am a rabbi. To this answer I was just glared at, as if I said something heretical (which I guess it was). But I do think that Judaism needs to discuss this issue. We can’t pretend that it is not real feeling, that there is sexual desire even with the title, and that intimacy is a real important thing.

But until then, it is just another thing that needs to be hidden away.


Seeing Ex’s

A (the guy I was dating in Israel before I left) recently got in touch with me. He told me he was going to be in Pittsburgh for Memorial Day Weekend for a wedding…and randomly, so am I. It turns out HE IS GOING TO THAT WEDDING! Which is really random, and I have been thinking about what it will be like to see him. He asked me if we can go out when we are both there, and I said maybe. I have been thinking about saying yes and seeing if I would want to try again. I think, even though I am/was mad at him for things he has said, there is a part of me that is still desperate. He is the only person in two years that has actually been interested in me. There is something comfortable with him (or at least there was), but also I will not have to have the sex conversation in the same way – he already knows where I stand. I’m not really sure what to do with that, but it will be interesting to see him. I do know, that I just want to look amazing when I do see him.

 

Posted in Life

10 Years

I went to my 10 year college reunion this past weekend.

10 YEARS!!!! How did 10 years pass?!

It was weird to be back. As I walked around campus I had flashbacks to being a student. The buildings looked the same. The smells were the same. Feeling the wind blowing, made me think about what it was to be a student. The students looked the same, except I didn’t know any of them, and some how I was older than them.

I sat on the academic quad, right next to the theatre building – looking at the path that diverged connecting all the academic buildings to each other. I thought about what it was to be able to just learn. To be told to explore and change the world. I was a bit sad, that it was the last time I really felt like I could do anything in the world. I was so hopeful and full of dreams – and I don’t fully feel that way any more. I wish I was back in the world where all I had to do was learn.

The people I keep the most in touch with were not at the reunion. But there were a number of people from my class there, and it was all the people I haven’t seen in 10 years, many of which I haven’t spoken to since graduating. I was happy to see some of them. It was nice to remember why I like them. How I was accepted for being me, and that was it. It was crazy to see where we all are. What are the things we are doing. How we are really people, after living in the college bubble.

I spoke to the chaplain there, and she still believes that I am doing great things, and I have the ability to continue to do so. We spoke about what I liked at my job in the hospital, and how I am having a difficult time finding a religious community. She understood where I was coming from and how important a religious community is. She asked if I could come back to Maryland and also gave the suggestion of looking into working as a university chaplain. It felt nice to get back in touch with someone who knew me and is able to see me now.

It was also difficult. I did feel alone. It seemed like everyone came with a friend or a partner, and I was just meandering alone until I bumped into someone. I took no pictures and wasn’t asked to be in any. I know that is a silly thing – but it feels to me that some times people want to be with me at the time, but not to remember me or keep in touch. Almost everyone I met was in a relationship – be it married, engaged or in a serious relationship. Some were pregnant or already had children. But there I was, alone.

I spoke at the memorial service on Sunday morning. It was mostly women from the class of 1958. They sat on one side of the chapel. I looked over at the white haired women, still connected by their times in the college. Still connected over 50 YEARS. But sitting there, reading off the names of their friends and classmates who have died in the past five years (since the last reunion).

I still say that my time at college was formative to who I am today. I do want to be connected. I still am friends with people from college, and they are very important to me in my life. I am not where I thought I would be, but I am doing good things. It is hard to remember being so young, impressionable, hopeful. When did I start to get old? What will I accomplish in the next 10 years? Who will I be in 10 years time?