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Isn't it pretty?

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Defining Characteristics

When I think about what defines me, I usually think about being intelligent, kind, independent, someone who is growing in their Yiddishkeit. The problem is that it seems that what defines me to others is something that I have never had any control over: Being From Alabama Ok, fine, so there are not that many frum jews from Alabama. Most of the people I know haven't met any others. Fine, I understand that it is unusual. And don't get me wrong, it is not something that I am ashamed of at all. I recognize that I possess many qualities, such as courteousness and hospitality, that the South ingrained in me that I might not have gotten had I grown up in New York or other locales North of the Mason-Dixon line. But is it really necessary, when I am meeting new people, for the person who is introducing me to stop all conversation in the room and shout out, "Guess where Shoshana is from! Alabama!" I don't feel like it needs to be the first thing that a new acquaintance finds out about me. Nor do I feel it has to be the focus of the way people relate to me. Does anyone else get this focus for other unusual characteristics? If someone has an extra toe, for example, do they get introduced to others as, "This is Chana, guess what, she has six toes on her left foot." I guess my point is, I want people to find out who I really am, not to just think of me as, "That girl from Alabama." There is much more to me than that. I hope that most people will take the time to find out.


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