This Clock Never Seemed So Alive
What day is it and in what month this clock never seemed so alive I can't keep up and I can't back down I've been losing so much time I was walking to work this morning, listening to my IPod, when Lifehouse's "You and Me" started playing. It's a beautiful song, but the opening lyrics always catch me, because they seem so true. Especially the last few weeks, when I can't even remember what day it is (I haven't managed to get myself a new calendar, so that only compounds my confusion). My trip to Israel highlighted this feeling so much. It had been seven years, and a lifetime, since I had been there, but those seven years seemed to have passed in a blink of the eye. It's so amazing how quickly time can pass without our even realizing it. I know a lot had changed since my last trip. Heck, I've lived in three additional states since then. I know I have changed and grown a lot, and the difference in my feelings towards being in Israel this time definitely are due in large part to my personal growth, my comfort with who I am, religiously and personally. The last time I was in Israel, I went to learn in seminary, after just having become shomer shabbos. I wasn't very stable religiously, I was really young at the time, and I had made a lot of changes in my life very quickly. I had a lot of trouble then with the struggle between wanting to fit in religiously with what people were telling me I should be, and being my unique self. Growing at my own pace and managing to fit who I was into the complex world of Yiddishkeit. I saw a lot of conflict between different groups of Orthodox Jews then, and felt a lot of internal conflict within myself, trying to balance between the pressure I felt to conform and my need to move slowly and be comfortable with the changes I was making. Seven years later, it was quite a different trip. I have evened out a lot religiously, found my comfort zone, no longer feel the pressure to fit in so much. I know who I am and what I can handle and am not afraid to stand out a little bit if it means keeping my internal integrity whole. When walking the streets of Jerusalem this time, I no longer felt judged for what I wasn't yet doing. I felt part of a Jewish world, where there are so many permutations and colors that make up a the whole picture. And I felt part of the picture, a brushstroke amongst many others, rather than wet paint trying to dry in place, but dripping a bit too much. (Ok, over the top metaphor, sorry about that.) But it all seemed to happen so quickly, no matter what the calendar says. I have seen so much, but forgotten so much as well. Moved on in so many ways - from friends, jobs, aspirations. But I have found so much as well - mainly myself. So while the clock seems so alive, and I sometimes can't keep up, nor can I go back, it's interesting to see just how much seven years can mean. It doesn't look the way I imagined it would, but I don't regret any of it either.