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Isn't it pretty?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ten Years Ago

There's a chick who lives in Passaic who I met almost exactly 10 years ago - she was one of the leaders of my first trip to Israel. I see her at shul sometimes. It makes me reflect back on my life 10 years ago and the myriad changes that have occurred in that time.

10 years ago today -

- I had just finished my 2nd year of college. I had just switched my major from engineering to psychology.
- I was living in Birmingham, Alabama. I had never even been to New York, much less ever lived there.
- I was 19 years old, still a teenager.
- I think I had met approximately 2 Orthodox Jews in my entire life. Shabbos to me was Friday night. I had no idea that women would wear wigs for religious reasons, nor had I ever heard of wearing skirts and long sleeves either.
- I'd never had anyone ask me what my "english name" was before. They usually just asked me if I was Indian.
- I had extremely few Jewish friends. I had been the only Jew in my high school, and was one of very few at my college. I was the first Jew my college roommate had ever met.

In the past 10 years -
- I've traveled to Israel three times, including my first trip where I met the chick who now lives in Passaic. I would consider making my home there at some point.
- I've lived in Atlanta, Baltimore and Passaic and met wonderful, warm and lasting friends in all three places.
- New York has become my stomping ground. I can give directions to people who ask and even help them figure out which subway to take.
- I've become an "observant" Jew, meaning that I consider myself shomer shabbos, I "keep kosher" and I make efforts to follow halacha (Jewish law) to the best of my ability (I used to not know what the word "halacha" meant).
- I've taken possession of, and had to give away, a cat.
- I've completed my Bachelor's degree and have one year left of my Master's. And I've chosen the field of school counseling for my career.
- I've worked in full-time jobs that I don't like so much, but they have led me to my career and school decisions.
- Most of my friends are now Jewish. My life, in many ways, revolves around Jewish celebrations and observances.
- I'm 29 now, starting to think about turning 30 (SO weird) (oh, but I've been devising a scheme to retro-age, so I'll actually turn 28 this year, I totally think I can pull it off).

Those are the changes that are pretty tangible. But I think there are a lot of changes within me personally that are harder to delineate in a list. I think I've grown into a person who knows who she is (pretty much) and who thinks about life and the world a lot more. I've seen more - more of the physical world, more of the spiritual world and more of the emotional world. I've been through good and bad, difficult times and happy times. I've met so many people who have enriched my life.

It's really incredible how 10 years can replace so much of what was once your world. The places that I saw every day, the people I talked to, the activities I took part in. Very little is still the same. But the core of me, I think that hasn't changed too much. I don't know if it can really.

10 years - new cities, new faces, new strengths and new weaknesses. I wonder what the next 10 years will bring.


  • What a beautiful retrospective.

    By Blogger SaraK, at 6/11/07, 3:36 PM  

  • SR,
    I was wondering what brought about the transition from not religious to religious. Short question, but I would love the long answer.

    By Blogger smoo, at 6/11/07, 3:55 PM  

  • Sara -

    If you send me your e-mail address I'll be happy to send you my story, I think I have it buried in my e-mail somewhere. I think if you want the long version of the story, it's too long for the comments section here. You can e-mail me at sweetroseblog@gmail.com

    By Blogger Shoshana, at 6/11/07, 4:04 PM  

  • what a journey!
    nice post :)
    may the next ten years be even better!

    By Blogger ~ Sarah ~, at 6/11/07, 7:37 PM  

  • Nicely done, in more ways than one (both the life and the post).

    By Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann, at 6/12/07, 1:54 PM  

  • Wow...a whole lot can happen in ten years, can't it? Hmm...ten years ago, I had just finished eighth grade. That's a scary thought...

    Thanks for sharing with us. :)

    By Blogger Scraps, at 6/14/07, 11:12 AM  

  • I’m a novice in the blog world and I read your stories and comments with a lot of interest. I couldn’t help and jump in to share with you this amazing website I just recently discovered, www.fridaylight.org. It addresses to all Jewish women who are interested in lighting the Shabbat candles.

    I personally lit my first Shabbat candle 2 months ago, at the age of 26. Reciting the blessing in front of the flame made me realize how meaningful this action is. I felt overwhelmed with peace and serenity. Now I’m registered on www.fridaylight.org and I get the lighting times every week by email and on my cell. Check it out, I think you’ll like it… Let me know!

    By Blogger Evahava, at 6/14/07, 7:40 PM  

  • what an amazing chunk of time..

    People complain too much about how short life is etc..instead of focusing on how many years we're given to accomplish

    By Blogger David_on_the_Lake, at 6/14/07, 9:36 PM  

  • Wow, you've come a long way!
    Baalei Teshuva inspire me to no end, and though I haven't "known" you for too long, I cherish the fact that I do know you now...
    I'm interested in your story as well. I believe you have my e mail...

    By Blogger jewmaican20, at 6/17/07, 1:44 AM  

  • wonderful post
    10 years ago, I was at a low ebb, searching for work, for a profession.

    By Blogger muse, at 6/17/07, 11:40 PM  

  • Sarah -
    Thanks :) For you too!

    Neil -
    Thank you very much.

    Scraps -
    It's amazing how much happens in 10 years.

    Evahava -
    Thank you for the link. May you continue to enjoy your candles and the flames emanating from them.

    David -
    It's important to make each moment count.

    Jewmaican -
    Thanks for your kind comments.

    Muse -
    I hope that was the lowest point you experience.

    By Blogger Shoshana, at 6/20/07, 2:18 PM  

  • Like Rebbe Schneeron used to say, may you continue to go from strength to strength.

    And may the best of the last decade be the worst of the next decade.

    By Blogger redsneakz, at 6/26/07, 4:40 PM  

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