Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Help! I'm Freaking Myself OutReceived this email from a reader... Advice? Thoughts? Have you been there?
Good morning Ruchi,
I wanted to thank you for so many wonderful blog posts. I have learned a lot from your blog, as well as the people who respond to you. When we met... we both saw some striking differences between our "growing up" years. The one example that I mentioned was that I had only dated one Jewish man (he was a confirmed Atheist).
As summer has moved forward, I am back to learning several days a week. There are moments, and even hours, that I feel safe, comfortable, and "at home" with my return to Jewish learning and growing. There are other moments and hours, that I can feel overwhelmed, and needing to come back to my house, literally, so that I can re-gain and re-integrate the ME that is changing. I love that I can lock my door!
Last year I became overwhelmed with the amount and content of learning I was doing. It was just after Succos that I called some friends, and said, I need a break. Please don't invite me for Shabbos.
What I learned from that experience, is that I need to pace myself! VERY IMPORTANT LESSON.
I am starting to feel that way again. I see classes that look interesting, so I go, I have purchased more skirts, and tops that have a higher neck lines (this is a big deal for me). I am going to homes for both Shabbos dinner, as well as Shabbos lunch. I love this part very much. I don't have a female person in my life that can really walk with me, and help me with my questions and challenges. The friends that I do ask, have been Frum (observant) for so many years, that I feel heard, but not understood.
Many times, I have wanted to call you, and talk with you personally about my journey into Judaism. Pacing, pause, digesting. I sometimes just ride the horse until we are both worn out, and then need to pause. I just don't want to stop [completely].
What would be really helpful is to know exactly what pages to bench (NCSY version if possible). I want to learn the meaning of the Siddur, not just the words. They are rich with deeper meaning and reasoning. I want to know WHY I am doing WHAT I am doing. I am losing track of what is helpful to read during the day and evening. At this point, I need sticky tabs to help me. I don't want to fake that I know what I am doing. I sort of do, but I really need assistance.
I did meet with a Rabbi a few times to explain more in-depth meanings of some of the readings. It was helpful. Appropriately, there was a monetary fee for the Rabbi's individual hour and I don't really want to do that right now. Again, I have a strong need and desire to understand what I am reading, and the deeper meaning behind what our Sages wrote. Otherwise, the literal reading leaves me unsatisfied and yearning for more.
What do you say, readers?
Too fast/too slow?
Freaking yourself out/freaking others out?
Healthy growth/slow growth/stagnation/reaching a plateau?