Nov 2, 2011

There's More Than Lemons, Chavi

As I'm sure you can all tell, there's a lot of tension in my life these days. Divorce, moving, readjusting my entire idea of what it means to be me. It's weird how this life change, more so than any other I've experienced (and I've moved a lot and changed communities a lot) has really shaken me to the core, making me reconsider what I want, where I'm going, and what makes sense to me in life.

Don't worry, I'm still a committed Orthodox Jew. I'm just trying to figure out what that means.

After the divorce, a lot of people commented with gam zu l'tovah -- this too, is for good. I find myself saying it a lot, although I don't find myself saying it to others much. I think that the phrase can really confuse the emotions. Bad things happen to good people, life changes, and the world keeps spinning, but staying positive is the hardest part.

I'm infamous for focusing on the negative. My friends have told me that, my exes commented on it, and even my therapist says that I need to figure out a way to get out of it. I can't take compliments, and when the world hands me lemons, all I see is lemons; at least, all I focus on is the lemons. I might make lemonade, but I'll still be looking at those darn lemon peels.

Since September, I've gotten a speeding ticket, rear-ended a car, had my phone stolen, become quite broke, left my car windows open so my passenger seat was full of snow, and ... well, there's more. But again, I need to refocus.

When I went out to my car this morning and opened the driver's side door only to notice that I left the window cracked (this is Denver, it was warm yesterday, snowy today), I felt relieved that the wind blew the snow in the opposite direction. Then I looked at my passenger seat: snow everywhere. Yes, I'd left the passenger window open, too, and I wasn't so lucky. I stood there, in the snow, smiled, shook my head, facepalmed, and laughed at myself.

Gam zu l'tovah. 

It's taken everything -- all the lemons -- over the past several months to bring me to a point where I can laugh at my misfortune.

My place in life has always been as a caretaker. I take care of people, I help them, I guide them, I counsel them. This is both my greatest attribute, I think, and my greatest flaw. Why? Because I forget that I'm here, that I'm also on a journey and that my problems, my concerns, my feelings are just as valid as those who I am here to protect, guide, and speak out for.

I have a lot going on, and I want to than you all for your patience, your kindness, your outreach, your love. I'm trying to get over the lemons, but it's going to take a while. But as long as I can figure out how to laugh at myself, I think I'm going to be okay.


Arielle said...

this is a really great post! I very often feel the same way myself, especially after the past year i've had...but it's important to take care of you. I am always so busy taking care of everyone else that I forget that simple edict. Thanks for reminding me.

Kate @ said...

I love this post. Sometimes it's the little things - or the snowy things - that smack us across the face & help us rearrange our thoughts. Try to stick with this mindset!

Bethany said...

What an honest and brave post. We're all pulling for you.

IMA2four7 said...

I remember my days of early when my divorce was new and I moved states and had multiple car incidents (branches falling and damaging the new hood) and accidents (why did I drive into the guard rail erev shabbat on the turnpike?) Totalled. I encourage you to care well for yourself, let things take time and if you can perceive these as the bittersweet moments of readjustment you are on the right path. You are so right, being able to laugh at yourself is the lifeline to rediscovery of you "You-ness". B'hatzlacha!

Lady-Light said...

I can relate to this post (got here by way of Batya on Me'ander, btw). Had to laugh about the car, although I might have raged if it had happened to me. And to think my kids in Israel miss snow. What are they thinking?!

Hey, do we know each other? I also am Orthodox, live in the "Rocky Mountain State," and I blog (Tikkun Olam). Now what are the chances of that?!

Shades of Grey said...

I agree with everyone else - great post, and thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us, as difficult as that might be (though I imagine it can be cathartic too).

Have you met the Fleischmann's while in Denver? I've known them for a long time, they're wonderful people.

Anonymous said...

This life would be rather dull if nothing ever happened which tested our patience. I am tested daily and I'm pretty sure G-d is ROFL at me right now, but I wouldn't trade this life for anything. I am figuring it out as I go.

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