I haven’t written in a while. I’d blame it on any number of things, but the real reason is that I need to sort out in my own head my feelings around the frum velt and where I fit in.
As I watched the evolution of a loved one’s grief and letting go, I was reminded of the process I went through in letting go of my frum identity and choosing to live a very secular and non-Jewish life. My initial behavior was incredibly immature. In my nascent entry into the frei velt, I wanted very much to choose everything that had previously been denied. Questionable relationships, forbidden food, disowning any link to Yiddishkeit. While I cringe thinking about it, it was definitely part of my growing up and evolution of understanding who I really am (or want to be).
It’s not to say I’m thrusting myself back into Yiddishkeit with the same fervor or intensity my background demanded of me. But… I want to learn. I want to let go of the preconceptions I had about my version of Judaism and understand part of the larger picture. Life is all about getting to know yourself better; in my case it’s about letting go of the old me and getting to know the me that’s stripped down, raw and genuine. It means accepting the hurtful parts of my past and growing from it rather than clinging onto the pain as a defining characteristic of my life.
I hope it works.