I guess it was time to make a post about this.
I was born Roman Catholic. And didn’t like it. I asked too many questions and was never satisfied with the answers. It seemed as though the more I wanted to expand my mind, the more I got shut down. I was told repeatedly that I had to accept all of it, whether I liked it or not. I felt as though I didn’t get a say as to what was necessary for my soul. Once I began college, I said goodbye to the Catholic Church in search of a new home. I read about different religions, did research on several of them, and never felt right with them. Just when I thought I found a new home, I realized that I hadn’t. At the time, I also wanted to seem cool to others while putting my interests in the back.
Fast forward to January 2019: I was a Taoist, comfortable with the Eastern ways. I had found a place for me that was simple and complex. One that would challenge me to be a better person. However, there was one religion that had been a part of my life since I was a child. The one my Mom exposed me to by way of food, culture, and music. To me, it was just something that was part of my background. Yet, that one religion rose to the surface through many signs and coincidences. Beyond frustrated, I reached out to a friend with concern. She replied with – go talk with a Rabbi. So, I did.
He was a lovely man and understood my concerns. He suggested I visit Temple on a Shabbat. I was terrified. I couldn’t enter such a place. I knew they were going to stone me or curse at me in Hebrew. I went anyway and found love, acceptance, and curiosity. I attended the service, talked with some people, and left. As I drove home, I began to cry. I returned the next Shabbat and each one after that for a full year until I moved to New Orleans and then Colorado.
Thus began a chapter in my life I didn’t expect. It was a part of my life all that time and I never knew it. I went from nervous and terrified, to opening myself more to Judaism. Although I have not completed the conversion, I consider myself a Reform Jew. In fact, I am two classes away from wrapping up the first part of the conversion process. It feels quite surreal and beautiful to me. Since the pandemic, I have sought more peace within me through meditation, reaching out to friends, living a fully creative life, and attending Shabbat services online.
See me. See all of me.
Thank you and Shalom.