My Bat Mitzvah is coming up very quickly. I finally am somewhat happy with my essay that I’ll be reading on Saturday, in front of who knows how many people. I edited it a ridiculous number of times. I will probably notice something else I want to change, while standing at the podium, reading it aloud.
I’ve had to remind myself repeatedly, why I decided to do this in the first place. To kind of reach down into my insides and pull out what really matters most about becoming a Bat Mitzvah.
I bought a lovely blue one piece pantsuit. I’m getting my roots colored on Thursday. Had my eyebrows waxed over the weekend.
Friends and family are coming from out of town, as well as friends that live in my area.
It’s kind of a big deal. I’ve never been married. This celebration might be the closest I’ll get to an actual wedding.
I wish to imprint upon my heart my reasons for doing this, and remember the deeper significance of it.
In my women’s group today, I spoke about authenticity. We get trained early on, to do our best to behave in certain prescribed ways, and we learn to envision ourselves in particular ways, too.
I think I’ve always been a pretty good actress. I have always known how I should behave. This feeling that my real self isn’t totally acceptable, or desirable, has followed me through my lifetime thus far.
For instance, there is a homeless man sitting not too far from me as I type, talking to himself. Rather than get up and moving, I stay in my seat, and do my best to ignore him, because it would be rude to do otherwise.
This kind of thing I think is common. Especially with females. I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, or be a BAD GIRL!
Okay. So, I just moved, after he tried engaging me in conversation. I feel for the guy, but I didn’t want to have to extricate myself from an ongoing chat with him.
Stuff like this is hard for me.
If someone or something makes me feel uncomfortable, I want to listen to those feelings, and follow them. I have good intuition, it’s time that I begin believing in it more often.
I feel like I’ve gotten of topic.
It could be easy to get caught up in the outer trappings of my Bat Mitzvah. To be petrified of making any mistakes. To see this occasion as a need for a good performance.
I don’t want it to be that way, though.
I want to feel grounded, and connected to the Divine, throughout the ceremony. I want to savor the Hebrew I’m reading from the Torah Scrolls, rather than rushing through them. I want to feel the meaning behind my speech as I’m reading it, rather than just wanting the experience to be over.
Public speaking isn’t easy for me. But, this is about my relationship to G-d, and to Judaism, before anything else.
It’s about a deep yearning in my soul for a sense of connection, and unity. I want to feel like I have a place to go, when things get tough. Or even when things are good.
Sometimes I feel like our lives are mostly meant to be about remembering who it is we are at our depths. To recall this hidden soul, that yearns to be seen. To put down the burden of constant fears of being too vulnerable. Too real.
Embracing myself, though I’m imperfect, heavier than I’d like to be, single, socially-anxious, and unemployed, is my goal.
Recovering ourselves and reconnecting to who we are can be a life long journey.
It’s definitely worthwhile, though, and if we’re ever going to find true peace, and joy within ourselves, we have to take it.