Rosh Hashanah 2013 Ramblings

I just re-read my Rosh Hashanah post from 2012.

My heart hurt for the girl who wrote it because I know how far she had to go and all the things she had to do to get to Rosh Hashanah 2013, but my heart hurts most of the time so it’s not a particularly uncomfortable thing. My friends keep telling me that I’m a strong person and I honestly wonder why they think so. I struggle constantly. Genuine and lasting happiness has evaded me for so long, I don’t remember what it’s like and I don’t want to feel this way anymore. Rosh Hashanah is a time to figure out why and how to change.

Change

I have come so far and changed so much from the person who wrote that post. I worried about love and trusting myself. I worried that I would make another colossal mistake, akin to married, or be so afraid to mess up that I wouldn’t act at all and THAT would be the mistake.

I’m addicted to risk and I prefer it. It’s exciting. When you take a leap of faith, when you take a chance, anything can happen. I would rather make a mistake than worry about what might have been or should have been. But you can’t live a life thinking about what should have been. So you move on. Except, I’ve spent most of the this year punishing myself for getting married. I accept the divorce, but the marriage part angers me. I beat myself up over it because it was such a stupid mistake. It wasn’t a risk…not in the way I like risking. It was a complete error in judgment. Out of character for me.

And I’ve been fighting myself for a year. Trying to get back to the person I was before I was married…the confident, calm, ready to fight girl. But if I think about it logically, and aside from the fact that I can’t undo my choices (nor would I…actually), I wouldn’t give up the things I’ve learned because of my mistakes. Logically, I get it and I accept it. But my heart has a little trouble keeping up. I blame myself for being alone, for marrying the wrong person, for everything that’s happened since. I’ve been punishing myself, maybe so that I have control over it. Maybe so that karma won’t do it for me. If I cause my own pain, then I won’t encounter pain from a blindside.

But, you see…that doesn’t work. We are all victims to a blindside, and there isn’t anything we can do about it, but handle the blindside with grace. What frustrates me so much about my marital mistake is that it wasn’t a blindside. I went forward, basically knowing it was a mistake. My heart knew, but my mind wouldn’t catch up. Why don’t these things work in concert???

Some things haven’t changed since 2012. I wasn’t sure who I was as a Jew, or what I wanted. I am not, by any means, out of the woods yet. In fact, I’ve encountered problems I didn’t have a year ago. My identity as a Jew is challenged. Culturally, I am 100% Jewish, but I don’t know where I stand religiously. I guess I’m still a Jew in that I want the Meshiach to come, I love Israel and I will be fasting on Yom Kippur. It just feels pretty mixed up inside. I have faith it’ll all work out though, more so than I did last year.

But the New Year is a time to begin introspection, looking back at the mistakes of the past year and planning the changes to make in the new year.

What mistakes have I made and what do I plan to change? I’ll be spending the two days off thinking about these very things. My holiday will begin by going to the Los Angeles River (it qualifies as a flowing body of water) and emptying my pockets, while reciting the Tashlich prayer. This act symbolizes the casting off of our sins. I like the physical action of saying, enough. I let go. I plan a little commune with nature, in the form of a morning hike, reading Torah, and writing. And I look forward to a Rosh Hashanah luncheon of wine, cheese, apples, honey and challah, all sweet things for a sweet New Year.

hamsaI don’t know all the changes I will make. But I know one thing: this year I will be happier. So in 2014, when I read this post, I hope, I can nod my head and say yes, 5774 was better. (That’s the Jewish year for all you goyim). I hope I find love, one that is lasting. And if not, I hope I can accept that. I hope I find forgiveness for myself. I hope I find success in my career and I hope my friendships are strengthened by love and trust because I have a much clearer path to what I want and who to be and I’m on my way there.

For those of you who took the time to read this, Jewish or not, L’Shanah Tovah v’Gemar Chatimah Tovah!  “Happy New Year and May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for a good year.”

Vegan: Day Three

Well, I’ll admit it. I already messed up. I actually messed up on day one. I had been drinking, a lot, and I ate a piece of pizza. There was no meat on it because no matter how drunk I get, I always remember that I keep kosher. But the vegan eating slipped my mind for a moment because I was starving and it was there. I usually don’t even eat pizza so I’m pretty disappointed in myself.

But, I get ahead of myself. I went into Long Beach before my show, had a few beers and dinner. I used the YELP app on my phone to find a vegan restaurant or a place with vegan options. It was so easy! I ate a fried cauliflower pita sandwich with tahini sauce, hummus, onions and tomatoes. It was absolutely filling and delicious! I didn’t feel limited at all. Later, I got home and opened up the Tofu sausage and grilled it on the stove. It was fantastic. However, I have to eat it sober because after drinking, pretty much everything tastes good. I ate a nectarine with it.

I woke up and made a protein shake as I ran off to an interview. For lunch, I stir fried a green bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms. I stirred the mixture into some quinoa with fresh pepper and salt. It was fantastic. I cut a tomato and put salton it. For dinner, I mixed some raspberries in with the protein shake and I feel really good, very healthy.

Bahahahah!

But, I don’t have a connection yet to this lifestyle. It doesn’t feel like a sacrifice, and maybe it’s not supposed to. But when I started keeping kosher and every time I choose to be kosher instead of eating a Hawaiian pizza or cheeseburger, the intention behind my choice makes me feel connected to Judaism and to God. Making vegan food choices doesn’t make me feel connected to anything. I’m wondering if this is because I need to understand more than just the health benefits of veganism.  I know there are other reasons people choose to live vegan lifestyles and today, I’m going to spend some time reading, watching, learning and reflecting about how food choices we make affect the animals we share the world with.