Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Jew trapped in a hippie's body ... or the other way around?

Last night was the start of the Jewish High Holiday's. Rosh Hashana is the Jewish New Year and is a time for reflection on your past year. I went to shul (services) today and thought about a lot of things. I've gotten to thinking about my current lifestyle, my future, and what kind of person I wish to be after I finish school.

First - a step back: I have to admit - I've been bitten by the travel bug quite a bit. It's my mother's fault. She has always enjoyed travelling and I can't get enough of it. Before arriving in college I had already been to Spain, Costa Rica, and Israel. I don't say this to brag, but only to show how lucky I feel I am. In college I wasn't happy with the University at which I ended up. So I travelled more - Northern Ireland, western Europe backpacking trip, Caribbean SEA semester, Morehead City field location. If I was allowed to go - I went. I also was single my entire college life. I never connected the two together until I asked a friend why we never dated in college. His response was "I was never surprised that you were single. But not because of your personality. Because you were always talking about travelling."

Now to go in a totally opposite direction - my Jewish faith. I love being Jewish. I've always been proud to be a part of a culture and group of people that have been through and survived so much adversity. My mother did an excellent job of raising me Jewish in a small southern town in which I had to drive over an hour to get to Sunday school. I never had a lot of Jewish friends though, and thus in college I kind of let it go to the wayside. Lately, I've found myself surrounded by some amazing Jewish people, and I've start to become reacquainted with my culture and faith. I love it. I wander around my new Jewish-run household and look at all the things I hope to one day have: sedar plates, kiddish cups, menorahs, shofars, etc. Then I think about my plans for the future - the Peace Corps.

I want desperately to be in the Peace Corps - I want to travel to an exotic locale. I want to emerse myself in another culture to the point where I feel like I have lived there my whole life. I want to be able to use my education to help people who want my help. But how does that get me close to my other dream - being a Jewish wife and mother and having a Jewish home that I can be proud of. Is there no way to have both? Has my love of travel and desire to make myself more cultured, interesting, and to see places some people only read about kept me from meeting a man that could fall in love with me?

As a follow-up to my last post - Wicked was excellent! Highly recommended to all. I hope to see the musical one day - perhaps when it comes to Atlanta in October.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I recently saw a friend writing down what brings her joy. Then I had a conversation with another about what brings us excitement. It reminded me of a book I once saw that listed 100 or 1000 things that made the author happy. Thats all it was - a list. After I saw that book I had started my own and found it last time I went home. The things I put on it then are quite amusing. I've decided to do an updated list of 10 things that make me smile. I'm not exactly sure what I'll come up with ... so here it goes.

1. Family and friends (seems such an obvious starter); 2. Capturing a good imagine in a photograph; 3. Good long bike ride; 3. Chocolate; 4. Finding things once thought to be lost; 5. Daydreams; 6. Traveling to new places; 7. Making new friends; 8. Coming home after a long day; 9. Suprises; 10. Snorkeling.