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What it would be like to date myself

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A year ago I pondered on how I would feel if the son I don’t have were to date me.

…well I had never thought about it but now that I was thinking about it, it was a definite no way.

Why?

It was enlightening to stand in the streets coming to a full stop thinking about this. It wasn’t that I was a bad person but I wasn’t…someone I would want.

Why was I not good enough? I thought. Well I wasn’t fundamentally bad but I put my finger on somethings I had not ever thought about before…like I was angry most days.  I was holding others to account for myself. I was in need and not a separate clear autonomous entity in orbit around her own sun.

Since then I have been rather quiet on this blog. I haven’t spent a lot of time now writing about love or its loss. I am asking if any of my loves have been loving.  Somewhere in this time I stopped caring to keep people and admitting I would like to actually love. So I did the craziest thing and started to express my feelings no matter how ridiculous they made me look and feel.

I stopped being cool. Cool like the kind that says she doesn’t care when she does or that she doesn’t want to feel anything when in fact I do.

Boys have still come and gone but I am not my traditional self.

I don’t blame others for not being where “I think” they should be and just see them as they are.

This month I met a guy and liked him. Not long after it started I saw he couldn’t seem to say it was over but in every concrete way, he had backed off enough to be distant but close enough to keep holding on. Now normally this could go on for months or years. I noticed and waited only a day. My friends said give it time and don’t scare him away. Scare what away? I am not trying to get something. I am just trying to learn something perhaps in the company of witnesses.

I sent him a message and explained that we didn’t need to blame each other but we could have been more honest.

How unusual of me, I thought as I pondered on the quick break up and his happiness and gratitude.

I love people easily but what is love?

I don’t have the full answer but from where I stand today, my exercise which had been hard in the past to do was painless.

Giving is love. This I have some practice with but it’s just that…a practice. If you stop you lose how to do it.

There is no one you love more than you children. You don’t love them at first sight. They make you feel crazy and there are moments when you want to throw them out the window but you come to love them more than anything.

Today months later from when I first asked myself the question of if I would let my son date someone like me, today to my surprise I say yes. I see myself and say… why not?

I would be happy with that.

Why?

I don’t know exactly but I kind of like myself these days. I am sort of badass. I voice all the contents of my heart and my vulnerability and I idolize no one.

I like how upfront I am and even if the men that I meet that can’t stay in this country or continue in a couple they tell me repeatedly they love my honesty. I make them laugh. I am not selling a car. I am not selling myself. I don’t worry if they like me. I hope they do but I don’t feel it’s the end of the world if we don’t hit it off. And if they like me, it’s a vulnerable funny person they meet who is searching for answers but won’t define herself on them.

I can love people in 5 minutes and I leave in 2 seconds if that’s how it has to be but everyone leaves an impression and helps me learn.

I am happy I didn’t always get what I wanted because what I have is better than what I would have prayed to get for myself.

 

 

 

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Sign the Petition Against Anti-Semitism at the Rally this Sunday in Casablanca

http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Demonstrators-execute-fake-ultra-Orthodox-Jews-at-pro-Palestinian-protest-in-Morocco-430081

https://www.change.org/p/a-messieurs-les-ministres-de-la-justice-et-de-l-int%C3%A9rieur-marocains-pour-la-condamnation-des-appels-au-crime-contre-les-juifs-au-maroc?recruiter=24849165&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink

Yesterday in my city of Casablanca, thousands of demonstrators attended a rally that has gone viral, where people chanted for martyrdom, held guns to the backs of people dressed up as religious Orthodox Jews, who then proceeded to smash a model of the al-Aksa mosque before being pretend-stabbed and shot. I am not surprised by this but for the few Jews left in Morocco that I have run into, many are shaken by what they heard and saw, as there is no separation between apparently being a Jew and deserving to be executed. While most protests are shut down in Morocco, these sorts of displays are more than welcome. A petition has been set up at Change.org to ask the government to respond to the anti-semitism displayed at the rally.

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This Year I Made A Decision To Leave

008__AOS9645_20150613FThis year I made a decision and decided to leave Morocco. I bought my tickets and hoped for the best, telling myself that this was the correct decision and on paper it still is.

There is more money to be made elsewhere (and I own no worldly possessions to pass on to my daughter), the region is unstable (especially for us Jews), my daughter is getting older (and according to my mentors, so am I, so I should rush rush rush to get a job elsewhere now)…I know what smart decisions look like and I know leaving is a smart one for a host of materialistic and career reasons, except there was one little thing missing from everyone’s thought process including my own that crept up on me in the quietness of many nights.

Outside of career, outside of society’s perfect marriage with a 2.5 child unit, outside of all social norms of status…if I looked only at my center, at my gut… there were only two questions:

Might I be running away from something difficult and painful to face?

Might I be chasing something that isn’t anything tangible that I can feasibly catch?

In the review of my life in these months before Yom Kippour, I realized there was a host of people I have blamed and circumstances that YES have been difficult but that I have used as excuses to not do what scares me.

When I was doing well, I had no time. When I was doing badly, I had no money. I said that I never had enough time or money to do what I knew I had to do.  I used distractions and excuses, love stories and amusement to pass over my duties.

Which duties am I talking about? You know which ones. The ones we all have. Those callings from inside ourself that make us cry out for justice; those gifts from Hashem that we have from birth and from life experience that we can utilize to help ourselves and this world become better and yet we wait for someone else to do them for us, someone better and more “qualified”.

Changing countries to avoid my responsibilities will not make me feel better. These past two years have been a painful process that I have tried to run from. I have used anything and everything including changing countries to get out of facing myself. I have been avoiding pain, avoiding responsibility, avoiding the subjugation of my fragile ego. I have been avoiding my bigger and wiser self. Avoiding the duties that might make me more enemies than friends; that may bring me mockery and ridicule and rejection when I so desperately wish to be loved.

And yet, although I am afraid, every time I have used my voice, every time I have taken the full weight of myself and my ideas and resolved to take the backlash…every time…I have felt a weight lift off my back.

I am not as smart as I think I am.  I can be so wrong. I am not always as brave as I want to be…but I continually show myself that I am brave and can be so brave.

The potential of myself is so beautiful and so attainable and yet I have avoided it for so long.

Changing lands and changing places will not make me proud of myself. Sitting in my pain, in the silence in the discomfort…this is the only way I can leave pain and discomfort.

I wish life was from down to up. But it’s up down up down up down up down.

As soon as you learn, you fall again. It’s getting up and up and up again. Continually.

So I am staying one more year, to give my daughter one last year to know her Morocco before our community is down to the tens instead of the hundreds and giving myself one more shot at finishing or rather starting what I have failed to do. So that where ever I go I can be proud and sure I am not escaping, I am only moving on.

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“We only lose only what we cling to.” – author unknown

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All scars are art, so my arms are then art history partly because my mother gave me my skin.

I hear myself saying, “Wear your skin with pride, even if you feel naked.”

Somewhere between thinking of romantic love and body shame, I walked past police barricades standing guard around my daughter’s Jewish school, only making me aware that we are targets.

“Even if the worst happens”, I try to reassure myself as I stare at the machine guns of the guards at the corner of school, “we will still be able to laugh after because even if You hate us, we can love ourselves.”

As a wise wo/man wrote: We only lose what we cling to.

We can lose people, we can lose life, we can lose everything but not love. There is infinite love and all rejection is an illusion and all hate, rightly or wrongly, an inversion of our love.

Love is racing through me at so many moments in the day…for some it’s driving in a fast car down the coast with music blaring, flying to earth from a plane like a bird, dancing while a little tipsy, charming a member of the same or opposite sex, doing something noble and courageous, fulfilling a duty, winning a challenge, falling in love, seeing a happy moment for a loved one on a holy day and a holiday. They might not notice but their chests are racing with love.

 

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