I threw my shirt in the wash and ran it for fifteen minutes. I made my way to another Castro (unsuccessful). I put my hair up in a tight ponytail and ignored the wispiness. I grabbed the one thing that would bring this outfit together. My herringbone blazer from ASOS.
I wish I had the power to create my own portrait, to convey both what I feel inside and what I want the world to see. They don’t come through. The truth is hard to face and that’s why I hate the camera lens. That’s why I don’t judge the selfie taker. There is a power in framing your own image, in showing the world what you want it to to see.
There have been harder moments in your life, where you’ve tried to force revelation, hammering through the impossible.
Up that hill, according to my overdramatic mind, was the decisive knowledge that would shape the decisions of my adulthood. Would my future be filled with hope, or would it be all dark tunnels, a claustrophobic coffin-like hallway until the final hibernation? Ya. That gloomy. Because I was twenty-three and convinced that I was infertile.
Independence costs. When initially, you think you're being brave and doing the right thing, venturing into adulthood, it later becomes clear that it was all an illusion. Those ads showcasing shiny coffee dispensers and athleisure for the ambitious under 30s as the lifestyle you must have, aren't presenting the truth.
“V’ahavta L’re-achah c’amocha.” Love your neighbour as thyself.
I’d run into the chatzer without shoes, so the gravel was digging into the soles of my feet as I found my place in our chet. My long black wrap around (uber tznius) skirt was immediately streaked in pinky orange dust. My mefakedet saw me and told me to turn around and zip up my sweater with my back turned to our group, exposing myself to the shetach, where we were supposed to set up tents for the night. Without preamble she explains why that activity has now been abruptly cancelled. “War has officially broken out.”