December 7th, 2006

fuzzy sweatpants

a little Thursday evening navel-gazing

It occurred to me recently that I hit a turning point in my religious life about a year or two ago. Since 2001 or 2002 when I started getting more involved in Jewish stuff, and to a lesser extent for years before then, I thought of myself as finding my place within Jewish ritual observance. I had a sense for years that it was time for me to give up pork, and then one day in 1999, it was time; I was just ready. The same thing happened in 2001 with acknowledging Shabbat, in 2002 with giving up eating meat and dairy together, in 2003 with largely observing Shabbat the way I do now, and so on. I knew it was coming, and then one day, I knew it was time.

Well, that's not me anymore. I'll still strive to learn and grow, of course. But I've reached a plateau of sorts. Barring a change of heart, and modulo some small details, the sort of Jew I want to be is the one I already am. There's something nice about that, a certain sense of accomplishment, but there's also an associated shift in identity. I'm not the new kid in town learning his way around anymore.


I still mentally separate most people I know into "peers" and "adults". There's no overlap. Which is absurd, of course, given that I'm almost 26. It's even more absurd that I have 31 year old friends I think of as peers and 29 year old friends who are definitely adults. I'm not entirely sure what causes the distinction, but 90% of the people I interact with above the age of 17 have a clear category.

I think I've gotten used to my peers getting married, though it still weirds me out a bit. But having kids? Still really strange. That one will take me years to get used to. Adults, of course, can have kids without me blinking.

Also, I couldn't date an adult. It'd be way too weird. I'm not even attracted to them; it's like they're on a totally different plane.


A non-exhaustive list of the things I might be doing with my life right now if money were absolutely no object:

* What I'm doing now, except with every Friday off
* Linguistics grad school of some sort
* Working my way toward an important job in the world of American elections; perhaps I'd be in a Secretary of State's office somewhere, perhaps I'd be with the Committee of Seventy, or perhaps I'd be in an academic program of some sort

Now let's see, where was the last time I did this list? Ah, here.

Wow, no overlap at all! Crazy. I still like theater, but perhaps I've forgotten the appeal a bit since it's been almost 4 years since my last production work of any sort. I think game theory would remain just a hobby even if I had the time and money to really study it. I'm not ready to work for the Jews yet. (Hmm, "yet"? Maybe I have to rethink the first half of this post.) I suppose umpiring should've stayed on this list, but at the bottom. Besides, I'm more into football officiating lately anyway, though I have no idea how people break into that one.