...in the last month since I've written.
It's been rough, guys. Really rough. Like, I want to live in a pool of almond butter and melted chocolate with Crumbs cupcakes and pillows of homemade mac and cheese as my flotation devices, rough.
This semester is a Monster. With a capital 'M'. It feels like HUC has decided that it's okay to pile on the 'academic' classes on top of all of our music classes and comprehensive exams. Between my anxiety-inducing midrash class, frustrating liturgy class (which I was so excited about...bummer), history of Jewish education class (which shouldn't carry nearly the workload it does) and history of the cantorate class, I think I might keel over and die sooner rather than later. So much reading. So many papers.
And on that note...
My rabbinics professor from last semester wrote an online review in which he called my paper writing skills "detestable". He then proceeded to tell me that he passed me--but barely. I am well aware that my writing skills are bad and that I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about in the "World of Rabbinic Literature." Thank you for saying so in a space where only I can see it, along with the deans of the school and the cantorial program. I'm so glad they know that you think I'm a moron.
I think these comments just hit hard on the fact that I am NOT an academic, that I will always struggle with topics that are as broad and--at the same time--so specific, as rabbinic literature. I don't think on the same level as my friends and classmates, and that's not a good thing or a bad thing...it's just me, trying to soak it all in and make sense of the world around me. However, it's frustrating that I can never raise my hand in class, that I'm always scared the professor will call on me and I'll either a.) say something ridiculous or b.) not say anything at all and freeze out of fear. I'm feeling more and more that people are catching onto the fact that I don't know what I'm talking about, and I don't want people thinking I am an idiot when I know I'm not one.
Onto another subject...
I found out last week that a good friend and mentor of mine has terminal cancer. The organist at my home congregation, who is like a dad to me, was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer that has also spread to the liver. With treatment, his doctors are giving him 5-7 months, which means there's a chance I'll never see him again. This news came from out of nowhere, especially because in the last couple of years he's worked hard to quit smoking and lose a good amount of weight. He's someone whom I love very, very much and I was so shocked and saddened by this news that I cried for almost 2 straight days last week.
The worst part is that I have yet to reach out to him in any way, so he has no idea I am feeling the way I do. He has no idea that I would do anything in my power to bring him comfort and joy and laughter if I could. He has no idea that the thought of Temple Israel without him is completely strange and unthinkable. He doesn't know how much I love him, and for whatever reason, I can't bring myself to reach out to him. I am making HIS situation all about ME, when really a good friend would call just to express their love and concern and prayers. I HATE THIS ABOUT MYSELF, and yet I do nothing.
Someday I will learn. Maybe this summer of CPE (keep your fingers crossed) will teach me what to say and how to react in situations like this.
There have been a lot of other tough moments already this semester. More than ever, I am noticing my emotional connection to food, and how when I am sad or angry, I reach for food to comfort me. Luckily I haven't gained any weight, but I have yet to lose any either. It's been a long time since I've had a big loss on the scale, and every time someone tells me that I look thinner I feel ashamed that I haven't actually lost anything. I miss feeling proud of myself and my accomplishments.
I've been feeling really low lately and haven't been able to reach out to anyone. I just feel like everyone has their own issues to worry about. I'm desperately craving someone to just hold me and listen and tell me that things are going to be okay, even if they aren't. I want love, or friendship, or companionship to fill the void I've been filling with food the last few months.
I've been hesitant to write in this space this year because I'm not really feeling a connection to losing weight anymore. I am, however, feeling a deep connection with a void I've created for myself in the last few months, which I've allowed myself to fill with food. I realized a few weeks ago that maybe I could fill the void by coming back to this space, writing honestly about where I am in my weight loss, even if where I am is stuck. Even now it feels good to let go of some of what I've held inside for too long, and to take off the happy face for one that is real.