Where we belong

All weekend I have had a head cold that’s kept me predominately in bed. It’s rare to be totally out of commission like this. I’m sure the lack of sleep I’ve been getting  is leaving me quite susceptible. My head feels like there is a balloon inside of it and my best friends are Motrin and a warn rice sock over the eyes.

Between sneezing and napping this weekend I did a lot of thinking and a little reading.

I’m not understanding this new trend lately–when did it become popular to write your memoirs so young in life? Is this a new trend, or have I not noticed it before?

I’m reading Nancy Peacock’s  A Broom of One’s Own. She’s an every day person who just happens to also be a writer. So cliche, as everyone is just an every day person when you look deeply enough. Still, I’m enjoying it. Nancy cleans houses for her full-time job, or at least she did during the first part of her writing career. She isn’t terrible accomplished, so far as degrees and fancy life experience goes. She simply observes the world around her and puts it own on paper in her own way. I like that. Granted, I haven’t read her novels yet. And on second thought I really should, because while Bird by Bird is one of my favourite books, I do not find much interest in any of the novels that Anne Lamott has written.

I can relate to Nancy when she says how awkward she felt when she was at a speaking engagement and realized everyone around her was a professional writer while she was a professional house cleaner who wrote. She wasn’t sure whether to walk away with her head down or to stand up and proclaim “I’m just a house cleaner!” I feel that way even in my Judaism. We moved to a bustling suburb right outside the city to be a part of an Orthodox community, and though I love the people here very much, I am not always on the inside. I will always be a slow-paced, homeschooling, stop and smell the roses, mow your own grass, clean your own house, eat left overs for lunch, day-dreaming girl in the midst of a yeshivish town.  Furthermore, I will always have the childhood I had–which I can guarantee that in every possible way it looks nothing like anyone else’s around here. In many ways I don’t fit in at all! When people start discussing this schooling and that schooling I just clam up. When the topic gets to which yeshivas or seminaries they attended, I back slowly away. I’m so different from them. I’m an orange dangling from an apple tree. And in fact I have no real desire to be anything but who I am. I’m happy being who I am. I’m happy living an orthodox life in my very own way–but it took some getting used to. It took a few years to feel secure in that way; to find the me-ness within the greater us-ness.

Lastly, I wondered over and over this weekend: Does the world even need another author?  And worse, I came to the conclusion that it probably does not.

But I need to write. So that’s where I am left.


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