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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Integration of practical and soulful

Do that you might learn.

That’s a biggie in Judaism and something I have come to enjoy and respect. There are jewish things that I do, that when I first did I found no meaning in. I just knew that I had to try them out. Such has going to Friday night services–what you want me, a single woman in chicago to give up Friday nights to go to temple? To pass on happy hour after work to come home and light shabbat candles? Now Friday night is something I look forward to and a place in time where I find a considerable amount of strength and peace.

The mezuzah on my doorpost. A small aluminum box with a prayer inside. Sometimes I touch it and kiss my fingertips, but more often I pause and notice it. I remember God when I come into the house more often than when I leave the house, but I try to remember God.

I bake challah when I can, because it slows me down and I find sabbath rest in the work of baking. Odd, perhaps, but in this plugged in world–baking bread from scratch is quite the opposite and is a moment for Leah, Unplugged.

The same has been true for the tasks of becoming a woman over the last two months. Yeah, yeah. Technically the becoming a woman stuff happened during gym class in 8th grade when I put a pad the size of Mt. Olympus in my hanes and had my first period. But as you know if you are a reader, I spent the years in between then and now placing a ton of barriers between my femininity and the world.

Who knows why, it isn’t important. I did it and now I’m undoing it. So I do these things, in the hope that I learn to be feminine, that I learn to be sexual, that I learn to be a woman. I force myself into high heels every day at the office. I wear skirts instead of slacks. I put on a touch of make up. I wear clothes that fit me, instead of black burlap sacks in XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXL.

I flirt with men. This has been huge. Finding safe ways to flirt with men. With the check-out guy at Trader’s Joe. With the van guy who slowed down to talk to me. With the guy at the Jewel. With co-workers. With friends. Safety net under my learning curve.

Last night I had a dream, that after some help dissecting–we realized might be more about integrating the practical things I’ve been doing with my soul, my heart, my subconscience. That I do these feminine things every day, in the hopes that I might learn how to be a woman. In the hopes that I can be a wife, a mother, a girlfriend, a sister, a daughter.

The dream centered around a kiss. A kiss that I want very much in reality, but am scared shitless to make the move. In the dream, after the kiss, I thought, “Hmmm, that was easier than I thought.” Ashqi said this dream is my psyche catching up to my practical side. That all the doing is leading to learning and that I might, just might, come out of this with something.

keep your fingers crossed, will you?

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