Friday, September 25, 2009

A Time For Remembering

The Holiday Season is here and boy do I need to atone for 5769 – yikers. Hopefully the almighty will view my transgressions of the past 12 months as minor bumps in the road and inscribe me once more into the book of life (fingers crossed). For those of you who don’t observe the holidays I’ll give you a quick overview. On Rosh Hashanah (the New Year), God does a little sorting, kind of like a naughty and nice list. At this time he is compiling his first draft of who will make it through the year and during Rosh Hashanah services we read what is one of my favorite lists, I like to call it, “The list of terrific demises”. Here is a small snippet of the horrific ends that God is reviewing, “who will die by fire and who by water, who by sword and who by wild animal,… who by strangling and who by stoning” I think you get the drift….ominous! Now after you get sorted there is still time to get yourself off the bad kid list, you have one week between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to make good with all the people you have wronged because as it is said, “On Rosh Hashanah it is written, on Yom Kippur it is sealed”.

I have always viewed the fall holidays as a fresh start of something, like a new school year or the beginning of the theater season. But after a few googles I found a great excerpt from a Jewish textbook that really resonated:
“Rosh Hashanah is a time of self-reflection, a day to ask ourselves what is it that drives our attitude and behavior? What is it that we really want out of life? Are we acting in a way that makes progress towards our vision of a good life or are we acting in a way that inhibits us from progressing? Rosh Hashanah is a day to take back control and to master those things that may have been mastering us.”

As some of you know my father, who passed away when I was 10, was a Cantor. Even though I only heard him sing the Kol Nidre about 5 times his booming baritone is forever cemented in my head as the standard that all Kol Nidre’s are judged. At this time of year it is impossible not to be reminded of my few years with him and the excitement I felt as his voice reverberated off the wooden rafters of our mod mid century sanctuary while the several hundred congregants bowed their heads in payer. Here is a very poor quality live recording of my father singing the Kol Nidre at Yom Kippur services (the link will navagate to a new page and it may take a while to load). Click here Walter Lewis Kol Nidre

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Givin’ it Back

Despite my lack of tan and straight boy lovin’, stuff is going great. So great in fact that I thought I should do something to return the favor to the grand powers of fortune and put my passion for inspiring kids to use.

For the past two weeks the Today show has been running a PSA for the Big Brothers/ Big Sisters of NYC, and after hearing the announcement only twice I realized – YES that is for me! (Oh Today show you have inspired me once more to take action – fingers crossed this one will prove more fruitful than the Eharmony membership). The reason why I wanted to become a teacher was to empower city kids, engage them in creative thought processes, and create experiences for discovery and self enlightenment. Unfortunately that plan never came to fruition – nice going NYC Dept of Ed. – however I can still fulfill this goal by becoming a mentor (or so I hope). This week I started the ball rolling to becoming a “Big”, my application is complete, my character references have been submitted – Side note: references, you know who you are, just a reminder there is no crime in omission, you know what I mean. – and now I wait for my invitation to the formal 1.5 hour interview and background check. Funny that Big Brothers/ Big Sisters requires a mandatory 1.5 hour interview in order to judge whether or not I should be chosen to spend 4 hours a month with a kid, while the NYC Dept of Ed. only requires an 8 min. interview to hire a full time educator. Yep still just a bit bitter.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy Anniversary No Slaw!

One year ago this month Swason suggested that I create a blog to aid in purging all the crap that was building up over my nonexistent teaching career and to document my period of reinvention. Reflecting back on the past 12 months it is amazing the amount of change that has occurred and even more amazing that I have emerged from the other side victorious!

12 months ago with the economy crashing around me I was temping as a receptionist for $12/hr. at a graphics firm with a small glimmer of hope of a full time gig as an office manager at an agency that seemed a bit dodgy. I didn’t have a plan, well unless you call not being evicted and forced to live in my Mother’s basement while scraping together pennies to repay my Grad School Loan a plan (side bar – I still haven’t returned to CUNY Hunter to pick up my diploma). On Sept 22nd 2008 my greatest achievement was discovering the office’s flavored coffee stash and uncovering the NYC underworld of free haircutting services – since I was too broke to actually PAY for a licensed tonsorial artist. Now one year later that life sucking office manager job vanished along with the DOW, my dearest friend left town (drowning me in a wake of emotional turmoil and a dump truck load of drama), I temped some more, then landed what I truly believe to be one of the sweetest jobs in town. It’s been traumatic and dramatic, soul searching and challenging but oddly enough it has all worked out, even without a major plan.

Thanks 2008-2009 for kicking my ass, breaking me down, bringing me to ecstasy then pulling the rug out from under me only to ignite my fervor once more till I proved triumphant over the setbacks and disappointments. Here’s to the next 12 months…. Bring it fates I am ready for ya!

Here’s a quick shout out to my first post:
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I think I shall begin by posting a sampling of a lyric that best represents my current state of mind:

What will this day be like? I wonder.
What will my future be?
I wonder.
All I trust I give my heart to
All I trust becomes my own
I have confidence in confidence alone!
Besides which you see I have confidence in me!!!!!!!!!!!!