The Box in the Girl

A guest post by Marcy Rivka Nehorai.

Absolutely. You got it. A hundred percent. Keep it crankin’.

I say this to her because she doesn’t know where she’s going. She looks at me with these eyes that want answers. I understand because I also want answers. Yes, I know, I understand with her. I too, am with you, I was with you. If only you could see all the trouble I’ve pulled myself through.

It is an endless process, this finding where you fit, and here in this Jewish labyrinth, lays infinite and finite possibilities to find your direction, your path, your leader, your heart. So many possibilities and too many options can breed much anxiety. But it’s the life we’ve chosen, and it’s up to our minds to think it through. I’ve been there, hoping for an answer, deflated, as the one I turned to for advice, abruptly shifts without warning, to informing me about the duty to Choose Your Path and to, more importantly, Choose This Path. Inside a part of me silently revolts in desperation.

I hate how people give others advice that makes them want to shrivel up and change themselves. Like that is the answer. They listen and they nod their heads, and they tell them what is actually true to themselves, but not necessarily to that person.

And so she looks at me with worried eyes and says that she knows that she has to figure it out, she has to figure it all out, and very quickly. The big answers that are lying in the grass 10 years from now, and she’ll fall down on the sidewalk one day because the neighborhood pesky kid never puts away his ball, and she will fall down suddenly in an abrupt way that is always shocking. And in that flash second, something will shift inside of her, something that was waiting for that exact moment to shift, that through the different perspective she finds herself in on the ground, looking up to the clouds in a daze, she will look at the blue sky peacefully and understand it all. There’s no science to it, and you can’t force it, and nothing is chance.

What I’m saying is that life is meant to be a process and you cannot force that process. You cannot force inner discovery. You can try on the clothing, you can learn the ideas, but you cannot leap into a new formed identity. The clothing comes at the moment it’s meant to come, when it’s fit to size. When you’re fit to size. Human beings are extremely complex and extremely inefficient machines. Our feelings and our truth are jumbled up, waiting for clarity that comes at the strangest moments.

And I don’t have any answers because she has all the answers. But there is too much pressure on her and too many people telling her how nature must be. It doesn’t have to be like that.

They will dismiss me until I am blue in the face, but I will keep on protesting, I will keep on saying you don’t have to give into the system, you don’t have to.

And their faces will look at me sternly and try to lecture to me about practicality, because they know what must be done. But there is nothing that should be forced in this world, and no one’s essence needs to be changed, ever. And no system will ever take that away.

There are rules that must be obeyed and I believe in rules and even though many people may think I erroneously float through life, anyone who really knows me will know that my mind also sees things in charts and graphs and percentage tables. I am not trying to ignore the reality of the world. But reality is a process. And Gd forbid anyone tries to force that process, and tries to forces it upon me, or upon her.

So what do I say? What can I convey? She looks at me with worried eyes, and I have the answer.

The answer being one that can never be wrong- listen to yourself. You do not have to do anything, not now. You do not have to box yourself today, but one day soon, it could even be tomorrow, you will reach a depth within yourself and find the way in which you want to squeeze yourself, to be a part of the system, not because you have to in some realistic, practical, suck- it- up- and- bear- it- this- is- life-way, but in a gently, accepting, this is how I can be and how I can contribute and this can work way.

Please, I tell her. Believe this. Believe yourself. There is nothing hanging over you. Except Gd, and all He’s asking of you is to go with the rhythm. He put a lot of work into making you who you are, and He will not stand for you to try to squeeze yourself prematurely into an outfit that you were destined to grow into at a date in the near future.

So breathe, love, laugh.

And be.