A couple rainy days ago I called an Uberpool to take me to work, I opened up the door, and who was sitting snug as a bug in a rug? A real life curly q Heimish! Now, even though I live with and see them almost every day, it's almost like we are living in two separate universes. They usually seem to look right through me, and almost never smile, nod, wave, or make casual conversation at the post office, grocery store, the M train whenever our paths my cross.
I once was sent to live with a Hasidic family when I was 12, it left a vicious mark on my memory. It was like stepping into a time portal into the literal past, no electronics, no books, no color, all business. They had 12 children, I slept in the room with the littlest one was was 3 who had hair to his shoulders and I kept confusing him for a girl which made me super unpopular with the rest of the house especially the Mother who basically took all my clothes the first day and threw them out replacing them with drab cement colored wool numbers that erased any body silhouette and left you looking like a cylinder block.
ANYWAY I've been thinking a lot about happiness, community, religion and my own personal relationship with the culture and beliefs on which I was raised. As I continue to force myself to mature, I'm trying to lay to rest my childish anger towards the sadness and judgement I felt coming from my fathers very religious parents who consistently would tell me things like "You'll never understand our sacrifice or the true meaning of family..." and were consistently disgusted by my appearance, clothing, and zest for exploration outside what I felt to be prison like walls Judism erected around sexuality, freedom and choice. I used to argue with her, for hours, about the existence of God. I never believed and because of that, she thought I was a disrespectful spoiled Americanized disgrace. One of the last things she ever told me before erasing me from her will and life (when I was 14) was that I would never understand what love meant.
The thing is, I've always been able to feel her blood running through my veins and guiding me through life especially when I was first building my business. She was a Gorgeous brilliant and unstoppable Entrepreneur. The mastermind behind the huge businesses that my family built from scratch out of nothing. She came to Pittsburgh via Poland in the beginning of the 20th century as one of 8 siblings with a couple gold watches and acted like she was a incensed Spanish bull and the whole world was red. While she made me miserable, and deeply envious of my friends who had smiling grandparents who baked cookies and taught them how to ride bikes etc, I always was secretly proud of her calculator brain and razor sharp wit. I hope that if she could see me now she would feel the same for me....but either way, I'm going to try to delve deeper into my history and find some peace within it's mangrove roots. Because regardless, it is who I am, there's no use running from it or yelling at people who believe in it. Going to try to embrace it and move on.
"Religion easily has the best bullshit story of all time. Think about it. Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man…living in the sky. Who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer, and burn, and scream, until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you. He loves you and he needs money."