Last night, I walked into Bug at the Hadar Mall, in search of a Bat Mitzvah gift and a new pair of headphones for myself. I go through a lot of headphones for work, especially once my kids get a hold of them. I really like the Skullcandy brand, even though I’ve already gone through a pair of Rastafarian style, bright green headphones. I grabbed a pair of Skullcandy headphones in pink and black for the Bat Mitzvah girl, and the ones pictured above for myself.
At the check out counter, the sales guy helping me asked if this pair of Skullcandy Inked, neon yellow, grey and black headphones were for my son. I laughed, told him that my son was only two, and that these were for me. He stared at me in shock. Literally, stared.
I couldn’t figure out what was so offensive to him about my purchase. Was it my color choice? Do women only select “female” colors, like pinks and purples? Perhaps the packaging featuring a tattoo skull and bones seemed like an odd choice for a religious woman in her late 30’s, wearing a wig and beret, a jean skirt and tights. Was I too old for such a “young” pair of headphones?
Mostly, I wondered, did I stop being cool?
I spent the majority of my single 20’s getting to know myself. It took a decade, but I finally figured out who I was. I became comfortable in my own skin, and I enjoyed my own company. I had hobbies and interests. I loved going to movies alone and preferred foreign films to big budget action flicks. I worked out daily, weekly with a trainer, and barely missed a boxing class. My bookshelf groaned with a variety of novels, memoirs and philosophy books from Kierkegaard to Kundera. I had different buckets of friends: Bowery Ballroom for a Black Keys concert with Julie, Sunday afternoon NFL with Jeorjie, Shabbat dinner at Cousin Neil’s. Beer and hockey with Melissa at Dive 75, margaritas with Tommy, a press contact, at Rosa’s, Ulpan and cupcakes with Rob. I took guitar lessons with my friend Mark, and listened to some incredible ambient object music created by my friend Zeke, I dated, a ton! I rallied for Israel at the UN and experimented with Indian cuisine. I planned dream trips to Barcelona and Scotland, and took my nieces and nephew to the swim club in the summer. I wrote fiction stories about the Jewish enclave of the Upper West Side, and blogged about every single aspect of my life (including annoying food pictures). I collected black boots and rock t-shirts, never missed my monthly facial, and fell asleep listening to Radiohead or Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. I formulated opinions and views, and argued and defended everything from religion to taxes. I was a liberal thinker in some aspects, and conservative in others. I kept my politics to myself, but never missed voting in an election. I read Out and The Atlantic, coveted my Michael J. Fox cover of George magazine and scoured the 75th street Flea Market for vintage prints. And I dreamed, about the parts that were missing from my life: a family. I imagined how much better a trip to Paris would be with a man I loved, or how I would cook Indian food for my children (and they would eat it!)
Thankfully, my move to Tel Aviv brought me closer to my amazing husband. And, we have been so blessed in the eight years of marriage, to have three healthy, beautiful children. I threw myself into the role of wife and Mother, co-provider and homemaker. I’ve spent eight years trying to figure out this whole in-law thing (that’s a whole book!), and living in a Country with a culture foreign to my own. I’ve nursed and weaned three children, survived first grade, summer vacations, and making Passover by myself. Sadly, I’ve also experienced too many wars, missile and terror attacks to count. I’ve drifted apart from old friends and made new ones. I stopped writing and blogging, using whatever time not dedicated to my husband, children, home and job, to sleep.
And in my zeal to become the best wife, mommy, and homemaker, I lost myself. I tried to be the person I thought the ideal wife, mommy and homemaker should be, and in the process, I gave up the person I had spent so many years becoming.
And now it’s time to find myself again. I know that the new me won’t 100% resemble the old me, but I’m really looking forward to melding the two together.
So, if you’ve seen me at school pickup lately, you’ve probably noticed some differences. I’ve been going through some changes. You might have noticed that I have been inconsistent about covering my hair, or that I’ve been wearing a touch of makeup. You might have missed me at book club, or noticed a change in the tone of my Facebook posts.
I’ve embarked on a new journey of self discovery, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this road will take me, and to the woman I hope to become. #fitby40