Millennial Jews Do an Aboutface: Start Keeping Kosher

“So you’re kosher now?” This is a question I’ve been hearing a lot lately and the answer is always yes. Well, yes, to a certain degree. Earlier this year, at the beginning of May, I made the rash decision to only eat kosher meat. Why do I say rash? Well honestly, because I didn’t give it much thought. There I was almost 21, having eaten non-kosher meat my entire life, and all of a sudden one day I just decided to stop. I didn’t even have a final chick-fil-a sandwich or fajita or anything. I simply made up my mind one night and that was that.

You can imagine my surprise when this turned out to be much easier than I had expected. Of course I still crave a few specific items, however I actually found switching from meat to tofu or fish has been quite easy. Little did I know at the time that I was actually just jumping on the millennial bandwagon. According to this recent NPR article, “a 2013 Pew Research Center study found that nearly a fourth of millennial Jews are keeping kosher.”

I believe in continuously challenging ourselves to try new things, and I felt that it was time for me to challenge myself by taking another step forward in my Judaism. By being more conscious about the things I can and cannot put in my mouth at all times, I found a new sense of awareness about myself both Jewishly and also generally. We often hear, “you are what you eat”, and for the first time in my life I have started taking this idea more seriously both on a spiritual and practical level.

As Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in Judaism, is fast approaching, I am reinvigorated in my commitment to kosher eating and living a fulfilling Jewish life. This is only one step in my continuing Jewish journey.

Wishing everyone a meaningful Yom Kippur!

For-Change

In his book, The Promise of a Pencil, Adam Braun, writes about an experience he had in which he was snubbed at a dinner event  after someone discovered that Adam worked at or rather had founded a non-profit organization. Although I do not yet work in the non-profit sector, I can  relate to his feelings of discouragement and resentment as I have received my fair share of funny looks when I proudly announce to people my dreams of joining the non-profit world after I graduate.

Of course I can’t blame them for their looks, I mean they are probably thinking why is a smart girl like her throwing away her money making potential by entering the non-profit world. And maybe, they are right… but I choose not see it that way. I see life as something worth living and the way I hope to live my life is by leaving this world better off then how I entered it. After that interaction with his judgmental peer Adam Braun writes that he decided to start talking about his work differently. Rather than introducing himself as having a non-profit job he started saying he worked in the for-change sector.

Working in non-profits does not have to be a bad thing nor does it have to mean living off Ramon noodles. I for one am proud to be soon entering the for-change sector.

Finding JOY in the Journey

For all of you following my blog you may have noticed that  I recently changed the name from Young Professional Living the College Life to Finding JOY in the Journey. In case you were wondering, Joy is my middle name — yes, that is the sole reason I am such a happy joyful person!

I have been thinking about this blog a lot lately, and by lately I mean over the past year, trying to figure out what exactly to do with it. Considering I bought a ridiculous amount of business cards with the link to the blog on them I can’t just give up on it and yet I have been putting so much pressure on myself to make it look “perfect” that giving up on the blog is exactly what I have done.

Looking back I realized that I had at least 5 articles saved under drafts all of which I started but never finished. Something inside of me has been holding me back and I’ve noticed it in more places then just this blog. I haven’t been able to pinpoint it quite yet but I know it is there. I have this feeling there is a bit of or maybe a lot of fear within me right now in regards to my senior year and the fast approaching real world. Considering how much and for how long I have dreamt about the future, you would think that instead of fear I would be feeling excitement — or maybe you knew I would be scared and I’m the only one surprised here. Either way here I am feeling stifled by my own expectations of what the future holds or better yet could hold. I was hoping that by this point in my life, two months before I begin my senior year of college I would feel more confident in my future and the path down which I was headed but I guess not. I learned freshman year that nothing goes as planned, and rather then come to term with that reality I tricked myself into believing that although it might be true at the start of college surely by the end of college I would have a solid 5, 10, and 20 year plan.

So now that I am here and still feeling uncertain along this crooked path I have changed the name of this blog to remind me find joy in the journey. From now on this blog will no longer be about perfection but rather a collection of moments throughout this journey we call life!

Stay true to yourself and cliches like that

I have been pushing and pushing and pushing and trying and trying and trying to push away reality. Or maybe its not reality, I don’t really know what it is exactly. Its more of a notion I guess, or an idea really about what I want to do with my life. But  for whatever reason I just feel like it isn’t good enough. No that’s not true not that it isn’t good enough but rather that it is not actually what I want.

I’m a fairly confident person so I don’t often care what people think at least in the sense of whether or not they like me, I am extremely competitive though so I do want them to be impressed by me. But anyways what I mean to say is that I’m usually fairly confident but for some reason, when it comes to this life decision about what I want to do with my life, as much as I know it is my decision I still feel extremely self conscience that it is the wrong decision, or that my parents don’t approve, or that I won’t make enough money to support my family, blah, blah, blah.

The truth is over and over and over again I am reaffirmed that it is the right path for me, at least at the moment— I understand that life is crooked path and you can’t truly plan your future but I can at least give it a nudge in one direction for now and see where that takes me. The more I try to push away my desire to work in the Jewish communal world the more it comes back and hits me in the face. I feel extremely strongly about the need to find a job that I will enjoy. I basically am looking to be a workaholic. Not in the sense that I won’t spend time with my family or friends but rather the idea that my work will be something I am so passionate about that it will always be on my mind. Okay, I know that sounds like a workaholic… but I don’t see it that way because if I am passionate about the work it will only make me a better “worker” and besides anyone who knows me knows I am nothing if not passionate, I’m practically passionate to a fault. So anyways what I mean is that, I want to be excited about my job, about the work I am doing, about the impact I am having.

Impact, I like that word a lot. I can say things like I want to find my true purpose or make a difference, and yes that is all true as well but in reality it all comes down to the impact you can have on another human being. There are a lot of problems in this world and I often struggle with why I chose Judaism as my “problem”. Obviously  I don’t actually mean problem, but I don’t know if there is any word to describe it. I mean there is disease, and failing education systems, and war, etc. and yet for some reason the Jewish thing is what I have most connected to. Honestly I can’t explain it, I mean there are so many important things in the world to care about and yet above all my focus is always Jewish, not that I don’t care about and think other things are important it is just that my passion lies in the all encompassing Jewishness. 

I’m not exactly sure where this post is going or how it even started I guess I have just been feeling these pent up anxieties about the future and what is going to happen after this last year of college. I think its a good thing that I go back and forth on my feelings because it means that I am forcing myself to be critical and be exposed to life outside the Jewish bubble, but in reality I never stray very far. Who knows maybe Jewish communal work isn’t for me, but I can’t know until I try. I need to stop stressing and start enjoying. I could not be more excited for this year to come, who am I kidding Shabbat 500 is almost a year away and yet it is constantly on my mind, more then anything else I always put the Jewish things first.

Please excuse the complete lack of organization and possible grammatical and spelling errors. This was total stream of consciousness writing and I think that is where the beauty lies.