Today's post was written by our good friend and guest writer, The Ginger Man.
This was written at one o' clock in the morning on the last day of 2010.
The night’s drinks have worn off, and the food from dinner is slowly digesting, making me feel kind of warm and fuzzy; full and content. Isn’t that how anyone should end a year? Self-confidence on the rise, ready to break down walls and reach new heights in the year to come… A righteous phoenix, born from the ashes of shame and despair, yet filling the sky with an aura of fire! Look out world, here I come!
You see, I was at the bottom of the food chain. On a much lower mode of operation, as it were. I came back from my two years in Israel fresh-faced and filled with love for my brethren and my Torah, my guiding light. Imagine my surprise when I learned that things don’t travel at the same speed here as they do in the Holy Land. Spirituality is neglected for physicality, even by those who preach the importance of the soul. Entire cities are filled with people who say they follow a group of laws, yet are really sheep, being led to…somewhere. Not that being a sheep is necessarily a bad thing; it is the shepherd whom the sheep choose to be a leader that is a problem. Come on, boys and girls, didn’t any of you learn Kings in school?
But I digress.
After my year stint in Touro, where I had vague, nebulous dreams of being a bio major, I drifted on, mostly through the direction of the wind, to Queens College. Here is where I was taken down a peg or three. My confidence was shattered, my spirituality almost desecrated, and my sanity questioned. I was summarily asked to leave for a year, which I now claim was the best thing that ever happened to me. I had to face my father, who first refused to talk to me, then tried to force me to move back home.
This leads us to now. I am studying to be a jeweler, and I will hopefully, sooner or later, become a designer of fine jewelry. Perhaps I may even own a store, selling my own work. I plan on going back to college and conquering each subject, one by one, until I master what I have learned. And, most importantly, I will hone myself. I will become the best person I can be, spiritually, physically, and mentally. Yes, there will be downtime. Yes, I will slip, I will fall, I will bite off more than I can chew and choke on it. But I’ll see that light in the distance, and I’ll know it’s not the oncoming train, but the nurturing sun. That’s what being a Jew, and a human, is.
Become the phoenix, and rise. It’s a brand new year. And guess what? It’s yours.
The Ginger Man.