Speak the Truth
When I was in high school we had to write a poem for a workshop. I was going through a rough patch at home and wrote something meaningful to me. My teacher asked me if I had copied it from somewhere.
Thanks, I guess?
What I wrote touched a nerve and soon I had teachers asking me if I was ok. I remember so clearly blurting something out and then immediately regretting it- I’ve said too much already! I started to cry and a friend held me. I’ll never forget that fully accepting hug.
For a long time I didn’t write anything at all. I wore the clothes everyone wore. I spoke the same vernacular. I assumed everyone had challenges in their lives, but maybe not like *mine.* Messy and uncomfortable ones.
(Spoiler: everyone has messy and uncomfortable challenges. Everyone.)
Recently at a talk I gave, an audience member asked me how I address the big issues facing our Orthodox Jewish community. I told her that I feel obligated to speak the things most people are afraid to say.
I know I don’t need to bare my soul to each and every person out there. I do know that there are issues everyone faces- universal truths- that many people will not address for a host of different reasons.
As a convert, a free thinker, and a writer, I am always going to stand out. I can either get comfortable with that, or get better at hiding.
I did the hiding thing for awhile. It didn’t work out.
So I’ll continue to write poems that touch a nerve. I’ll keep touching on subjects that are taboo but need to be addressed. I don’t care if I’m the first- I was never going to fit in anyway!