It’s probably a mistake to post two long posts in one day, but I feel depressed and need to vent, so here goes.
I went to bed late last night. I’m not sure exactly when as, unusually, I didn’t look at the time, but it was around 1.15am. I intended to sleep in this morning, but, perhaps because I slept so much yesterday when I was burnt out (at night and in the afternoon), I woke up about 7.15am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Eventually I got up, lethargic and a bit depressed, too down to daven (pray). I ate some cereal (mezonot so I didn’t need to go in the sukkah in my pyjamas) and watched some Doctor Who.
I did eventually get dressed and start the day properly. I managed to sort out my desk drawer, which was the big achievement of the day. I’m usually tidy, but since moving out of my parents’ house I had been shoving post in there to be dealt with later (my post still comes to my parents’ house because my flat doesn’t have a postal address, being a converted garage, and I don’t want it to go to my landlords’ house), so I finally dealt with that. Some of the papers had been sitting there for eighteen months or two years!
Other than that, and writing my blog post about Asperger’s Syndrome, I’ve been fairly lethargic and a bit depressed. I’ve taken today as a mental health day. I think I accidentally messed up eating in the sukkah yet again. I won’t go into how, because I would have to go into a lot of technical detail about halakhah (Jewish law) and you wouldn’t thank me for it. I wonder how I keep messing things up, though. Some of it comes from living (even if only temporarily, for Shabbat and Yom Tov (Sabbaths and festivals)) in my parents’ house. When I’m in my flat, I can do things my way, use various safeguards, maybe accept some chumrot (protective stringencies). But here sometimes I have to do the bare minimum required by halakhah, or do ‘risky’ things and try to remember to watch out. Inevitably, sometimes I slip up. I haven’t freaked out about it and gone into an OCD spiral the way I did last year, which is good, but it is contributing to my air of depression today.
I went out shopping, briefly. I hoped to see the cat I saw on Friday night and be brave enough to pet it, but I didn’t see it. I continued trying to catch up on the classes I missed from my Talmud shiur when I was too tired and depressed to go, but I couldn’t really understand any of it, even the stuff I was actually in the class for. It’s at times like this I regret not having gone to yeshiva (rabbinical seminary) or having the skills to study Talmud independently, like the people I was with at the oneg on Friday night. To be honest, I struggle sometimes with my daily Mishnah study and Mishnah is the beginner’s slopes compared to Gemarah (to explain: the Oral Law that discusses, clarifies and analyses the Written Law (Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, but especially the Torah, in this case the Five Books of Moses) stems from the Talmud and contains two parts. The Mishnah is a series of legal statements and arguments in deceptively simple form from late antiquity. The Gemarah, redacted a couple of centuries later, discusses the Mishnah at great and complex length and goes off at tangents covering anything from elaborations of the biblical text (narratives and legal texts) and stories about famous rabbis to folk sayings and recipes. While technically Talmud is Mishnah plus Gemarah, the term is usually treated as synonymous with Gemarah alone because the Mishnah only takes up a small proportion of the total length of the Talmud).
Let’s face it, in Jewish terms I’m an am ha’aretz, idiot and an ignoramus. I find this hard to accept, just as it was hard to go to Oxford and realise that I’m not particularly clever, although even at school I was aware that I was far from being the cleverest person in the year. It’s horrible to realise that, actually, the kids who bullied me at school were right, and I am nothing special. All those years I told myself they were wrong to bully me and one day I would… not have my revenge (I’m not a vengeful person), but be vindicated in some sense, that I would do something that would show that the world, or someone in the world, in some way benefits from my existence. But it seems like it’s not to be. No wonder I retreat into solipsistic fantasies (my own and other people’s; I was hoping to to re-watch Blade Runner in preparation for seeing the new sequel when I’m on half-term later in the month, but I think I’m out of time, which sums up the day pretty well).