Or, I’m Too Tired to Think Up a Real Title for This.

I got another job rejection.  In addition to that, my Mum found an advert for a part-time librarian wanted for a Haredi (ultra-Orthodox Jewish) girls school, which seemed like it might be a good fit for me (assuming that they didn’t want a female librarian) but when I inquired, it turned out that they are already interviewing, so I’m not sure why they were still advertising at the end of last week.  Rebecca Klempner referred me to this website regarding rejection (creative rejection rather than romantic or social rejection).  The author has a stash of “rejection chocolates” to eat when turned down by publishers.  I feel if I did this for my writing and job applications, I would get very fat.

Otherwise it was a fairly slow day.  I did about forty or forty-five minutes of Torah study, more than half on the Talmud.  I went for a twenty-five minute jog that was at a reasonable pace overall, given that it was late and I had low stamina and struggled to pace myself well (I have a tendency to run too fast when jogging and use up all my energy too fast).  I did get an exercise migraine afterwards, although not  a bad one.  I did some chores for my parents and spent about an hour on my novel, writing about seven hundred words and restructuring some telling into showing (I hope – I’m not always good at that).  I wish I could have done more things today, but I didn’t have the time.  I can do quite a bit some days, but not as much as I could if I was not struggling with so many “issues.”  I do worry about whether I could build a full-time career (in anything) and what will happen to me if I can’t.

Speaking of which, the employment person I met with last week, the head of employment at the charity where I was volunteering, saw on my CV (I assume) that I volunteered at a Jewish library about five years ago and wondered if I would return.  I’m reluctant, because I left under something of a cloud, where the head librarian (who I never even met because she only worked four hours a week – I was line managed by a volunteer) did not like my work and I struggled to know what I was doing wrong.  At the time I thought I had been treated badly, but in retrospect, after three jobs affected by autism and social anxiety, I wonder if I didn’t just mess things up there too.  I don’t particularly think it’s a good idea to go back there, but couldn’t find a way to say that without admitting to possibly having messed things up.  It’s things like this that make me feel like an unemployable freak, even though I’m supposed to be using my CBT to stop those thoughts.

I tried writing an email to someone about guilt and beating myself up about stuff before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (Jewish New Year and Day of Atonement), but I started getting bogged down in verbiage and rambling without actually saying anything meaningful, so I stopped for the evening.  I might try again tomorrow or I might not.


E. says my Judaism seems like a burden more than anything positive (apropos of this post).  She is probably right.  I do experience it as a burden at times, not as much as when I had religious OCD, but to some extent.  I can see that that is largely due to depression and social anxiety, but that only explains the reality I experience, it does not change it.  I enjoy Shabbat (the Sabbath) and I enjoy some religious study, although generally not Talmud, at least not the halakhic (legal) parts.  I enjoy, on some level, or at some times, reading religious texts in Hebrew and Aramaic, just for the intellectual challenge of understanding a language I am not fluent in and for sense of reaching out to people long dead.  I find Jewish wisdom meaningful, if not always easy to plug in to my life.  I enjoy being part of a people that has achieved so much with the odds stacked against us and that has existed for far longer than most civilisations (3,000 years).  But it’s true that I don’t have the joy and meaning that some religious people (of all religions) seem to experience.  Nor do I have the sense of community support that is such a major part of Orthodox Jewish life.  I do feel/hope that the sense of religious loneliness and communal isolation that I feel might lead to writing interesting fiction that can help other people who feel the same way.  But it does seem a big price to pay, especially as it is by no means clear that I will achieve that objective of writing meaningful fiction.

5 thoughts on “Miscellaneous Thoughts on Another Day

  1. I wonder if some of the burden is that there seem to be a lot of “shoulds” associated with being frum, and only some of those overlap with “wants”. If you’re not able to let at least some of the shoulds go that’s a lot of weight to be carrying around.


  2. I suppose so. They don’t really seem to be optional though. Also, on some level I do want to do those things, it’s just that they run in to depression and social anxiety that pull me in the opposite direction.


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