Yes, that’s right, to answer GeorgeE’s question, I said yes to the rabbi, who asked me to marry him right before he gave me a cold and left the county. Except for the head cold from hell part and the different time zones and countries part, we’re ridiculously happy. So thank you, GeorgeE, for giving me the excuse to tell even more people (potentially) and also for still checking this site even tho I’d abandoned it in favor of redesigning D&S in order to pay my rent.
In the interim, a lot of things have happened besides the engagement, very little of which I’ll discuss here for privacy reasons (except, woo! One year of grad school down!). Almost all of it is good, but it has kept me pretty occupied, even when I’m not planning overly ambitious CSS rewrites (if you’re wondering why D&S doesn’t look any different, its because I haven’t yet mastered the coding necessary to meet my insanely high standards). This is great, but it’s also made it hard for me to update, or even figure out what exactly I’m doing here.
I chose the name the Everyday Idealist because at the time I was still in the it-wont-be-that-hard-to-change-the-world-if-everybody-pitches-in-and-boy-I’ll-be-the-one-to-show-them-how stage that mercifully most people grow out of by college graduation (mine lasted until I started my master’s program last year, so about 5 years too long. How I still have any friends, I don’t know). Luckily, a year of Barak Hoffman, reading political theory more recently than 5 years ago and the wonderful Wronging Rights, Texas in Africa, Blood and Milk and Aid Watch have cured that. They’ve also put a huge damper on the whole development/aid blogging thing for me tho, 1 because I know nothing by comparison and 2 I’m not even in a developing country so that I can at least write posts complaining about power outages. Yes, I realize that their blogs do not preclude me from writing on the same topic, such is the joy of the internet, but I am pathologically resistant to going where others have before, especially when they do it far better than I can. I still plan to do some writing for D&S, but that is not the same as devoting this site here.
As the year progressed, I started writing more about religion, mostly because I cared about it for the first time in my life. I’ve always been interested academically, but beginning about 3 years ago I started heading down the path that led to my conversion to Judaism. That I also started dating the rabbi has only deepened my desire and need to talk and think about spirituality and organized religion. That being said, this has not been an easy change for me, as religion was, for most of my life, something to not be discussed, or if so, only with trusted confidantes while drinking. To say anything about religion publicly is a terrifying step for me, especially now that my views will inevitably reflect on the man I love.
Which, of course, brings me to the rabbi. Writing about him began as a joke between friends and grew into something I’m not sure we were prepared for: the occasional airing of our private life (entirely my fault) as well as a source of interest and support from the internet. He is understandably wary of the attention, and my desire to protect him helps make it much harder to know what to write about. Neither of us has any desire to be as open about our lives as Heather Armstrong (especially when there will be congregants! (Incidentally a fantastic post title and yes I realize I use ‘especially’ too much, and also parentheses)) but he has been and will continual to be a huge element of my religious life, as well as everything else (because we’re engaged! And yes this has become a repeated part of conversation with me lately, and simply be grateful I haven’t yet inserted ‘fiance’ into the mix) and if I keep writing about religion, where do I draw the line? Should I even bother? I do have loads to write about, mostly on religion and ethics, but what havoc will I wreak in his (and later, our) community if I express them? The pressure by such considerations is writers’ block-inducing, but I also know that bottling up my brain is a recipe for relationship disaster. I also love that people are reading what I write, even when the feedback isn’t positive, because any writer or other artist who says they do it for themselves is lying. Yes, we do need to express ourselves and do so best through our chosen medium, but we want that expression to be understood and recognized, and that requires an audience, and when you find a way to connect with someone, you want to do it again and again and better and better. And that’s been my struggle; how to be true to myself, fulfill my needs and those of my family, and still reach back to those of you who have for some reason made me a part of your lives. I’d say I’d write about a combination of the topics I’ve mentioned here, plus others, and I likely will, but I am way too anal to be thoroughly comfortable with that. So I’d like to ask, any preferences?
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