That's right - I had my big mikvah moment this morning, and came out as Jewish as can be. And I must say, it was a pretty amazing experience.
I was there before my rabbi, but when I got there he led me down to the waiting room for the mikvah and got my paperwork ready while we waited for the other rabbis. When he asked my date of birth for them he was totally shocked that it was my birthday as well, and said that in all of his years he had never seen someone have their mikvah date on their birthday. (It totally is pretty rad.)
Then, once the other rabbis got there, I got led to the changing room, where I changed into my towel, showered, and then tried to de-fuzz myself from all of the damn red little fuzzies from my new towel (a gift, fluffy Canada 150 one that the D-type got me for the occasion) before finally going into the mikvah room with Female Rabbi.
And I may or may not have tracked a couple fuzzies in with me despite my best effort. Whoopsie.
Anyway, Local Rabbi said some words in Hebrew and English - I was so wrapped up in the moment that I don't remember what exactly. And I was also really trying not to float, since the mikvah water was just high enough to make that want to happen. But it was essentially saying that I am there to follow in the footsteps of the patriarchs/matriarchs and join the Jewish people, despite all of the hardships they have endured, and that I am there to accept the mitzvot and Torah.
Then I had my first immersion - fingers spread, mouth open, every hair under water. It was nice and warm and not too chlorinated. Once I popped up from that I recited the blessing, followed the shema, before going under again. Then for the final time.
Local Rabbi spoke some more after that, repeating the words of Ruth in both Hebrew and English, and welcoming me to the Jewish people, and spoke of my future as a Jew, before ending with some "mazel tovs" and the shecheheyanu (?).
Female Rabbi then left me alone to have a moment to reflect and then get myself dressed again. I did stay in there for a couple minutes, just taking in the moment as best as I could... feeling the water around me, looking at the murals on the walls, and just really trying to let it sink in that I was officially Jewish.
Spoiler alert: it still hasn't really sunk in.
Anyway, I got myself dressed again, and happened to be coming out of the changing room the same time the next girl (who I knew fairly well from class) was dropping her towel for the mikvah, which was a tad awkward, but oh well. Then I went back to the waiting room, where another couple from class were waiting to go, as well. And their baby, which was pretty adorable.
After the girl was finished and getting dressed, Local Rabbi came out and gave me my papers - my Certificate on Conversion, which was made the date I went to the Bet Din, and my certificate verifying that I went into the mikvah for conversion. He also gave me a big hug, a kiss on the cheek, welcomed me to the tribe, and told me that I did well. It was a really sweet moment.
And then it got a wee bit mortifying when he had to announce in front of everyone that it was my birthday too, and how awesome that was, and how that deserved another shcheheyanu... and then he sung happy birthday. It was adorable and very very mortifying. And also pretty awesome.
Then, after another hug goodbye, I went on my way. As a Jew.
After that, me and the D-type hit the kosher Sobey's, where I got some pickles and olives and other assorted junk that I can't get back here, and then to the Judaica shop next to it. Noting jumped out at me too much, but I did get a keychain that had a star of David, which I love and is already settling in on my key ring.
Then it was time to find out in my self-imposed mission for the last three days would be a success. And what mission would that be? Cotton candy grapes. I have been utterly determined to find them since I learned out their existence three days ago, and with no luck locally, the internet pointed me to one place: Longos.
So, we went there next, where I did indeed find my cotton candy grapes! Which the D-type also bought for me, along with Cookie Crisp cereal (I was so stoked to see it... I used to get in whenever I went over to Michigan when I was little since they don't really sell it over here) and a giant cookie that says "Happy Birthday" on it.
Then I came home, where I have been since. I'm just going to enjoy a quiet evening alone, I think, and enjoy the time to finally breathe and reflect a bit. And order a pizza because I have literally never done that before for myself, and I have been craving pizza for like four months now.
And I'm also going to see if this Jew thing finally sinks in. It still feels so surreal, now matter how much I look back on it and remind myself that it actually happened. I guess it'll just take time and practice.
Having my first Shabbat as a Jew in a couple hours should be a good start.
Last night, quick a bit after I posted in here, Local Rabbi called back to see whether next Friday at 10 am would be alright, which I absolutely jumped at. I can't believe it's so soon and I couldn't turn it down.
Especially because next Friday also happens to be my birthday, which seems like the most amazing day to convert on. My actual birth and my Jewish birth taking place on the same day. It seems like fate, or something close to it. Particularly because I was all worried about having to book a day off next week with giving no notice but... my supervisor gave me next Friday off randomly, which is absolutely crazy, since I don't think I've ever had a Friday off for the hell of it. It really is all coming together, and I don't feel like it has fully sunken it. I think I'm still coming down from yesterday.
There is a mikvah fee, payable by cheque and through mail, which I took care of after work. Except I made it a money order, which I know will be fine, but increases the anxiety level since I'm essentially sending cash I've invested in the mail. But I sent it express, with tracking and guaranteed to be there on Monday, which puts my mind at ease a bit.
Except Local Rabbi gave me the wrong spelling of mikvah (he said "mikveh"), which is on my money order, though I don't think that one letter should matter too much. Though I did also forget to write my name in the memo line - though I was sure to include a note in the envelope with my full name and the date of my mikvah appointment, so I think that should be fine as well. Though also, my rabbi gave me the wrong name for the office; he gave me RRGT instead of the apparently current CCRJ, but the rest of the address is the same, so it should get to the right place.
And yes, I'm trying to talk myself out of being uber anxious, especially since, even after the tracking tells me it has been delivered, those other little things mentioned above are going to bother me. I'm just going to have to breathe and let it go, though. I can't change anything now. Plus, it's all minor stuff - nothing compared to what's going to happen.
Today has been such a wonderful, crazy, draining day, so this isn't going to be a long entry since I need to just decompress and breathe a little. But I just needed to write something.
I had my meeting with the Bet Din this afternoon, which I was absolutely terrified for - like, I was shaking in the waiting room, that's how crazy-anxious I was. But there were also a few people from class there, too, including the one other girl who was doing it alone (also originally from Hometown, too), which made me feel a lot better since we had unofficially been partners throughout the course. She went in just before me, and then it was my turn.
It was a little calming having Local Rabbi there, and the three that made up the Bet Din were super nice and friendly. They were just general, personal questions: what brought you to Judaism? What do you have a desire to continue learning about? What has attracted you and what has been a challenge for you? What does your family think? Pretty much things like that, which I tried to just open myself up and be honest and speak from the heart.
The only one that really threw me for a loop would be being asked who, from all of Jewish and Biblical history, would I invite into my sukkah. It took me a few seconds to think about it, completely thrown off, but I eventually decided on Abraham and Sarah, since they were the first Jews, and entered into a completely new covenant, which I'm also trying to do.
Anyway, the deliberations didn't take too long and I was called back in to a resounding "mazal tov" and "welcome to the Jewish people." And a hug from Local Rabbi. And then I got to see my conversion paper, with one of the rabbis writing my Hebrew name in it - Hannah/Chana, after Jewish great-grandmother), and then Local Rabbi walked me out, telling me I did a great job and saying he would email when he had a mikvah date, which he didn't know when that would be.
Then I did some shopping, had a lovely kosher chicken burger with the D-type, and got an amazing fan from him for my birthday next week. I seriously love this thing. It even has a remote!
Anyway, like ten minutes after I finally got home from all of that, the phone rings and it's Local Rabbi. He said that another rabbi is trying to get his candidate to the mikvah ASAP, so they're trying to organize one for next week if they can make it work, and asked if I would be able to be available any day next week. Not a for sure thing, but likely, and he would let me know within 24 hours for sure.
That's crazy! Just today I heard that the mikvah was booked solid until at least mid-July, and now it could be next week?! That's just so much to take in, and that's so incredible.
But only time will tell whether it actually happens then. Fingers crossed.
So, another instance where I thought I wrote in here sooner than I last did.
Not that quite as much as happened this time around - bigger things, yes, but not as many.
I just had to re-check the date on my last entry (you know, because I'm too lazy to actually read over where I left off on it), and first and foremost, I had my final one-on-one meeting with Local Rabbi. That was... super good, short, and uneventful (in the best of ways). I read some more Hebrew to him, which he said he was impressed by how far I've come since our last meeting, and then we mostly talked about what comes next. He was waiting to hear back from the organizer of the class with how I did overall and on the exam, and then he was going to try to schedule a Bet Din. And then hopefully an appointment at the mikvah.
Then it was time for the final exam the week after. I studied my tuckus off - even made study notes, which I went over every day during lunch at work, and felt surprisingly good going into it. And still pretty good during it, as well. I didn't have to leave anything blank, though was thrown off by the final essay-portion. It was a mix of knowledge-based and personal, so I just rambled away until I filled the space, figuring I would eventually hit on some points and get a couple of marks.
Spoiler alert: Local Rabbi told me today that I ended up getting 96% on it. Go me.
Then, only like a week and a half after that, I got an email from Local Rabbi asking if this Wednesday was an alright day to schedule my Bet Din for. As in, in four days from now. I'm super excited and nervous and stoked. It's just such a... closing chapter of this whole last 10-ish months and this conversion process. Sure, there is still the mikvah, which is where the big moment actually happens, but at least with the Bet Din being taken care of (so long as they actually approve me), it stops becoming a matter of if and becomes a matter of when .
I asked the rabbi more about it this morning, and he said no to worry, that he has total faith in me and my readiness. After all, he wouldn't have scheduled me to go before the Bet Din is he didn't, right? He also said to just mainly be frank, honest, and speak from my heart and that I will be fine. Plus, he also said that, as of a couple days, ago, they were having trouble trying to find a third rabbi for my Bet Din on Wednesday, so he may actually be one of the three, which would be amazing.
Speaking of this morning, today's service was our last one with Local Rabbi being our rabbi, and it was so emotional all around.
But we did have the Torah study first, and even though most of it was just myself, the rabbi, and the old Hebrew school teacher, that went really well. I think, for the first time since it started last fall, today was also this first time that I spoke up and made a real point during Torah study, as well. I was rather proud of myself for that. And then even more proud when I solved the rabbi's riddle (someone unearthed a person found in the ice and immediately upon looking knew they were the first human to even exist... why (of course, he put it better)), that even the rabbi said took him a while to figure out when he first heard it.
The answer: no belly button. Once again, go me.
There was a huge turnout for the actual service, with nearly as many people as I saw last Yom Kippur. And there were also a lot of tears, from both the rabbi and a number of people in the congregation, and that was super hard to watch and not cry myself. It felt like I was holding back tears nearly the entire time, but the service itself was very lovely.
The rabbi talked about what he was going to do next - try to get himself published and continuing to work on his writing. During this time I learned that one of his novels has some "graphic" sexual content, which still amuses me greatly and makes me want to write more of my own smut. He also wrote a guide to sexuality and "making love" for young men, which he is trying to get published on ebook, and was looking for advice. I felt rather useful and talked to him about CreateSpace after the service, and told him I would email him more info to take a gander at. It may not help him in the end, but it felt good to talk about writing with him for a moment, since it's a passion we both share.
I still can't believe he's not going to be our rabbi anymore, though. That kind of hit me hard today and still feels kind of heavy. I mean, I may not have known him for most of the 17 years that he has been heading our congregation, but it has now been over a full Jewish-calendar year, and he is the only rabbi that I have really known. He has been the one to really guide me through this process, and it took me so long to warm up and feel comfortable around him to really talk about how I feel and give my opinions. He's been the one I went through my first High Holy Day services with, and I can't imagine them without his kavannah bag. He always tries to teach, and has been so patient and kind, and I can't imagine the congregation being under anyone else.
Holy hell, I'm starting to tear up just writing about. It's going to be hard to see him Wednesday, knowing that it might be for last time. But who knows what the future will have in store, right?
Okay, so I feel like I've typed up enough for now, and still just feeling kind of emotional and just want to do my thing.
Wow, it's been longer than I thought it had been since the last time I wrote in here.
It's been a pretty busy and eventful... month and a half-ish, though, and I'm trying to remember where I even left off. Looking at my last entry, I had just seen Steven Page (still a great show, and am still hooked on listening to "Entourage" and "Alternative Girlfriend" because of it), so I guess I'll try to go back from there.
A lot of the busyness has been of the Jewish variety, with I think Pesach being the next eventful thing to happen after Steven Page. Oy, and trying to find a seder was a pain in the ass, and totally made me feel like an orphan, but in the end I did find one. It was at the home of one of the families from my congregation, and while slightly awkward, it was interesting and I'm glad I had the experience. Plus, I learned that I do quite like matzah, even though I was dying for all thing chametz by the time it over. Not to mention, I've decided that for next year I'm going to go Sephardic and enjoy my kitniyot.
And speaking of Sephardic, the week of Pesach I finally went to the Sephardic synagogue that Local Rabbi wanted to me. It was a very lovely building but... that's really all I've got. I wasn't a fan of separate-seating, especially with the women up on the balcony - there was like no good seats to actually see what was going on and that acoustics were terrible. Not that it mattered during the 95% Hebrew that I was hopelessly lost during, but when the time came for the English sermon I couldn't hear a word. I also missed getting to interact with the Torah when it goes around the sanctuary, and it wasn't the same watching the men do it. Not to mention, man that thing was long. I got up to pee at the three and a half hour mark and just never went back.
And after that... I think was the class trip to Jewish Funeral Home, which was a really interesting lecture. I really like the whole process of getting the body buried quickly and respectfully, not dragging it out with countless viewings and all that jazz, and focusing on supporting the grieving. I also really liked the putting the stone on the tombstone too.
Then there was Holocaust Remembrance Day, and going to the synagogue here in town to listen to a survivor speak. A very lovely woman who had a great story and a really good sense of humour, and I so wish I had thought to bring money with me so I could have bought her book. It was also a really huge turn out, with apparently one third of attendees not being Jewish which is pretty awesome (I wonder which side I was counted on for that little tally...).
There was also the class trip to the Holocaust Education Centre, which wasn't too bad. They were super unprepared for our class, so the "guided" portion wasn't that great, but getting to wander around and read some of the stories and see some of the artifacts was pretty amazing and really sobering. Plus seeing one of the Torah scrolls that was rescued from a burning synagogue during Kristallnacht was incredible, and extra neat knowing that it was given to Rabbi Gunther Plaut, since I knew the name from the Torah commentary books that I'm supposed to be reading. I also had no idea he was the Rabbi at one point of Holy Blossom.
The Holocaust Centre also had a super cool interactive exhibit where you got to see recorded video of a survivor, who had been recorded telling his story and answer like a thousand questions, and ask him questions where it would play the most appropriate answer. That was really neat and really powerful as he shared his feelings on Germans/Germany today, Holocaust deniers, and a bit about his personal story. That was by far my favourite aspect of the trip.
I think Yad Vashem is going to be pretty amazing, as well.
Then, I think the next thing would be Yom Ha'atzmaut at Holy Blossom. I went primarily to get another Reform synagogue crossed off my list for Local Rabbi, but because of Independence Day, the Consul General of Israel was a guest speaker to share a bit about her experiences as a diplomat, as well as some of the goods and bads about Israel during it's inception. I have no idea why, but the one that sticks with me the most is that Israel has one of the - if not the - best-ranked field hospitals in the world. And the only foreign one Japan would let in after Fukishima.
I also got o finally wander Toronto's Chinatown that day, and bought a cheap little green duck pen to commemorate it.
I think that about brings me up to the last week or so. I had my regular service at my synagogue last Saturday, which was nothing out of the ordinary, except for learning one absolutely heartbreaking fact: the board of the synagogue has asked Local Rabbi to step down from his position, and he will be retiring in June. Apparently they want someone "much younger," which I think is funny because I'm a good twenty years younger than any of its current members (not counting kids of members). So that was pretty crushing and I can't imagine what it's going to be like without him.
I wonder if that will be able to speed up my beit din and (hopefully) mikvah, though, since I'll be losing my sponsoring rabbi. A few people in the class already have dates apparently for the beit din, which are eithyer the end of May of beginning-ish of June, which is crazy soon. Local Rabbi did say he will start working on that soon when I saw him last.
I can't believe there are only two more classes left - and not even classes. A review for the final exam, and then the exam itself. All of our content is done, and it's insane that this whole like 40-ish weeks is almost done. I'm super nervous about the exam, though, and am going to really have to start studying soon.
I have my final one-on-one meeting with Local Rabbi this Thursday, so I'm hoping I'll learn a bit more then. At our last meeting (you know, aside from the J Date stuff that still makes me giggle) he said that he would be getting more into my theology and motivations this time around, so I'm a tad nervous for that but not too worried.
And to finish off, since it's getting late and I'm super exhausted, I'll end with one development that amazingly isn't Semitic at all: I have finally earned full-time at work! Guaranteed hours, benefits plan, double bonuses, and I'm sure something else I can't think of. I'm super stoked and pretty damn proud of myself; they're super picky about who they offer full-time to.
I didn't decided until last minute (well, until the day before) to go, and I'm really glad that I decided to.
Thanks to picking out the specific seat you want and getting mine so late, I was able to get one with nobody on either side of me, and while it was near the back, the venue was so small that all seats are pretty close to the stage, anyway.
Plus, it helps that it was like a five minute walk from my apartment. If that.
I'd seen him perform before in Hometown like five years ago and he put on an amazing performance then, and I would say that this one was pretty close. Granted, the bulk of his stuff was off of his newest CD, which only came out in 2016, so I don't think a lot of people (including me) knew it, but it was still good. He did do some good ol' BNL hits, including a couple songs that I didn't realize were popular enough to play at a show, but also missed a couple of the BIG ones that were kind of his BNL hits. But at least those were ones I had been able to see/hear in Hometown.
Though, while I can see why he didn't want to do the BNL stuff, especially with the way things ended and wanting to be his own person and yadda yadda, I was surprised he didn't do more of his other original stuff. Though I will say again that I really, really liked the new stuff and was super crushed when there wasn't any kind of merchandise booth to buy a CD from or anything.
I guess that was because it was a benefit concert, though, for the Ontario Philharmonic, who backed him during the performance. Kind of a ripoff of the whole BNL/Toronto Symphony Orchestra thing, but hot damn if that type of music doesn't sound amazing when backed by classical instruments. Plus I get to feel all charitable and whatnot, helping to fundraise the Philharmonic.
He was also backed by Kevin Fox (no idea who he is, but he was a lovely cellist/singer) and Craig Northey, who is from the Odds, though I only know him as the guy who did the theme song for Corner Gas. He was pretty awesome too, and the trio did have a good vibe and stage presence together.
"Anything south of Nebs gives me a nosebleed" still makes me giggle, and there were a lot of other good jokes that really made the show even better.
I am so glad I went. Finances be damned - I'm back to work tomorrow (finally) and will be getting my normal infusion of cash in a couple weeks. Some things in life are more important than money.
But yeah - back to work tomorrow. I'm not looking forward to the 5:30am wakeup after three weeks of being off of work, but I am looking forward to see everyone again, and getting back into my routine and just back to a normal life.
I'm still super sore on pretty much all of my right side (my hand, chest, and ankle mostly), so thankfully they are only short shifts this week, but it's something. It's finally moving in the right direction.
Unlike OSAP, the fuckers. "OMG your pay stubs don't have the full Name1-Name2 of your last name and only Name1 - send us your ID so we can change your last name!" Bitch please. Clearly the person with my name, date of birth, and SIN and Name1 is a totally different person than that with Name1-Name2. So that's been stressing me out, and calling was little help, so I'm going to try and get manager to help me out tomorrow. Wish me luck.
And the even bigger fuckers - well, I don't know who exactly. The hospital? The government? Whoever the hell decides things in our "free" medical system. I got a $45 ambulance bill. For the ambulance I didn't call, and had absolutely no fault in my need for one. Hell, I should have just hobbled there, but the EMT sooo needed to check me out in the ambulance. Assholes.
Hah, while I know it's not a lot in the grand scheme of things, that seriously pisses me off. Like this whole ordeal hadn't cost me enough, I have to pay more? Where is this free health care I keep hearing that this country has? Well, I guess it's free if you don't count ambulances, dental, prescriptions, doctor's note, vision, physiotherapy, and I'm sure other things that aren't popping in my head right now.
Okay, okay, I'm really not that bitter. It just baffles me. But it'll work out. And so will work. And hopefully so will OSAP. Things are all good, and while I'm still super sore, I'm healing and just digging things lately.
Okay, so I've been trying to figure out how to approach this entry for close to a couple weeks now, but haven't been able to bring myself to actually sit down and try to write it. I'm really surprised at how difficult that has been - that mental block - but I finally feel like I'm ready-ish to do so tonight.
Okay, well not really, but since I'm here I may as well just start rambling, right?
Maybe I'll start with the major headline of the last couple weeks, which was a literal headline one night on the evening news (even if they did bugger it a little)...
I got hit by a car.
Well, a pickup truck, to be specific. A white/silver Dodge with a ladder on the roof, according to the only witness. You know, the one who heard the impact and looked over to see the car driving away. Because I didn't see anything.
It was just like any other Tuesday morning - I left my house at the usual 6:15 and was walking to my bus stop for work, rocking out with some good ol' Barenaked Ladies (with "Tonight is the Night I Fell Asleep at the Wheel" playing because the universe has a fucked sense of humour). I pressed the button at my crosswalk, waited until the little man popped up with the timer, looked both ways down the street I was crossing, and started walking.
Too bad I couldn't see behind me.
From what I can gather, the truck turned from behind me onto the street I was crossing. I didn't see anything coming, I just suddenly felt this enormous, surreal pressure against my right side, and heard this huge thump. The next thing I know the world is spinning pretty fast - I had my eyes open, I remember that much - and then the next thing I know I'm back on my hands and knees, staring at oncoming traffic, hoping that nobody will hit me. Thankfully since it was like 6:20 in the morning, there wasn't much traffic around, and even more awesomely, it was a red light in my direction. There was a car that must have turned, and a bus that I know turns at that corner.
I couldn't even begin to process what happened. I vaguely remember getting back up to my feet - crying pretty hysterically because it was hard to catch my breath and I think just my brain short-circuiting - and by the time I got back to the sidewalk the witness was approaching.
He was super nice, and it's sad that I wouldn't be able to pick him out of a lineup, but he made sure I was reasonably okay and called 911. It didn't take long for the police to arrive - I remember thinking that I hope they're sending someone and not waiting until the 911 call is over since it seemed annoyingly long, for some reason, and the officer arrived like literally right after that. And it was only a minute or two later, just long enough for the officer to be surprised that it was a person that was hit (the witness only said "hit and run" on the phone, that I can remember), that an ambulance and firetruck arrived.
I remember giving the officer my wallet - he wanted my ID, and digging through it was still a lot to deal with, especially when I finally realized that the side of my face was covered in blood - and the EMT took me into the ambulance, tried to do some failed blood pressure tests (it was deathly high the first try and deathly low the second), and did a very quick assessment, and then drove the short distance to the hospital, where the officer was waiting for us. He had apparently already given my health card to triage, and that was all ready to go, and I got my wallet back (hah, and I also clearly remember thinking when I gave my wallet to him that even if he did mug me, it wouldn't be the worst thing to happen to me that morning.)
I don't remember the brief triage conversation, other than her initially asking if I was injured from work and then reading ahead in the file to what the officer must have told her and going "ohhh." Then I know the officer wanted to talk to me, but I was dead-set on calling into work first, which now amuses me greatly. I know it was still before 7, when my shift was supposed to start and I called and told me very baffled and thrown-off supervisor that I had been hit by a car and wouldn't be in that day (something which every supervisor I have seen since - that they would have understood if I had called in after 7, and that I really hadn't needed to call in so soon, but my mind was just made up, I think trying to focus on something normal), and then I called my mom to tell her what happened, after asking the officer whether I should. "Should I call me mom now and let her know??" He was pretty understanding of my absolutely overwhelmed, shocked mind, so I called her and then finally had our over short interview.
First off, I will say that I got really, really pitiful looks in the ER waiting room and it didn't click in later until why. The visible injuries I had at the time were a bloody side of my face and very swollen cheek and jaw. That coupled with the fact that I was still crying intermittently and had a cop right there, with his pad out trying to talk to me, couldn't have screamed "domestic violence" any louder if I would have tried.
Anyway, there wasn't much I could tell him, which was frustrating. I didn't see anything, either before the impact or after. I really had nothing to offer. So he said that he would call me later that day with the incident number and his badge number and went on his way. Spoiler alert: I'm still waiting for the phone call, two weeks to-the-day later.
Anyway, I just sat there in shock and still crying randomly, with some very sweet guy giving me a box of kleenex, until my mom showed up. She was super pissed that the guy just took off (during my brief call with her, with the officer standing literally right beside me, I had answered some quick yes/no questions, including whether they had caught the guy), but supportive and waited with my until I finally got called into to see the doctor. I say "finally" but it couldn't have been more than half an hour, since my whole hospital experience was only two hours.
He did a very brief - I'm going to straight out say half-assed, since I whacked the whole side of my face off the road, don't remember a few moments, and he didn't even bother to check my head at all and kind of scoffed when I said that I "didn't know" whether I had lost consciousness or not. I mean, I don't remember when I started to get back up, something I must have been conscious for, so I can't honestly say whether or not I lost consciousness, despite having no memory of the impact. But he did listen to my complaints of what hurt (not much at that time; I was still in shock), and sent me for some x-rays and offered to give me a note for work.
I had my x-rays done (a really tricky process because I had to take off my bra and couldn't even begin to bring my right arm behind my back because it was so swollen and stiff), and thankfully didn't break anything. I'm still amazed at that. So, I got my note for work (three whole days off) and a prescription for Aleve (because getting hit by a truck isn't worth breaking out the good stuff, apparently), and went on my way.
I refused for my mom to call a cab and limped my way home - my knee and ankle were so stiff that I couldn't walk properly, but the pain hadn't kicked in at that point. That's when I called my AA Bro and told him what happened, and texted Sponsor D, though I knew she was at a meeting. They came to pick me up after that meeting and the support was amazing.
The next couple says were crazy and kind of a blur looking back.
The day after there was a knock at my door and a Sobey's delivery man standing there flowers. After checking the card a couple of times to make sure that they were indeed for me, I saw they were from my work and had a lovely card signed by everyone, which was truly touching and meant the world to me. I really felt cared about.
I got a care package from Bro and Sponsor of my favourite foods and some more flowers, as well as a makeshift pharmacy from D-type, and a metric ton of food from the people at the Mission that I used to (well, still try to when I get Thursdays off) volunteer at. All just random outreaches of love and support and it's still absolutely incredible to think about.
I was also on the news. Apparently my mom had emailed them without me knowing and they contacted me. I didn't want to, but with nudging from my blood and AA family I decided to be interviewed (after the like half hour phone interview that caught me off guard initially) in hopes of getting the word out there about the white pickup and getting them caught. It was an... interesting experience, to say the least. It took place at the intersection where it happened and was interviewed on camera, which was kind of tedious. The amount of "can you repeat the answer - the sun changed" was annoying and flustering, but it was one hell of a ride. It also helped that my mom (who has also been hit and was interviewed as part of the story) was there, and that AA Bro showed up when I told him where it was happening.
It was the top story on the local evening news, which should have been awesome. Well, still is in its own way, and I was sure to record the video on my iPod, but the segment itself was a super letdown. Not only did they not mention it was a hit-and-run, but they also super downplayed my injuries ("a little bruised"), and the police statement they got was telling pedestrians how important it is for them to make eye-contact with cars at intersections.
How in the ever-loving fuck was I supposed to make eye contact with someone coming at me from behind?! How about instead telling drivers to keep their goddamn eyes open whilst driving and pay the slightest bit of attention?!
Most of my external injuries (well, visible ones) have healed by now. I originally had scrapes/roadrash all down my left side from armpit to hip; had bruises down my right arm from shoulder to wrist, as well as bruises down my inner arm from elbow to wrist; and bruises all along my right calf; a blackeye on my left eye, scrapes on my left cheek, as well as bruises all down my left jawline and swelling from where my face hit the ground. With the exception of a tiny sliver of purple under my left eye, some light bruising on my jaw, and some light bruising near my right elbow, all of that has healed. But that's not talking about the stuff you can't see.
My right ankle and knee were swollen, stiff, and super painful, which they still are, particularly my ankle. My right arm was super swollen, especially at the elbow, and so sore to move or lift with - the swelling has gone down, but it still hurts to lift of put any weight on my right arm. This also includes gripping anything in my right hand with any pressure, which still hurts a lot to do so (my right hand was also bruised and scraped - including a couple fingers' worth of nail polish being scraped off). My neck is still a little stiff, and has been since it happened. As well, I'm still having some mental fog and trouble focusing/holding a thought (still an improvement over the first couple days when I couldn't think at all and had some blurred vision), which a clinic doctor has said should be gone within six weeks. You know, from the concussion that the hospital didn't seem to acknowledge.
I'm getting there, though, slowly but surely. I'm lucky that everyone has been pretty understanding - I've been off work since then, since I can't do any of the highly physical stuff required, and work has been great about that. I'm currently hoping to go back on light-duty next week, but we'll have to see about my chest/back, which has been absolutely killing me. I've also had to miss a week of class and all the Purim festivities, which Local Rabbi has been super understanding about.
I don't really know what else to add from there. That's everything that has happened in a nutshell, and I'm still very much trying to process everything. It's only been two weeks as of today, which isn't that long in the grand scheme of things, and I have been doing everything in my power to keep busy enough to avoid really having to think about it. You know, aside from the first couple nights when I would wake up in the middle of the night and just reply it over in my mind.
I really have been trying to ignore what happened, which I know isn't entirely healthy. But I just can't bring myself to fully embrace it because I know it'll cause something of a breakdown - of showing some kind of emotion, which I have been fighting to do so ever since the ER waiting room.
I don't want to acknowledge the fact that I could have died. That I'm amazingly lucky to still be here, and to not be permanently (fingers crossed) injured. To acknowledge the fact that another human being hit me and then left, not knowing whether they had killed me or not. They didn't care at all; my life meant nothing to them, and that's one hell of a mindfuck. This whole thing is.
And I have been going on for like an hour and a half now, so I'm going to shut up. I feel somewhat better to have gotten this off of my chest and out of my head to some extent, and I can only hope the rest of the week goes well.
Whoa, it's been a bit of a stretch since I last wrote in here.
Since before the whole J-Date thing a few weeks back... which I still haven't stopped laughing and/or cringing about. I mean, having your 80-something year old rabbi misread the context of your essay and assume that you're looking for a man is kind of mortifying enough, but to have him bring it up during your one-on-one meeting time, and then explain J-Date and why I should use it just makes is so ri-damn-diculously hilarious. I literally had to bite my lip to keep from laughing while he was explaining it to me since I was so dumbfounded and just WTF'd.
Especially when he mentioned that I don't have to necessarily be looking for marriage to be on J-Date, and that it had options for "casual dating." Which I am officially going to take as my rabbi's blessing to have some hook ups. (You know, if I wasn't in a relationship-of-sorts already...)
But all has been going well that in regard - I survived my second meeting with him regarding the conversion process, and am into the second semester of class. In fact, tomorrow is our official lass regarding conversion, which will include a tour of the Not-So-Local Mikvah, which I'm pretty excited about. I feel like it'll be some kind of tangible proof that this is all really going to happen in a few months, so I'm hoping it'll be nice.
I also got to learn a ton today about Purim, which I admittedly knew little about other than that it was related to the Book of Esther and was the "drunk holiday." We had a guest rabbi in after the normal service who is working on his doctorate, with his thesis being on the Book of Esther, and he is the first known person to translate some of the "lost" parts of the story (or "fanfiction," which is up for debate and tickled me pink that he referred to it as such) into English from Aramaic, so that was pretty cool.
I also got to try my first hamantaschen, which I feel like was an important Jewish milestone for me. You know, which came after the bagel and lox I had before Torah study, which has become my routine when Local Rabbi is seeing over the services.
I'm still not sure if I'm going to be going to the adult costume party for Purim that my congregation is putting on next Saturday... I'm super anxious about something like that, since I didn't really get to feel out who was planning on going, but I just may check it out. I mean, I want to experience all I can during this process, and I'm quiet digging the Purim thing and the whole comedy of it all, so you never know.
Hehe, and I can always read the Book of Esther now that I have my very own copy of the Tanakh, which arrived at my doorstop yesterday. That makes me weirdly happy, and will go on my bookshelf with the zillion other Jewish-y books that I've accumulated since beginning this journey.
And I really hadn't intended this entry to be a spillage of Judaism, but apparently a lot has been going on with it. Including my weirdly hellbent decision to up and fly to Israel when I get my vacation from work... I've been wanting to travel internationally for ages now, and this is much bigger than New York, with a much more fascinating history, and just something much bigger to do and prove to myself that I can. I've been checking out airlines and hostels and cities for weeks and it's really feeling right. And I imagine it will only feel righter when I figure out when the hell my vacation is actually going to be. (And I have to wonder how many more supervisors I'm going to have to yell at to actually get that looked into... but I should hopefully know on Thursday.)
It's also been giving me something to look forward to in the midst of all of this crazy busyness regarding the conversion process (and the jillion other thing Local Rabbi wants me to do), as well as the stress and grrrr-fuckity-ness from work. It's something that's going to be for me, funded entirely by me, and the culmination of something that I worked really hard and passionately for.
And, you know, hopefully I'll officially be a Jew by then, sine the rabbi wasn't sure how long it would take between the course and bet din and mikvah, but I'll survive either way.
Oooh, and the Queer As Folk folks (finally finishing up season four now after stopping my utter obsession for a while there, which I tend to do when I get near the end of shows and wanna pretend it isn't happening, though I still have season five after this, just not on DVD), and even though it's largely filmed in Canada, I'm geekily excited for that and hope they actually make it.
But seriously, it's an awesome show.
And I'm not really sure what else to say now. I didn't really have a plan when I started in here, and really didn't think I would ramble that much about the whole conversion thing, so I guess I'll shut up for now. I want to see what happens with the Liberty ride, especially when it's the second last episode of the season, so something must happen.
You know, aside from Deb getting proposed to, which just happened as I was typing that.
Man, did 2016 fly by - I still have no idea where it went.
It was such a flurry of events all year long, both good and bad, and I feel like a lot got done during it. Most of which was memorialized in this blog, I think. And while I have no major qualms with it on the whole, I'm glad to have a new, fresh year to stare ahead at.
Though, just a quick back up to the end of 2016: I celebrated my first Hanukkah! It was pretty awesome, though somewhat awkward and trying to fumble my way through it. I made lots of memories, though, and managed to light the candles and say the blessings (reading them from the Hebrew the first couple nights until I got the memorized) every night, which I was rather impressed by.
And even with his Christmas obsession, the D-type even got me eight little (or not entirely little) Hanukkah gifts, one for each night. It was so super sweet and thoughtful and made it extra special.
I kind of stopped writing there for a minute to watch Big Bang Theory on Rogers on Demand since I fell way behind this season, and completely lost my train of thought. And the whole point I had in writing in here tonight, but I'll still blather away for a few more minutes, I'm sure.
Oh, though speaking of Hanukkah and the end of the year, I did end up writing that holiday fluff (and smut) that I mentioned in my last entry. I ended up writing a short little one-off of Hanukkah romance and porn, which is silly, but I had a lot of fun with it during my few days off of work for Christmas. Plus, I actually finished a sex scene, which is a pretty big deal for me, so yay.
Too bad I've been petering on the writing since then. But I did write a couple hundred words of a new smut scene tonight. Which I guess I can't be surprised by, since that's been my major reading for the last few weeks, seeing as how I've bought seven new smut books from work since then. I've never been one for the romance/erotica reading, but have been getting into it lately and enjoying it greatly.
Maybe because I actually have some physical intimacy in my life to match the emotional intimacy.
Especially during the last couple days, finally being able to be intimate in a way I haven't been for ages and feel that close personal connection that I haven't in so long. I didn't realize that things with Dickface left their mark as deeply as they did until this whole subject came up, and it was tough and vulnerable, but I am so glad things were able to work out. It's amazing how good the emotional experience feels.
There's a little whoa-ness that I guess was expected, being sexual fully with someone new after such a long break and after experiencing it with the same person for three years before that. It's not a bad "whoa," just a weird mental note of the way things have changed and just processing the newness and my life since then. I guess the timing kind of fits with the new year and the freshness that I mentioned at the start of this entry.
Which brings me full-circle, and I guess a good enough place to wrap this up for now since it's starting to get pretty late. And there's more Big Bang Theory to be watched and more kinky smut to be written.
So, I legitimately thought I'd written in here sooner than the last time I actually did.
Like, seriously. I can totally remember writing about the meeting with Local Rabbi, and decorations, and everything else that had happened over the last month. Huh. Must've been typing it to the bestie or D-type.
It's been quite the month, too.
First of all: I failed NaNo. Like hardcore; I didn't even look at the site or my NaNovel for the latter half of the month, and even though it was incredibly tough to accept that fact that I was essentially "giving up," I've come to peace with it. With everything that was going on in November - absolutely non-stop all around me - I needed to step back and take the pressure off myself for the sake of my mental health. I mean, it sucks to have ruined my eight-year streak, but there's always next year. And it's not like I'm giving up writing or anything - in fact, I was just working on my 2015 NaNovel a bit last night, and writing for the first time since quitting NaNo - I just needed to take it easy on myself. And, you know what? I'm glad I did.
I've been itching to writing something all fluffy and holiday-ish - you know, like I do every year, and also like every year, I somehow doubt I'll actually get around to it. But it's nice to be feeling the spark again, and even though my life will be an absolute whirlwind for the next three days, it'll be nice to have some time to devote to being creative over the next couple weeks until the new year.
Side note: holy hell, where in the world did 2016 go?! (But I think that's a post all in itself.)
I also did indeed have my meeting with Local Rabbi, and even though I cringe looking back at it at some of the anxiety-induced mistakes I made with him (I really, really do know that Hebrew reads right-to-left, I promise), I think it went well overall. I learned a lot of random stuff because, me being me, I asked about the concept of evil and the Devil in Judaism. I learned that Satan is only mentioned in Job (and even then the Torah only refers to him as "the adversary"), and that the myth of Jews having horns is from a mis-translation, as "beam" and "horn" are the same word in Hebrew, and since beams of light shone down on Moses at Sinai... yeah. It was pretty neat.
Plus, he also sent me some really nice and positive feedback on the Shabbat essay I had to do for class a couple weeks ago, and I'm still a little warm and fuzzy about that.
Everything else has been going well on that front, as well: went to my first Erev Shabbat service a couple Friday nights ago and really enjoyed that, as well as took part in my synagogue's first annual "latkes vs. hamantaschen" debate. It was pretty awesome and just made me love my quirky little shul even more.
Also... after this Thursday night, I don't have class until mid-January, which I am so excited about that I can't even find words to describe the sheer level of it. Super-dee-fucking-duper excited is about the best I came come up with. I can't even imagine having a free Thursday night or not being absolutely dead on my feet at work on Friday mornings.
But - there's always a but - there's a mandatory Shabbat dinner in Toronto on Friday night at a different synagogue, which I am so unimpressed with. I'm sick of trekking to Toronto (thank the heavens for the D-type and his vehicular prowess), and I'm so sad that I'll be missing my home group's annual Santa Claus meeting on top of it. Oh well, I'll get to see Santa again bright and early Sunday morning...
Why, you ask? Because Santa (I typed that as "Satan" there, much to my own amusement) is going to be chairing the Sunday morning meeting where I have been roped into speaking yet again. And yes "yet again" is only the second time, but still. I'm so nervous, especially since there is much more publicity this time around then there was the first time, so I know it's going to be a decent-sized crowd. With a lot of old-timers, which scares the hell out of me. But I'm sure I'll survive.
There's also the alcathon the weekend after - 24 hours of straight meetings - which I have been wanting to go to for the past couple years, but the time for my home group has always been in the middle of the night. However, do to some alleged whining, we're at noon this year, so I actually get to go and I'm so excited.
That's on the 24th... which is also the first night of Hanukkah, something else I'm super psyched about. I did indeed manage to get my decorations the same night I met with Local Rabbi, and have since decked my apartment out with them. Not to mention the super beautiful menorah I managed to get from work; I was totally shocked that we actually got one in.
I'm having so much fun getting prepped for the holiday season; it's nice actually having money this year. I totally plan on making latkes for the first time in a good five years, and cookies of some sort since I bought cookie cutters and feel the need to use them now.
And I'm actually apparently spending some of Christmas Day with the D-type, which is a bit of a mindfuck, but in a good way. I also helped him lug some of his ridiculous amount of Christmas decorations upstairs, which was surprisingly fun. Actually doing something holiday-related with someone, and someone obsessed with Christmas, at that.
I don't really know what else to say. I mean, I know I still have a ton that I couple ramble on about, but I've been writing in here for way longer than I had originally intended to, and my brain is starting to hurt. Plus, I guess I should get ready-ish for bed for my maybe-shift tomorrow.
I have on-calls, I really do. Especially when you have to call them. At 7 am, though at least it's better than my usual 5:30 wake up time. I just hate that my hopes always get a little up that it will be a day off, especially with so much left to do before the holidays, but I've literally only ever been told to stay home once ever for an on-call (which was last Friday) so I know the odds aren't very likely. Especially since everyone is on sick or stress leave this week, apparently. :/
Well, fingers crossed, anyway, and I'll try not to get too heartbroken with my dashing sloughing through the snow to work in the morning.