"Let the old ways die."

Before I begin, this post contains at least one thing I've wanted to bring up on this blog for a while, but refrained from expressing out of fear of others thinking "this is too much information," "this is ridiculous," or "this doesn't belong here." But with Yom Kippur, in all its import of reflection, forgiveness, and repentance, it seemed right to write this and post it.


Well, the first thing I needed to repent for is the fact that I didn't fast this year on Yom Kippur. But honestly, starting a food business and preparing to deliver a sample of sandwich bread (the one baked good I never make) to a cafe in Cambridge considering buying my products means I have to taste what I'm making. It'd be irresponsible not to, no?

There are many people whom I hope forgave me for however I've wronged them in the past year. But I know that the person who needs to be at the very top of my forgiveness list is myself.

Anyone who has been around me in the past few months has probably noticed something a little different in the way I act. When I step outside myself in certain moments, it seems like I'm a little more motivating, a little more self-assured, a little more hopeful, and a good bit louder and bolder. I'm coming into more of an extrovert identity that I ever knew I had. (Time to take the Myers-Briggs test again?)

These are all generally good things.

Still, I thought that honing in on my passion would make all the storm clouds disappear. And to be honest, a few really dark ones did, namely the overwhelming concern about mission and the question, "what am I going to do after my contract expires next July?" But a few of my longest-looming clouds have gotten a whole lot darker. My mother and many of my friends are exceptionally supportive of this business and my plans for the future, but my father and some of my friends couldn't be any more vindictive or dismissive. Despite practicing mindfulness and taking heart to prepare good, nourishing food, I still haven't totally recovered from an emotional eating problem: between the unusual amount of stress I'm under for the next month and the fact that I'm trying to build a business around food, rewriting the narrative of my relationship with food feels particularly difficult. Naturally, this problem stands in the way of my losing the weight I've gained (whether you've noticed it or not) since being diagnosed with celiac disease. The lingering weight is as much physical and emotional--the chink in the armor in the transformation from seeing myself as a hopeless, helpless victim to an empowered advocate about health and nutrition in general and "gluten-freedom" in particular.

I've never been great at cutting myself breaks, compartmentalizing time, and treating myself kindly and compassionately. But starting this business has made me realize just how important these things are and how much I need to commit to doing them. And so, on a day of atonement, I figured there was no better time to own up to them and try to let the old ways die. So I started my day with yoga with one of my favorite teachers out of Roslindale, talked to two good friends on the phone, and then met with another friend from college who was looking to relocate her gigantic beanbag couch to a new home.There was something of the absurd and the cathartic about the experience of getting that beanbag from Cambridge to Boston. Here I was with this brown turdlike (but very comfortable) monstrosity, phone dead, praying for my van cab to arrive after the couch failed to mold into the backseat of a normal cab, and without even stepping foot inside synagogue, was getting a huge lesson in faith. If I could just trust that I wouldn't just be left on the side of the road, that everything that needed to was going to get done, that I'd handle the challenges ahead for my business and that I'd make the right choices for me, I could manifest it all.

And in the spirit of Yom Kippur, here's to forgiving myself for that occasional loss of faith.