Southern & Jewish
Southern & Jewish celebrates the stories, people, and experiences – past and present – of Jewish life in the American South. Hosted by the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life, posts come from educators, students, rabbis, parents, artists, and many other “visitors-to and daily-livers-of” the Southern Jewish experience. From road trips to recipes to reflections, we’ll explore a little bit of everything – well, at least all things Southern and/or Jewish. Shalom, y’all!
It seems like only yesterday that I wrote a blog about starting my Masters program at Hebrew College. It wasn’t yesterday, though…it was almost three whole years ago, and I am now on the precipice of graduating with my Masters in Jewish Education on June 3rd. (I was wondering if that would seem more real when I typed it, but it still doesn’t!) The past three years have been some of the busiest of my life; between working full-time and pursing my degree, I was truly living in the moment out of sheer necessity, without a lot of extra brain space to devote to the big “what’s next?” question.
Recently, I had the final meeting of one of my classes. Toward the end, my professor had us think about the massive amount of time school has taken up in our daily lives, and encouraged us to be intentional about what we fill that space with after graduation instead of just becoming busy with another activity (or five).
In the spirit of full disclosure, I plan to fill the first month of my extra time consuming as much reality TV as my brain and eyes can handle.
But after that…
I know I want to start taking piano lessons again, but I haven’t gotten much further than that. However, by forcing me to think about life beyond school, my professor also got me thinking about how to mark the transition; not just thinking about what’s next, but about how to get to what’s next.
Sure, there will be a graduation ceremony in Boston, but then I’ll get on the plane and head back to my Southern, Jewish, and school-less life in Mississippi. What can I do to emotionally prepare to enter this new, exciting stage of my life? The answer was staring me in the face, but was something I had never considered before: immersion in a mikveh.
My graduate school, Hebrew College shares its city with Mayyim Hayyim, a mikveh where individuals can go to mark healing, celebration, and…transition. Perfect!
As soon as I decided on mikveh immersion, I felt a sense of calmness. Knowing how I was going to move into the future has now given me the freedom to start really thinking about the future, and what will substantively fill me time. I am so looking forward to my mikveh experience…and when I come out, I might just read a book for pleasure (something that any student knows is a luxury!).
What is your favorite way to mark a transition?