Jewish girl in America.

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I was born in the Middle East into a old school traditional Jewish family. We were brought up with our entire lives planned. It would go in the following order…

  1. Grow up being our parents #1 priority.
  2. Grow up with only family, friends are very rare to come by in our family. Blood is thicker than water is a strong belief to us.
  3. Go to school and HS graduation means absolutely NOTHING. No celebration, no praise, nothing.
  4. Bachelors/Masters degree gets you praise and brownie points.
  5. Find a job by using your degree.
  6. Find a future wife/husband, in other words let your grandmom hook you up with a 2nd cousin’s, son’s, son/daughter.
  7. Go on one or two(max) dates.
  8. Get engaged.
  9. Have a wedding that your parents pay for.
  10. Move into a house/apartment that your/his/her parents bought you filled with all the things you 2 will need to start a life.
  11. Within a year you must reproduce. If you don’t everyone(family) will assume you are unable to have kids and need to go to the doctor.
  12. Then you live happily ever after.

Now let’s snap back to MY reality. My parents believe that they moved to the states so my brother and I could have a chance at “The American Dream”. Until this day as much as I appreciate them making such a huge move for us, sometimes I think how much money they/we would have saved if we went to school there. Growing up my dad was my best friend, i would always go to him before my mom. I knew he always had my back and would actually listen to me before barking out orders/yes/no. Everything was going according to plan until I got to middle school. When I was in the 7th grade I knew I wanted to move out of my home at 18 and work and make a living for myself. I knew I wanted to work as soon as I was 16. Last, I knew I would not marry a “Nice Jewish Boy”. That’s just not where my heart was. Once I got to high school that’s where the drama between my parents and I started. I wanted to go out with friends just like all the other kids. I wanted to have a boyfriend(which I did) without hiding it from my parents. Well, that was not in my parent’s plan for me. In their mind all I should have been doing was going to school, studying, thinking about college and maybe working.

I quickly realized that if I didn’t speak my mind and follow my heart I would end up like many(not all) unhappy Jewish girls. Why are they unhappy? Well, we are brought up to respect our parents and their sacrifices. We are also brought up being what to do with our lives, who to date, how to dress, how to carry oneself and what to go to school for. Most importantly we are taught that no matter what our families are unbreakable and will always be there for us no matter what we do. It may take time for them to come around but once things fall into place they will be there.

I took my chances. I went against everything we were taught and I created my own path. It came with a price but that price was/is well worth it. I moved out at 18 without my dad knowing. I didn’t move out on my own but with a boyfriend who was not a Jewish boy. Which was a bit worse than me moving out onĀ  my own. Not to mention I was working at Mcdonalds and attending CCP for God knows what. For 6 years I kept a great relationship with my mom and brother but my relationship with my father was non-existent. People around me thought it was so crazy that I didn’t speak or come around him for 6 years. I never worried or feared because I knew that I had to prove him and everyone else (that doubted my plan and path) wrong. In those 6 years a lot happened. I finished college with a bachelor’s degree, got married, pregnant and had a child. All with minimal help/support from anyone but my husband.

When I had my daughter my mom brought my dad to my apartment and everything instantly went back to normal. If I had to do it all again I wouldn’t change a thing! Not a single thing, word, day, move, etc.

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I am telling this story because it made me who I am. It brought me exactly where I need to be in life. It has taught me a lot!! Most importantly it gave me a drive I never knew I had. I encourage everyone and anyone to follow your heart, your dreams and trust and believe those people that are meant to be in your life will be there no matter what. Sooner or later they will come around. LOL

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