The Drosh of Chaos

Trip Start Dec 03, 2006
Trip End Feb 21, 2007

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Flag of United States  , New Jersey
Sunday, December 3, 2006

LITTLE FALLS -- In less than 12 hours I will be getting into Becca's car and driving to Newark Airport to start this wild and wacky adventure. I still haven't accepted the fact that I'm not going to be back in Passaic County until the end of February. What crazy person out there gave me permission for this leave of absence? Are you CRAZY?!?!?! ;-)

A little preliminary information before we take off for parts unknown: These entries, just like a newspaper article, will all have a "dateline" -- the name of the place I am writing from. A "drosh" is a commentary on an aspect of a particular week's Bible reading, given during the Saturday morning Sabbath service in the synagogue. Each entry is going to be titled a "drosh." It's all commentary.

Today's topic is Chaos. It's remarkable how much difficulty I have with even a minuscule amount of chaos. For some people today would have been exciting and an adventure. For me, it was an adventure with the cellphone company. After all the hard work and stress about getting a cell phone that can be used overseas, it seems I slightly miscalculated about dealing with the New Zealand SIM card. Thanks to a fabulous magician at the call center named Austin, he got the situation under control. After an hour on the phone. I definitely needed chocolate -- and a glass of wine. But, it seems that I will get my special secret code tomorrow and I will be able to use my superduper new cellphone in New Zealand after all. The Chaos wasn't as bad as I expected. There's a life lesson for ya.

Giving up my apartment was actually the easiest part of the past few days. I felt nothing, even though I've been there for 7 years. It was a place to sleep. I really lived at the paper. And the hardest part was saying goodbye -- even for a while -- to my friends and colleagues. I said, I will be back on Monday March 5 and you will not even have noticed that I've been away. Maybe. Maybe not.

There are certain people in one's life who are guiding lights. And maybe they don't even know it. It takes something like this, something so life-changing, to know that people really care about you. Margie and Larry, and Becca, and Jeannine, and Doug and Monsy and Sarah, and Caitlin, and Warren and Dawn, and Christina, and SL and of course my scotch-drinking friend F -- they have all given me such a gift of their time and support and love. Some even helped with packing! I love all of them. They all, in their own ways, helped me to make this decision to take a break. I couldn't have done it without any of them. Big gold star to all of you!! My parents just are going along for the ride and I couldn't be prouder of them for not freaking out when I announced that I was getting on a plane and going to the other side of the planet. They have grown up so nicely!

As in any drosh, I have to come to a conclusion. What's my conclusion? In 2003 I walked backwards off a 75-foot cliff on my Outward Bound course in Colorado. I never was so scared in my life. I could have died -- I was hanging by a thin rope off the edge of this flat rock face. But I took a deep breath and screamed my lungs out and took the first step. And then the next. And the next.

And in the words of Henry David Thoreau, I walked confidently in the direction of my dreams.

And so, Chaos was just the little bits of Life that made the day worth living.
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