Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cartwheels in Yeshiva 2

As time progressed I got more and more severe with the restrictions that I put on myself. I had all kinds of rules and commitments that i had to keep above and beyond the already rigorous schedule of yeshiva. I had things that I committed to doing before davening, after davening. I had extra commitments that I committed to doing every time I went in or out of the beis medrash. I was never happy with myself. I always expected of myself to be working harder. I needed to accomplish everything yesterday and no time was soon enough to know that all would be OK, I needed to be sure now and as long as I could increase those chances by learning another piece of gemara I would and that's exactly how I saw it, every piece of gemara increased the chances that were I to be asked about it by a prospective father in law or anyone else that I needed to impress, I would have an answer, I would be able to impress him of my value (im yishalcha adam al tigamgem). No of course I had no idea what I was doing to myself and no in cling that something was wrong. I knew that I didn't feel that good but that's the only way I knew and I expected it to be this way. How would I know anything was wrong?

Somehow despite the fact that I refused to admit to anything being wrong, my body was beginning to let me know that it wasn't happy. It's amazing for me to witness in retrospect how stubborn and ignorant I was of my feelings and how aware my body was. I must have been quite nervous by now because I started leaving seder early to do cartwheels in the chatzer. This was a most perposterous development. I don't think I ever did this when anyone else was looking but it was bad enough that i was looking. What was I doing? Why was I doing this? I never knew what things felt like when they were OK to know what things felt like when they were not. Now my body was telling me something but I didn't know what. Of course I suspected that the need to do cart wheels in the middle of seder meant something but there was no way in the world that I would even consider that it had the remotest relationship with what I was doing, how much I was learning, how much I was thinking, how I was thinking and worst of all, how much pain and fear I was carrying inside.