Sunday, March 16, 2014


The past two weeks, I've been neither here nor there.

I'm physically in Los Angeles ... in the apartment that has become our home three miles from the ocean. It's filled with so much stuff. (How do we physically amass so much stuff?) But also memories. Remnants of celebrations past. The classy loot we were gifted in the months before, during, and after our wedding. Things. And photos. So many photos. We were each big on hanging and displaying pictures of friends and family before we met. Then we started dating, fell in love, moved in together ... and, naturally the pictures came, too.

I'm mentally in Seattle ... the city that will become our home in a little over three months. I spend a significant amount of time each day looking at apartments, neighborhoods, and maps. So many maps. I'm thinking about the logistics involved with moving 1,000+ miles north. I'm worried about getting us the right rain boots. I'm nervous/excited (nerxcited?) about making new friends in a big new city. I think a lot about the food.

And ... oh yes. I'm going to be a rabbi. For real. Because I got a job. A full-time one. No more internship. No more grad school. This is real time. It's happening. And I'm excited. So very excited. But also deeply humbled. (And a tad nervous) And filled with questions about what this position will be like and what this synagogue - this fantastic congregation - will be like.

But those questions must remain largely unanswered until my physical presence is in Seattle. Until I hit the ground running in July. Until I begin to develop relationships with the people I'll be working for and with. Until I get into a groove and it really settles in that yes, I did make this move. We made this move as a family. We started this new chapter together.

But we're not there yet.

Because we're neither here nor there.

Heightening the experience of being b'derech (which loosely means 'on the way') is the fact that I am done with just about every single thing I need to do in order to be ordained. And that's pretty fantastic. I'm going to stop right there and give myself a little pat on the back. Because getting to that point took a tremendous amount of energy, hard work, and commitment. And I did it this way - the Jaclyn way, I guess - because I wanted to be able to enjoy this transitional time of being neither here nor there.

So let me assure you, I am finding many ways to enjoy it.


Complicating the experience of being b'derech is reality. The pain of loss; of change. Of leaving significant relationships behind. Our families have been overwhelmingly supportive of our move and it's been amazing. Many of our friends have, too.

But there's something very difficult about telling the people you love that you've made a decision that involves you not being around them regularly anymore. When you really, truly love people there's something tremendously deep and visceral and hard in knowing you will soon say goodbye. You know it won't last forever; you tell each other Seattle and LA are only a two-hour plane ride apart. But deep in your heart you know that everything will change, and some people will handle it better than others, and maybe you're really going to struggle with it the most, and it just hurts. That's the pain of truly loving and caring about someone other than yourself.

But we're not there yet.

Because we're neither here nor there.

There's so much to be excited about. There's a new adventure on the horizon for Josh and for me. Every day that passes we realize more and more that this was the best decision we could have made for ourselves and for our marriage. As difficult as that is for some people to hear. (And as difficult as it is to say out loud)

As I said in my own sermon on Rosh Hashanah this past fall, "it's ironic, but the only real constant in this bizarre world of ours ... is change." Change is what keeps us dynamic and growing; it shapes and shifts us and helps us learn to be the best people we can be. We know that this is a change that we needed. We are confident that we will embrace it together.

But ... we're not there yet.

Because we're neither here nor there.

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