I was in the grocery store the other day, reaching for a bag of Doritos to add to my cart, when something on the packaging caught my eye. Right by the brand name, not on a sticker but printed on the bag itself, was the word "chametz" (the kind of leavened food that you can't eat on Passover).
I froze. Are we that close to Pesach (Passover) already? The month of Adar hasn't even started yet! How did this happen?
It's hard to keep a sense of passing time when you're in your own little world. The days go slowly but the weeks go quickly. I light Shabbos candles on Friday nights and feel like I just made havdalah a few nights before. I sit in my once-a-week classes and feel like I just took notes in them. I eat the Tuesday lunch of schnitzel and potatoes and feel like I just threw out my empty plate. The routine is broken up every once in a while - a Shabbaton (Shabbos away with the school) here, a visit to a women's karaoke bar there (that was last week - I'll write about it another time!)...but I'm feeling comfortably settled into this schedule.
At the beginning of the year, "routine" was the most beautiful word to me; I wanted to feel prepared for what was coming and to have my life under control. Now that I've reached that point, I'm scared of passively going through the motions and becoming complacent.
I had a dream the other night about leaving seminary - not a nightmare, just an ordinary dream of me packing up my room, saying goodbye to my friends and teachers, and getting on a plane. It made me think - at the end of the year, will I be able to look back with no regrets and feel like I achieved something personally and academically? Am I maximizing my time here to ensure that I'll be able to feel that way? Am I building friendships, talking to teachers, traveling the country, asking questions, getting absorbed in my learning, and fortifying myself for my years in college and beyond?
I feel like I'm having a mid-life crisis at nineteen! I think I need to buy a sports car. Shopping on Yaffo Street tonight will have to do, I guess.