a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Clearing the Mental Chametz-or Why I’m Not K4P This Pesach

Posted on: April 14, 2014

Hello, readers!

The past month and two weeks have been really, really intense and full of a lot of seen an unforeseen challenges. It’s left me a bit shell shocked, but with a more clear and better appreciation for the things that matter most in life; like the people who truly care for me. I find that death, especially death for folks in their 20s and 30s, is a hard thing to navigate. As a woman in my  mid-thirties, I always assumed I’d mourn the passing of a parent before the passing of my sibling. It’s incredibly hard for me, and I’ve found that for some friends, dealing with me and this death is also hard. I’ve been shocked, disappointed and saddened by how hard it is for some people to relate to me like the “old Erika.” Of course, I’m not the old Erika and in some conversation I can’t help bringing up my sister’s death. And it has been my closest friends that have been able to hold space with me, listen to me, and try to understand my unimaginable and still very raw pain. I realized this weekend, sitting in the park with two women I consider good friends, that I’m too old to worry about people who don’t care for me.

So while I haven’t cleared the physical chametz in the way that we normally do, I’m using this season of new growth, new beginnings and freedom to clear the mental chametz in my life. The things, people, and toxic thoughts that occupy too much of my space and time.

Thankfully, we don’t keep gluten in our house, so we’ll not be eating chametz-y things, but at least for this year we won’t be hosting a seder and we didn’t do a floor-to-ceiling cleaning and I have to be okay with that.

I wish all of you an amazing Pesach!


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