It's been a tough month for me. At the end of July, I made a pretty regrettable mistake, and the consequences were both predictable and appropriate, but also sad: I had to steer clear of my old stomping grounds, the Ravenna Kibbutz, for a while. Starting in September, I can go back to attending Shabbat dinners, movie nights, and the like, and I have to say, I'm looking forward to it. Spending even 45 minutes there reminds me why I fell in love with the Kibbutz in the first place: the people. My goal in the future is to treat those people as well as possible. Certain individuals might need space from me, and that's okay; I'd rather change my behavior to increase others' comfort than stop attending entirely.
After two years of weekly Shabbat dinners, doing something else on a Friday night punches a hole in my heart. I think it's safe to say that I've learned from this unfortunate episode, and that my knowledge of both myself and others has increased. And while none of this stuff may end up in the essays I write for my grad-school applications, I hope it'll help make the rest of my early thirties less dramatic and more focused on self-improvement and professional accomplishment. And so it goes.