web analytics
December 17, 2014 / 25 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Knesset and Menorah Lawyers Called Upon to Use Their Legal Skills in Israel’s Defense

Learn about the up to the minute human rights and legal challenges facing Israel, while networking with other likeminded professionals and earning CLE credits in your jurisdictions – all at the same time



Breaking Free

Massry-010314-Beads

It was the first day of high school. I glanced around. Everyone looks so similar, I thought glumly. Similar hairstyles. Similar school bags. Similar flats. It was frustrating. Why does everyone have to be the same? I wondered. That question would consume me for the next two years.

I wasn’t a bad girl, and I  didn’t want to be “the outcast.” But I did want to be “me.” I didn’t want to be someone else; I didn’t want to be one of 400 others. I wanted to be unique. But the problem, I realized, is that people often think being unique means  rebelling.” Why couldn’t I do my own thing and still be considered a good girl? I was a good girl. I was just a bit different than the typical Bais Yaakov student.

My background was different than that of most of my classmates. I was exposed to and heard of things that many of my classmates didn’t even know existed. It’s not that I wanted to be exposed, but that was my reality. And so I just didn’t fit the typical mold. As I took in the scene on the first day of school, of what seemed to me like 400-cloned Bais Yaakov look-a-likes, I knew I was in for a tough year. Admittedly, I didn’t look much different then them, but I wanted to look different! I was my own person and I wanted the world to recognize that.

And sure enough, as the year progressed, I was expected to conform. At the time, I had long sleek hair and was frustrated when I was told that my hair was too long to wear down. I had to wear it in a pony.

I will never forget that first melave malka in ninth grade. It was the first formal gathering for which we were not required to wear our uniforms. I wore what I thought looked sharp and modest: a colorful tunic.

Massry-010314-ClothesThe rest of my grade may as well have been wearing a uniform: they were all wearing black skirts (why does everyone have to always wear black?), cardigans, and sweaters. Again, I felt like the sore thumb. I had chosen my outfit carefully, and in the privacy of my bedroom it had seemed so “right.” Although it was colorful, it wasn’t too loud. But in the dim lights of the auditorium, beside my classmates, the outfit screamed of loudness, and I felt different.

There were a few others in my grade who were a bit out-of-the-box like I was, and we stuck together and became friends. They weren’t as daring as me, but they did appreciate me for who I was: a breeze of fresh air in comparison to the rest of the class. Despite my small group of friends, high school was very difficult. I felt claustrophobic and confined. I felt like I wasn’t allowed to be myself. And the worst part was that no one understood how I felt.

I remember one particular afternoon when a teacher approached me. “Atara,” she said, “I see that you are wearing a shell underneath your blouse.”

“Yes, I am!” I answered. “I thought it was a great idea; my shirt was a little open, and the tznius button was too tight, so I decided to wear a shell underneath it.”

I had honestly thought that the shell was a great idea. My mother and sisters has as well. But my teacher did not.

“That is not an acceptable look,” she said sternly. “Please follow me to the office and I will get you a safety pin.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Breaking Free”

  1. I can relate to this. We all want to fit in but, at the same time, be individuals.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Sony Pictures Entertainment studio, Los Angeles, CA.
Terror Threat Puts Kabash on Sony’s NYC Film Premier
Latest Sections Stories
South-Florida-logo

Rav Dynovisz will be speaking in Hebrew on Wednesday, January 7, at 7:30 p.m.

South-Florida-logo

Rabbi Simeon Schreiber, senior chaplain at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, saw a small room in the hospital that was dark and dismal but could be used for Sabbath guests.

Eller-121914-Main

“The secret to a good donut is using quality ingredients and the ability to be patient and give them time to proof.”

I so desperately want to have a loving relationship with my stepsons.

The Liberty Bell is a symbol of American Independence.

Because you can’t have kids pouring huge jugs of oil into tiny glasses, unless you want to turn your house into an environmental disaster.

Try these with your kids; there’s something for every age group and once all the recipes are made, dinner will be ready!

You children will build the country and you will help restore Israel to her former glory.

Bais Toras Menachem is proud to welcome its new staff member, Yaakov Mark, who will be the Administrator as well as Ort College and GED class coordinator.

Because she is keenly aware that anti-Semitism may start with the Jews but never ends with the Jews, she makes the logical connection between the opprobrium for both America and Israel so commonplace on the political left.

In this narrative of history, it is the third world Palestinians who are victims of the marauding Jews, of course.

During 1939, anti-Semitic groups such as Fritz Kuhn’s German American Bund held rallies in New York and other major cities across the country.

More Articles from As told to Sarah Massry
Lessons-Emunah-logo

Herman was speechless, yet the look in his eyes said it all. Indeed, his gratitude knew no bounds.

Massry-010314-Beads

In the dim lights of the auditorium, the outfit screamed of loudness, and I felt different.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/breaking-free/2014/01/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: