I was born a little while ago in the west coast to a newlywed Orthodox Jewish couple. Four years and three more kids later, my parents decided that Washington state wasn't conducive to the ever more strict Orthodox life they where leading. So we moved to a quiet little Jewish culdesac in New Jersey. Jersey brought us two more kids, and an even more rigid lifestyle, but when that proved insufficient, we moved about an hour north, to the second largest Orthodox Jewish community in North America: Rockland County, New York. In the eighteen years that followed my parents had five more kids, (that's a grand total of 11 for those of you keeping track) married off six of us, and joined a group who - ironically - very closely resemble the Taliban - minus the homicidal and/or suicidal tendencies. In the meantime I got married, had a child of my own, was hired and fired from a couple jobs, opened and closed a couple businesses, tried but failed to go to college, moved twice, but in all that time I was a good Frum Jew.
And then all hell broke loose... In the few years since then, I have cut off my beard, cut of my payes, took off my yarmulka, and I am currently enlisted in the U.S. Army. I went from being a ma'amin to a koifer b'ikor, from a true believer to an atheist, from a hard-right conservative to a libertarian, from listening to Lipa Schmeltzer to listening to Linkin Park.
What happened? What changed? Was it an early mid-life crisis? Did I lose My Mind? Was I upset at my Rebbe's for hitting me? Am I doing all this just to piss off my parents? Am I sad inside, and just running away from myself? Maybe I'm just rebelling the way many kids do as young teenagers, and if so why did it take me this long do it? How could I go from sitting in Kollel, and representing the OK, to joining the Army. Rachmunah Litzlan! (All these are questions and suggestions that people have raised about me).
These and other topics is what I hope to sort out here with your help, you'll just have to excuse my grammar, this is a learn as we go operation. (Praise Xenu for spellcheck)
I have discovered that telling my story, is at once very relieving and emotionally draining. In addition to that, it's hard to relate all the details in one sitting, I'm hoping that this setting will help overcome these issues.