Reinventing Out of the Orthodox Jewish Community
FROM A CONVERSATION WITH TOVA MIRVIS ON THE REINVENT YOURSELF PODCAST
Imagine turning 40 and being afraid to drive on the highway. Afraid of the freedom that might bring. Afraid of breaking with a strict religious tradition in which you grew up. Tova Mirvis did just that. Married at 22 to a man she dated for just 12 weeks, Tova knew she risked leaving everything behind—including her identity as a mother and a community member—if she walked away from her tightly-knit Orthodox Jewish community. But she did it anyway, and wrote the book, The Book of Separation.
Tova’s Top Tips for Reinvention
- Don’t believe the facades.
It’s so easy to trick yourself into thinking that everyone else is fine, everyone else is happy. It’s only you. But one of things I’ve found is it’s never only you. So many people have that same struggle, that same urge to be authentic, but the life they’re inside of doesn’t allow that.
- Make peace with the mess.
Life is far messier and far more complicated than I ever imagined it might be. And yet there’s a certain freedom in that. It’s made me more open as a person. So many people have stories that don’t match the fantasy version.
- Don’t be afraid to talk about it.
I think people are just waiting for one person to say the uncomfortable thing. They’re waiting for someone to say, “I’m not sure about this,” or “I feel this way.” And it eases that feeling of being all alone and wanting to change something.
Why I Remained Childfree by Choice (TheCovey, Apr. 2019 Issue)
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