COVID 19 forced us all to isolate in our homes. For some, like me, the pandemic prevented us from transitioning to the next chapter of my life: College.
While adamantly opposed to taking a gap year, quarantine blessed me with some relaxation after many months of stress and anxiety. I had deleted Netflix from my devices during school to avoid distractions, but now had all the free time to indulge myself in binge-worthy series and films. My mom and I got hooked on the TV show, ‘Unorthodox.’ We finished it in two nights.
I knew that my mom had been immersed in a similar lifestyle in her past. So, I asked her how accurate the series was. She told me that the show did not reflect her exact experience, but the overall portrayal of the Hasidic community stayed close to the truth.
I began researching the topic avidly and was able to connect my new knowledge to the stories my mother had shared about her early life during our endless quarantine walks. Then something clicked: If Unorthodox was a national hit, my mom’s life story could be one too! I insisted that she write her memoir:
“Mom, you write so many articles, blogs, and even books, but you should write a memoir! You’ve had such a complex life that people can learn from!”
“I’ve tried. I have pieces, but I don’t have the skill to put them together.”
“Well, if you’re not going to do it, I’ll write it for you. Seriously.”
My sacred time with my mom enabled me to understand how she came from such restrictive communities to become the strong-willed, determined, and compassionate woman she is today. Life through cultural and personal extremes precisely drove her transformation, and bestowed a duty upon her to help others do the same. She raised me this way, and her advice has inspired my attitude toward relationships and life in general, through many challenges. I wish to pass on the tools and techniques to help women transform each obstacle into an opportunity through our paired narrative. I’ve been raised with support and to support, so there is no greater gift than using our stories to connect with others and empower them to be their best selves.